Recently I had a conversation with a friend of mine. A conversation about movies. At some point in the conversation, he asked me how I could watch a movie, almost every movie I’ve seen, more than once. At first I was shocked, I’d never entertained the thought of only watching a movie once. Even the ones I hate, I’ve seen multiple times. So, I asked him if there was any particular film he’d watched more than once.
He said no.
Now I really was shocked. How could that be possible? I asked him, and he said that he had no desire to. Then he asked me why. and it really got me thinking.
why isn’t once enough for me?
How can I watch films I’ve already seen, and still enjoy them? The answer was simple.
With each viewing, a film is different.
Sure, it’s got the same actors, writing, and special effects (if applicable), but you notice more every time.
You can see a mole that wasn’t there before, notice something funny, or telling, in the background, see how every action leads up to the conclusion. Every time is different. Just the other day, I was watching a film I hadn’t seen in years, and I recognized an actress. I headed to IMDB and discovered that she’d been a regular on a show I currently watch. It added more to the experience, and it was nice to know that a glorified extra from a years-old movie had gotten more work for herself.
And that’s just one experience, I’ve had hundreds of others like it.
Another thing about rewatching films is that you have the chance to revisit films you hated years ago, and see how your attitude has (or hasn’t changed). I’ve had several movies that I’d previously dismissed take a whole new light when I watched them again. And I’ve even started to dislike movies that I used to love.
I’ve also noticed that it’s helped with my writing. I can notice bad writing on the second or third viewing that I dismissed in the first. I know which cliches to embrace, and which to avoid, and I’ve taken huge strides with dialogue.
So does this mean you should watch movies more than once? That’s all up to you. But I’d strongly suggest it. And if you’re not sure where to start (yes, it happens), just pop in (or click on) one of your favorites, and see where it takes you.