Tuesday, November 16, 2004

What did I learn?

What did I learn on my month without film? That's a good hard question (asked by only two people!). I learned two things mainly:

First: that when you do something out of the norm people are inclined to raise their eyebrows; "Why?" is the way most people responded when I told them my plans for a film free month, my heart goes out to all you vegetarians out there.

Second: this realization surprise me a bit more (OK, a lot more), I had been using films as something merely to fill time; any time I wanted to turn off my brain I'd say "Let's watch a movie!". I knew that this is how many people view movies; as something to snack on, but not I! Surely not I! But alas it was so.

Suffice it to say that I think much more carefully about popping in a DVD now. And the next time I do something like this (which may be soon) I shall try to have a good answer to the question Why?


midnitcafe said...

You have made me want to try a month without movies. I don't think I could do it though. Living in France now, it would be much easier to not see movies in the cinema (and in fact I haven't seen a new release since I've been here, some two months) but not watching a DVD would be very difficult indeed.

I certainly agree with you that all to often watching a movie is a distraction, something to alleviate boredom. However, sometimes I think distraction is a good thing. If I have a long day at work, or am stressed out about something there is something comforting about throwing in a favorite flick. There are movies I have seen a million times and can slap into the DVD player and watch without really thinking about it. Those movies take my mind away from everything and allow me to relax. With this though, I realize often I don't need the escape, but watch a movie for lack of anything else to do. When there are plenty of more constructive things to do.

At the same time, I would not want to give up movies completely. When they are good, they can do a lot more than be a form of escapism. They can teach and inspire and motivate, and a whole lot of other things that I'm not qualified to talk about.

Foolish Knight said...

Dear Mr. Midnight (does one address caf├ęs as Mr.?),

I understand completely. Although staying away from movies for a month is an experience I might recommend to anyone who wants to reevaluate their thinking on movies (and maybe Art in general), the idea of giving up movies for the rest of my life almost seems to smack of heresy! (But you can get an awful lot of reading done when watching movies isn't even an option. I finished four AMAZING books in October.)

eucharisto said...

Interesting...I have to admit, you have inspired me to try something similar, I'm not sure what yet. But I agree, when we drop T.V. or something of the like, it does inspire more reading. The only problem is finding good reading material, but I've got some great books to read in the near future, so I might just attempt something like what you did. I'll keep you posted.

midnitcafe said...

You can just call me Mat. The midnitcafe handle is a very old one that sort of got attached to me and hasn'tlet go. Mainly I use it because it has become MY user name and so I use it everywhere more for my potential to forget anything else than any real desire to be called that.

Ah yes, no movies would give us more time for reading. I haven't had a TV in a couple of months and so I have definitely read more. Of course the taking a year off from work has also helped my reading :) But this makes me question that as well. Aren't you just substituting one thing for another? Meaning you give up movies and ralize how much time you spend watching them only to spend that time reading. Is reading really better than watching a movie. Depends on what you read I guess. So, what have you been reading?

Foolish Knight said...

Hmm... books I been reading lately (and enjoying) here are some:

Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,Jostein Gaarder's Sophie's World,Philip Yancey's Soul Survivor (for the third time),

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (second time)


Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons.

Also I just finished Lief Enger's Peace Like A River, which I would recommend to any To Kill a Mockingbird fan. (As I see from your profile you are.)

Foolish Knight said...
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midnitcafe said...

Reading books a second or third time. My wife and I were just commenting on this. She is currently in grad school (PhD in French Linguistics at Indiana University) and constantly complains that she doesn't have time to read books she wants to read, vs books she has to read. Now that we're spending time in France she has the time to read for fun. The first book she picks out is Sense and Sensibility which she has read multiple times. I laugh at her thinking she should read something she has never read. But to her its more like choosing something she knows is good versus taking a chance. Me, I always take the chance.

Your lists reminds me of a class I took once. It dealt soley on more classic literature dealing with spirituality and Christianity. So we read Pascal and Augustine, amongst other contemporary works. Good class. Long comment :)

Anyone read Silence? I forget who wrote it. Excellent book on the subject of Christianity.

Foolish Knight said...

Silence, was written by Shusaku Endo. I've never read it but it's on my short list of books to read before I die.

midnitcafe said...

Thanks. I knew someone would know the author. It is well worth the read. Unfortunately my copy had several blank pages towards the end. Like literally one side had the text and the other side was completely blank! And it was right towards the climactic ending! Ahhhhh!