Cinematic Idiosyncrasies

Nita had tagged me almost a year back for reveal­ing my quirks relat­ed to watch­ing movies. I thank her for the oppor­tu­ni­ty very much, as this is yet-anoth­er-close-to-my-heart top­ic!

  • I have watched more movies in restrict­ed cin­e­ma halls as a mem­ber of film clubs and in film fes­ti­vals than in pub­lic cin­e­ma halls.
  • I guess I do not make a good movie-watch­ing com­pan­ion in the usu­al sense. I am total­ly unre­spon­sive to any com­mu­ni­ca­tion dur­ing the movie. When my fam­i­ly or friends turn to look at me and talk dur­ing a movie, I get irri­tat­ed because I don’t want them to miss even a sin­gle frame.
  • I almost nev­er per­suade oth­ers to watch films that I like. In my younger days, I used to, but after repeat­ed dis­ap­point­ments, I became wis­er.
  • Watch­ing open­ing and clos­ing cred­its is almost like a reli­gious rit­u­al for me. I avoid going to cin­e­ma the­atres where ear­ly ris­ers are like­ly to block the view of the end cred­its. In such cir­cum­stances, I pre­fer sit­ting in the front rows. This part­ly stems from my asso­ci­a­tion with a few close friends who work in behind-the-scenes roles as assis­tant direc­tors, music direc­tors, pro­duc­ers, etc. Only part­ly, because this is sim­i­lar to books, where I read each page of the crit­i­cal acclaim, pub­lish­ing his­to­ry – includ­ing all the edi­tion infor­ma­tion, the ISBN cat­a­logue details, print­ing infor­ma­tion, etc.
  • The only time I have left a movie in-between was when I and my girl­friend were watch­ing an old black and white Japan­ese film on the hor­rors of Hiroshi­ma. I didn’t feel like being Sein­feld with Schindler’s List, so we polite­ly made our exit after we dis­cov­ered what the movie was about.
  • In Mum­bai (then Bom­bay), I was the sole (ille­gal) under-18 mem­ber of a lead­ing film soci­ety, the Prab­hat Chi­tra Man­dal. PCM’s Mr. Nandgaonkar had per­son­al­ly screened me, and after an hour-long chat about films by great direc­tors, he had no qualms to accept my appli­ca­tion.
  • The most intense cin­e­mat­ic expe­ri­ence in my life was dur­ing the screen­ing of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest at the NFAI in Pune. The hall was not only packed, there was no space to stand in the aisles! Yet at the poignant cli­max towards the end (no spoil­ers), each and every mem­ber of the audi­ence was in a world of their own. You could not hear a pin drop, because there was not a sin­gle pin drop­ping. The audi­ence stopped breath­ing for a few moments as if that would dis­turb the moment.
  • I almost always like to check out reviews and crit­ics’ opin­ions before I watch a film – often to decide if I’m going to watch it, and if yes, to know what I’m going to pay atten­tion to in terms of film appre­ci­a­tion.
  • I once guid­ed Helen to her seat in a screen­ing. She had left the hall dur­ing the inter­mis­sion and was hes­i­tant about her place when she returned. She was sit­ting direct­ly in the row in front of us, and I oblig­ed. Her pres­ence, demeanor, and per­son­al­i­ty was that of a queen!
  • I some­times watch great films again, focus­ing specif­i­cal­ly on one aspect of the film-mak­ing. For exam­ple, I will watch Charu­la­ta for study­ing the act­ing, then for study­ing the cam­era work, once for the direc­tion and edit­ing, and yet again sole­ly for the sets and art dec­o­ra­tion. There are a hand­ful of films I have watched mul­ti­ple times this way, some Ray, some Kuro­sawa, and some oth­ers.
  • Maybe because of the type of films I enjoy watch­ing, they stay with me for a long time. I can­not watch one film after anoth­er. I like long mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sions about the film after­wards. The longest ‘hang­over’ I had after watch­ing a film was when I watched the uncen­sored Ban­dit Queen in Berlin.

There! I trust you will not eas­i­ly find a more quirky movie-buff than me!

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  • One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest is my favorite movie. Heart wrench­ing it was in end.

    I too make a bad movie com­pan­ion, its com­plete­ly engross­ing pri­vate affair for me, all expres­sions too open­ly play on face. I quar­rel with my sis­ter as she makes lots of com­ments while watch­ing. I too hate miss­ing any frame even if it is cast­ing n oth­er things.

    And I envy you watch­ing movies as part of movie clubs while being so young. I too have done this movie quirks tag some­where on my blog. 🙂

  • Mahen­dra

    I read all the cred­its too much to the annoy­ance of oth­ers. I have only ever had one accom­plice in this quirk — a French class­mate in Cam­bridge. :-/

    I would love to share oth­er ones, which might chal­lenge your crown but I am not tagged and not vol­un­teer­ing 😉

  • Wow! You are a seri­ous film watch­er and I thought I was one until I read this! I do share quite a few of your movie habits though, like for instance want­i­ng to see every sin­gle frame of the movie. It was nice read­ing this, a peep into the real Mahen­dra! Thanks for doing the tag.

  • screamwith­menow

    each film is so per­son­al.
    I do won­der who decides what and where films will get the go ahead from. I would like to see the films that they refuse to make. So many books get refused many times, and I am curi­ous if film is the same.
    I have been to two out­door walk ins. Once it rained. Not nice, and no one moved. (The green Mile)

  • You are an intense con­nois­seur of the movies

    A agree with the lot and won­der why peo­ple start to rush out of the­aters once the cred­its start

  • havala

    This is inter­est­ing. I myself don’t tend to like the reviews unless the move descrip­tion is obtuse. And i hate the movie the­atre because I can’t walk around or do some­thing while I’m watch­ing the movie. Need­less to say, we have very dif­fer­ent habits 🙂

  • enjoyed this post immense­ly, thanks for doing this.
    I unlike you love to watch back to back movies and often do dur­ing fes­ti­vals.
    and I am not at all cov­er­sant with movie mak­ing craft but I watch movies like they read a book, rely­ing on dia­logue, act­ing, ges­tures shown, music etc. maybe you can edu­cate peo­ple like us about the behind the scene craft in one of your posts with block­buster exam­ples which is easy to go see again and again while its run­ning. my DVD dri­ve isnt work­ing rt now.

  • the oth­er response was in your chat, want­ed to see if the chat option worked but I guess smth­ngs wrong you repost­ed all my comm­nts back at me!

  • this evening I watched a curi­ous movie called the strange case of Ben­jamin But­ton

  • I dont watch TV. in fact I do not even own a TV 🙂

  • so you do a post that is not too jar­gon heavy and with ref­er­ences from movies we Indi­ans might have watched. on the net they use exam­ples that are unknown to me, besides they assume we know much already.

  • Jar­gon?! I apol­o­gize, I nev­er thought I had used jar­gon in this post. I’ll think about writ­ing about more movies.

    I do once in a while. You might want to see them all by click­ing on the ‘movies’ tag in the tag cloud in the side­bar.

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