The university’s College of Mass Communication and Media Arts encompasses both the Cinema & Photography and Journalism majors. Meaning, within my building I bump into film majors daily.
It’s not that they’re rude, though they sometimes are; it’s not that they enjoy movies in a pretentious way, though they sometimes do; it’s whenever I ask about a movie, they give me a one-man-band live podcast, missing the pause button.
I call myself a film buff as a way of masking how I don’t get out much. You name a famous movie from the 60s to the 80s – I’ve probably seen it. When I watch a movie I like dissecting it in my head before ever saying a word on it.
The things I can say off the bat are my complaints—it’s why my girlfriend says I’m no fun to go to the movies with. They’re nitpicks, but when there’re 100 of them for a movie I actually enjoyed and I say all of them on the walk to the car, it’ll just sound like I’m saying I wish we didn’t go to the theater. Sorry, babe.
However, when you ask a true cinephile about a movie, someone whose passion is cinema, you get all the garbage that comes with it. Most of them have a lot to say about any individual movie and they’re ready to tell you about it each time.
Especially the ones they haven’t seen. Rotten Tomatoes scores don’t count as your opinions, people. You know who you are.
Some film buffs have an issue because they’re expected to be well-versed on movies. They feel a need to give a specific hot take nobody has said yet. If they find one they like, you’ll hear that point repeated throughout the conversation. It’s one of a few disparate parts they fully believe, so it’ll reappear verbatim in their Letterbox review, shared on Facebook.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Everyone’s first reactions to a piece of entertainment are a bungled mix of feelings and mood which make immediate critical thinking really hard to do.
The problem for cinephiles is they have so much more to say, because they’re trying to take in account every aspect of a movie: camera movement, CGI, acting, directing, set design, choreography, animation, makeup, costumes and a million other things I can’t take into account.
It’s a blessing for them to be able to enjoy movies for so much longer than the approximate two hours of runtime, and it can lead to conversations I just can’t follow.
Take 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. I had a stupid amount of complaints about this movie and tried to cook dinner while ranting to my friends. Not a single thought was an extension of the previous one.
Me, an idiot: “How would Thanos have ever found the Time Stone hidden as a star?”
Friend: “Yeah, I’m not sure, maybe one of the other stones would’ve helped.”
Me: “Why did Gamora give up after like 10 seconds of Nebula being tortured? She’s a robot! Her pain is fake! Who cares!”
It’s frustrating for anyone else in the conversation, because they can’t give another new thought to the discussion of any particular facet of the movie. If you’re the film schmuck in the room, be self-aware — while you’re chatting with someone and they say “Ah” with a single head nod, know that means you’ve probably said enough to make them lose interest.
Oddly enough, that happens to me every time I tell someone about these columns.
Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of The Daily Egyptian, its staff or its associates.
You’re Dumb and Wrong is a weekly column about video games, movies and popular entertainment from local film snob Jeremy Brown. Brown can be reached at [email protected]
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