Well I have to write somewhere,so I am going to do something a little nostalgic and leaning to that perspective of Martin Scorsese…
Whilist I was watching the double treat of two Italian Neo-Realist films,I wished there is another person to share my experience when I seen the pregnant Karin climbing up that treacherous volcano in Rossellini’s Stromboli (1950) where I wept when she screamed God have mercy on me or that dread Magalnda have in Vulcano. I asked my mum and dad to join with me on this screening despite knowing that my parents are not that interested in these type of films. It feels lonely when you watch it on your own when watching films is an event of community.
I bet all you other cinephiles do feel that same feeling as me and that is why I am sharing my experiences with you.
My parents are from a poor background and they do not spend their childhood at the movies and focused on the practical aspects in life. It all started with me writing a book in high school about what I wanted to be “I want to be a film director” . Maybe I was spurred after seeing a film version of To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) for my literature class.
Of course for my reading about film,I assume those few names that struck me,Alfred Hitchcock,Andrew Adamson-the director for The Chronicles of Narnia. I have no knowledge of who are these people…
There you know the story that Julie Taymor’s Beatles musical-Across The Universe changed my perception of film. I think my real habit of being a cinephile all started with me ticking off the AFI 100 films,with David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. It changed my whole being,as I could not sleep thinking about that windshield and Peter O’Toole’s jaded face for not saving Arabia after marathoning for four hours.
Of course in film school,we started watching films,Hitchcock,Vittro De Sica,Muramu,Fritz Lang,Wes Anderson,Jean Renoir..so many names..Sadly most of my classmates do not share that same passion for old films like me..They are more tech-savy than me I really wanted to keep that habit to watch films,but due to the stress of school,it ebbs and flow at time. The only time I could marathon it was the holidays. It’s hard to find people with similar interests in old films.
I tried to persuade my family to watch these films with me,I managed to succeed a few times but I respect that decision they do not want to watch with me.
90% of the time I watched the film all alone. It’s disheartening as no one will discuss with you the aspects and symbolism of that film. No one will geek with you on how beautiful Brigette Bardot was in Godard’s Le Mephris. No one will wonder how the director created the vision. They just see if it was entertaining and that is all. As quoted by Tom from the Glass Menagire (One of my favorite Tennessee Williams plays)
“…People go to the movies instead of moving! Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the adventures for everybody in America, while everybody in America sits in a dark room and watches them have them! Yes, until there’s a war. That’s when adventure becomes available to the masses!…” – Tom
We just wanna forget this world. I have that struggle of being analytical and yet enjoyed the film itself.
Looking back perhaps the beauty of watching films by yourself,is that no one will pester you with massive SMS or knocking. You are your own audience. You feel the things and there you judged it yourself. You are not influenced by the person. You can express it in your writing platform,where I started on writing my anime reviews of what I feel. Perhaps it was that habit that is even healthier than what most teenagers do as Frank Carpa,the director of It’s A Wonderful Life famously quoted “Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream, it takes over as the number one hormone; it bosses the enzymes; directs the pineal gland; plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to film is more film.” You cannot get enough. It is alright if you have faces of horror that you loved Old Hollywood films,it’s alright if they cannot get the coda of The Bicycle Theives,it’s alright that you blurt out random trivia about the making of Taxi Driver. All people who are passionate over their things do feel secluded. However there is hope,once you can find the right community like what I do. You never feel alone. I am glad to go for that route of cinema. I do love that darkened room,with the film shutter rolling and being absorbed in the beauty. I do love exploring the filmography of my favorite directors. I do love reblogging the GIF sets of the films I loved. I do loved reading what people would think about that particular film.
So don’t be discouraged over the darkness of being alone when you watched that Kurosawa film at either your laptop or Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen. Eventually this is what you loved to do and I will do a pumped fist if you forget what others think about your habits and just doing what you love. To us it was cinema,as what Francois Truffaut quoted “Film lovers are sick people.”.
We cannot get enough of cinema.