I’ve only watched one new movie since starting college. That’s the beginning of an incredibly asinine anecdote, but allow me to muse on my earlier statement.
Those of you who are long-time readers will remember my first column, from a whole three weeks ago, in which I talked about the sentimentality of films. The thing that I personally find the most exciting about film as an art form is that it doubles as a form of entertainment. It is often consumed completely out of the context of it being an art form. Most people don’t sit down to the latest Marvel movie to consider the order of shots used in a scene or how each shot is lit; they watch it for the story. Films are a part of our social discourse in a far-reaching way that other art forms have not managed to be. Asking who everyone’s favorite sculptors are at a dinner party would not quite yield the same response as asking about everyone’s favorite films. Film’s dual presence in the world of media often means that people who aren’t necessarily interested in film as an art form still feel connected to certain films on a sentimental level.
Which, although it has taken a while, brings me back to what I originally wanted to talk about. I tend to be a re-watcher by nature, so I didn’t think too much of my recent viewing habits until it came time to brainstorm an idea for this week’s column and I started thinking about what I had recently seen. Rewatching a film is not about having a new experience. Rewatching a film is, in its own way, an attempt to experience something familiar. I reckon you can always take something new from a subsequent viewing of a film, but its primary purpose is a return to a previous experience. For myself, being in such a new environment, experiencing so many new things and meeting so many new people, the revisiting of a film speaks to a desire for familiarity. I know that this is not necessarily the best forum for discussion — me writing a column in a public space, and you reading it privately — but I’d love to know whether others find themselves re-visiting media that they have previously watched in the wake of change.
So, to those of you who are both first-years and keen movie-watchers, or are just going through a change, have you found yourself on Thursday nights enjoying the newest blockbusters at the beautiful Somerville Theatre, or crawling back to old episodes of “Gossip Girl” (2007–2012) and your favorite Julia Roberts movie for yet another time?