Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Let's Talk: Patience & TV
This semester in Paris I've been taking a photography class. Of all my non-illustration based classes, this one's proving to be the most fun! Creating an image is creating an image, no matter what medium you're using. My prof pointed this out to me when I had my complain-y "I'm an illustrator not a photographer!" pants on. I don't always understand what he's saying (mumbled rambles in French are even harder to understand than ones in English) but this statement really got me.
For this assignment we had to pick a scene from a movie that really stood out to us and re-create it. I chose to do the sleepover scene from Grease and ended up doing the part where Rizzo sings to Elvis asking him to keep his pelvis far from her! For those of you who follow me on instagram, now my fake-freckle attempts make sense - it was for this assignment!
(the original scene)
I digress. Doing this project (though really, REALLY fun) got me realizing something; I have become so impatient with watching movies. I get bored and distracted so easily. I check my facebook, my instagram, hell sometimes I start reading the news on my phone, all while my movie plays and I miss dialogue and important scenes. This is not a testament to the quality of the movies I choose (though admittedly I sometimes give movies a chance when I really should just trust the reviews...), it's because I've been watching nothing but TV shows since being in Paris.
1. TV shows are so easy to watch online, and being away from home I don't have a DVD player or my brother's Xbox or Netflix (there is no French Netflix) for movies here.
2. It's easier to fit in an episode of my favourite show in between homework or classes. And easier to justify watching a shorter episode when you really should be doing something productive...
3. The episodes are designed to be fast paced, suspenseful, and to leave you hanging at the end wanting more. They cater directly to the easily distracted.
4. I care more about the characters because I've been following some of them for years (anyone else have a Grey's Anatomy guilty pleasure?)
5. I don't even have to wait a week to watch the next episode since I can start a show at any time online and binge-watch entire seasons all at once (Game of Thrones I'm looking at you)!
Now, just because I can justify it doesn't mean I think it's a good thing.
Shows have their merits of course, but movies are a different kind of art form. They are one-time masterpieces, not on-going, so they have to prove themselves and their worthiness all at once. The character development is trickier since it has to happen within a few hours, not a few seasons. Sure this means there are a lot of crap movies where this isn't achieved, but it also means there are some brilliant ones with inspired minds behind the scripts and characters and sets and costumes and soundtracks and just everything (think every Wes Anderson film ever). It just takes a little bit of patience to weed through the bad ones and focus for longer periods of time, through the highs and lows of the movie. Patience to get to know new characters every time and learn to love or hate them in the span of a few hours. Patience to take the time to sit and watch a movie instead of binge watch episodes of the latest trendiest show.
I'm going to work on this. I think it's important to watch films, not only to appreciate them as an art form, but to take the time to slow down and practice patience. Patience is a virtue, as the saying goes, and I can't help but feel my patience dwindle as my TV consumption goes up. It'll be easier to watch movies when I go back home to Canada (41 days!) and get reunited with my dvd player and Netflix, but that doesn't mean I can't start now!
So, what movies do you guys recommend? Seen anything wonderful recently?