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Confessions of a non-movie guy

Hi everyone.

My name's Scott.

I don't like to watch movies.

I can hear you gasp from here. In the group of friends I have, online and off, this is an unthinkable state. "Not like movies? How can you not like movies?" I hear you say. The answer is : I dont know. I just don't particularly care for them.

There are some movies that I do like to watch - nearly anything by Pixar, Wallace and Grommit, kitshcy or campy fantasy/sci-fi, certain action-adventure movies (I'm quite looking forward to Pirates of the Caribbean next week - and I loved both LOTR movies, I mean, I'm not an ALIEN. ;) ). But in general, I'd prefer to not "watch a movie" as an evening's entertainment - much to the chagrin of my movie-loving wife.

I've been this way for a while - and I never really put much thought into it until recently. Why do I feel this way? Partly because I've always had trouble sitting still for long periods. (No, not ADD, just a spazz) Not completely, though, since I sit still at work and during many other events just fine. I've come to believe it has something to do with the passive nature of movies. And television too - I don't watch TV series either, for most of the same reasons. I admit - I didn't watch more than 2 episodes of B5. I've only seen one episode of Buffy. I watched a few episodes of Farscape, and that was very good, just bad timing for my schedule. I have seen all of the ST:TOS espisodes, and nearly all of the ST:TNG episodes, so I hope I don't get totally kicked out of fandom. :)

A passive entertainment like a movie or television show doesn't engage my mind for whatever reason, and after a short time, I find my mind wandering and I start fidgeting and trying to figure out what I can do to get up and leave the room, even for a short time. It's uncomfortable, and I don't want to be rude to the people I'm sitting there with, but I'd really rather be in a Starbuck's having a Latte.

Also, I work in Hollywood, with Hollywood people - and frankly, I don't like them. I'm very cynical about the entertainment industry, and I think most of what is made is crap - the good stuff is never recognized as good stuff by the people who should know. Everyone's a poser. I think my cynicism probably projects onto anything I see. It's difficult to turn that filter off.

I think it's important to note that I DON'T have this issue with more interactive entertainments. Like video games - or at work where I'm trying to solve problems. My mind is completely engaged in these activities, and as my wife can tell you, I can sit still for hours when I'm doing something like this. Or audio work - like in Mastering, where I'm listening to the same 20 seconds of music over and over and over again. I can do that for hours, making minor tweaks and problem solving.

But, once I get plopped down in front of some passive tv/movie/whatever - my brain just doesn't have enough to do, and it reverts to it's natural 2 year old state and it begins to run around like a loon, concentrating on nothing for more than 30 seconds.

I've tried to fake it, I've tried to PRETEND I'm a movie guy, I've tried to BECOME more interested in movies - but I've finally given up. pafuts watches what she wants, and I go to the other room to play my guitar, or play on the computer. Right now, she and her dad are watching "Gangs of New York", and I just can't bring myself to go out and join them, knowing that I'll be back in here in less than 30 minutes.

So now you all know. I can't cover it up any more. It's a difficult thing to admit when you have a group of friends like mine, but to quote that Nautical Hero of Yore - "I yam what I yam."

Thank you for your support.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2003 05:39 pm (UTC)
It's okay, Scott; we forgive you for being a total freak. Seriously, though, I like movies, discussing movies and going to the movies about ten times as much as a normal human. So obviously, I got your share.

Gonna be at Concertino next weekend?
Jul. 13th, 2003 06:16 pm (UTC)
Rumour has it you will be, Seanan! Looking forward to seeing you!

As for movies, yeah, they rank right up there as one of my favorite forms of entertainment. If a movie hits town that both John and I are interested in, we'll be at the theatre. Though, depressingly enough, between now and the end of summer, I can't think of one movie left that I want to see. Hopefully, I'm just overlooking some.

I am sympathetic about the TV show thing, though, Scott. Just came back from Toronto Trek yesterday and there's nothing like being at an sf media con to make me realize that my knowledge of recent sf/fantasy television is really, really lacking and that I don't much care :). It was only matched by my lack of knowledge in anime and video games, making it so I didn't recognize the source for over half the costumes in the Masquerade and wandering the hallways.
Jul. 15th, 2003 10:56 pm (UTC)
I will, in fact, be there, along with great whacking chunks of Lady Mondegreen (Allyssa and Merav and I spent much of Sunday rehearsing). Make us sing 'Galadriel's Lament' for you -- we have a new three-part harmonic arrangement that's actually really, really nice.

I can't wait to see you!
Jul. 13th, 2003 08:30 pm (UTC)
No con for me this weekend, sorry to say.

Have a good time though!

I should add - that there are some things on tv that I DO like a great deal. Discovery channel is my friend. They are playing episodes of "Time Team" over here, and I love them. Anything science, nature or history oriented, that is like a documentary - educational sort of stuff - I love that. For example - one of my favorites is "Full Circle with Michael Palin". Great stuff.

Why does this kind of thing engage me when a normal movie doesn't? I have no idea. I probably need medication.

Jul. 13th, 2003 07:30 pm (UTC)
Don't worry; I have no intention of voting you off the island.

The last movie we saw was "The Two Towers". We brought our daughter in, and sat in the last row. This way, if she started to cry, I could whisk her out and not be disruptive to other movie patrons.

I find it hard to sit through movies as well. Part of it is that my mind tells me "You should be at home doing the stuff you've been putting off". Another part of it is that I have a hard time sitting still for long periods at a time. And the other part is that I usually have to get up and pee during an important part of the movie. That's why I always say "Hell, no!" when the person at the soda counter says, "For a quarter more you can go up another size".

If my wife had some people to see movies with, she'd be there in a heartbeat. But she worries about leaving our daughter with me.
Jul. 13th, 2003 11:46 pm (UTC)
You've said yourself, thought, that you do like some movies, so methinks it's not that you don't like them, it's just that you're very picky about what you do like. Admitting that you like your mind to be engaged I can only see as a positive trait. :)

Curious question - do you like to read books? Or do you have the same pickyness there? What about theatre etc - does this form of visual storytelling genre face the same problem with you? Dance shows? Circus?

And whatever the answer - doesn't mean I like you any less. Just so long as you don't try to force me to play videogames with you, I won't force you to watch movies with me ;)
Jul. 14th, 2003 12:31 am (UTC)
I am so relieved. If not for precisely the same reasons, I, too, sometimes find myself outside the in-group of those who can talk about all the latest movies. I do not watch a lot of them either, basically because I have a full-time job and write at night and am so curiously dispositioned as to find most "industrial" entertainment less exciting than the development of my own plots. I am biased, of course, it's not an objective quality assessment. I used to watch a lot of tv but very often not without doing something else at the same time like praticing guitar (when I am alone), or sketching something or even having a book by my side.
Jul. 14th, 2003 06:17 pm (UTC)
Uh.... I have to like movies... Does this mean you won't come see any of mine? {sob}
Jul. 27th, 2003 05:22 am (UTC)
smoke a cigar and drink while watching... you need more stimulation, bucko.
Aug. 10th, 2003 08:30 pm (UTC)
I just saw this (catching up) and wanted you to know you're not alone. I find I often don't have the patience for watching movies.

I watched the first LotR movie and Harry Potter movie while working out on my HealthRider because sitting still that long would've driven me nuts. Last week I took several breaks during the 2nd Harry Potter to pet the dog, get something to eat, pet the dog, stretch my legs, nap...you get the idea. Movies are also easier when I'm doing mind-numbing work on the computer.

To knock myself out I watch either Food Network or Game Shows where there's no plot and everything is in small segments of 8 minutes or less, pausing frequently (TiVo Is My Friend). I'd read, but that'd keep me up all night....
Oct. 10th, 2003 07:34 pm (UTC)
It's alright, Scott. Movies just make your gut sag and your muscles atrophe. Get out there and live.

Oh, by the way, I'm HEEErrrre!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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