View Full Version : impact of watching a movie


Luthien
01-05-15, 05:59 PM
(I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but it's the closest that I could find)


I wonder if anyone recognises this: that watching a movie feels as if it is really happening; as if you were actually in it. Of course I know that this isn't the case, but that doesn't make any difference. The effect is that I feel my body react physically to scary situations in movies: my heart is racing, palms are sweaty .. it is all too intense for comfort. Way too intense.

This is why I don't want to watch anything stronger than a James Bond movie, such as horror movies*; if it feels like the real thing, why would I wilfully subject myself to frightening or disgusting stimuli? To me, that would make as much sense as, say, eating a spoonful of salt or hitting myself on the head with a two-by-four. Or listen to a Celine Dion record. No, thank you very much :eek:

The upside is that I can also enjoy movies intensely. Even if it's for the fifteenth time :D ... there's another weird thing that I noticed: if I see a movie again, I of course know what's coming - in any case to a degree. Take the Fellowship of the Ring, that scene where Gandalf confronts the Balrog: of course I know that he'll fall down, but I can hear myself thinkingL "I wonder if he'll fall this time ...?"

That's why I don't mind spoilers. It doesn't matter, because the part of me that undergoes the movie seems to be strangely isolated (at least for the duration of the movie) from my conscious mind.





* especially the gory ones :mad:

Little Missy
01-05-15, 06:26 PM
Oh definitely. Some films have such and impact on me that they become a part of my life, or I become part of the film and it takes a very, very long time for me to extract myself from them.

willow129
01-05-15, 08:00 PM
Yeesss!!! It took me a little while to realize the panicky feelings and anxiety I would get were movie related - like oh! I'm feeling what I imagine the main character is feeling. But it's not actually real.

I think it may be a sign of being extremely empathetic. Do you think you are empathetic in general? I feel that I am.

I also get really wrapped up in movie and book worlds too - and actually, funnily enough when I think of that, LOTR is the first thing that comes to mind. Not surprising I guess cuz JRR Tolkien was SOO thorough.

willow129
01-05-15, 08:01 PM
PS ick gory movies

Little Missy
01-05-15, 08:03 PM
Oh yes, books also. Old Shrinkipoo always called me Empath because I feel too much.:)

Luthien
01-08-15, 04:40 AM
Indeed, books have a similar effect, though not as strongly or directly as movies do. I think that's just because movies are so much more inevitable.

Maybe there is a relation with the nature of a recurring scary dream that I have (though it's not very often - maybe once a year): in those dreams someone turns on the TV to watch a movie that I know will be very unsettling. I protest, but I'm the only one so it is ignored. And as the movie starts (it's always a war movie about people caught up in a very scary combat situation), it slowly expands to replace reality - and I can't escape from it. Luckily I always wake up at that point.

Laserbeak
01-08-15, 06:36 AM
Oh definitely. Some films have such and impact on me that they become a part of my life, or I become part of the film and it takes a very, very long time for me to extract myself from them.

I am kind of like this.

I don't actually like to watch new movies much… I watch my old favorites so many times I know the dialogue by heart. I wonder how much of my brain all that is wasting...

Luthien
01-08-15, 07:52 AM
I am kind of like this.

I don't actually like to watch new movies much… I watch my old favorites so many times I know the dialogue by heart. I wonder how much of my brain all that is wasting...

I find the mere fact that something is 'new' not very interesting. Only if it is in some way remarkable, or beautiful, or teaches me something I did not know.
But I indeed don't see the point in checkout out every new mediocre flick out there; they are often just rehashes of the same old ingredients.
I think it will waste more of your brain to pursue everything that's 'new' (why do people do that? Because everyone else does?) than to watching old favourites to the point of knowing the dialogue by heart.

Come to think of it, I can probably quote quite a few passages from Monty Python movies :)

Little Missy
01-08-15, 08:00 AM
I am kind of like this.

I don't actually like to watch new movies much… I watch my old favorites so many times I know the dialogue by heart. I wonder how much of my brain all that is wasting...

I don't find this to be brain wasting at all.

I derive comfort from continually watching favourite films, knowing the dialogue yet I almost always find subtleties they leave me with that I never heard or saw before every time I watch them again.

Pure, unadulterated pleasure. Forever.

Fuzzy12
01-08-15, 08:28 AM
I don't do well with movies. Most of them bore me to death and the fact that movies are getting longer and longer (mostly for no reason at all, i.e. the story doesn't warrant it) doesn't help.

It is probably only the movies in which I can get emotionally invested that keep my attention (unless they are super funny). I can't watch horror movies..or even thrillers. They scare the **** out of me (racing heart, I get jumpy, etc.) and often scare me for days after (or for months, even years. There are some movie scenes or stories that still trouble me). Contrary to popular belief, scary is NOT sexy..at least not for me. :(

Little Missy
01-08-15, 08:31 AM
I hate scary movies. Too much anxiety for me.

Luthien
01-08-15, 08:56 PM
I don't find this to be brain wasting at all.

I derive comfort from continually watching favourite films, knowing the dialogue yet I almost always find subtleties they leave me with that I never heard or saw before every time I watch them again.

Pure, unadulterated pleasure. Forever.

My all time favourite is 'Playtime' by Jacques Tati because there are so many things happening on all parts of the screen all the time. It's shot on 70mm film, which makes it even more of a feast to watch. I had already seen it at least 15 or 20 times, and when I recently got a restored copy on Bluray I still discovered things that I never saw before.

It's indeed pure pleasure.

sarek
01-10-15, 06:27 AM
Over time my selection of movies which i like has narrowed considerably. I never liked crime or horror at all, probably because of hidden fears within me. I have also weaned myself off war movies which for a long time I used to like. Now, I find it very hard to understand why.
I occasionally go to the cinema to watch new ones on the big screen, but I have almost completely stopped watching movies on television.

I find that I can get the immersion factor, but to a degree. I do not seem to identify myself with the movie characters. Its more like a close up birds eye view (yes, thats a paradox).

Lu, I take it you have already seen the latest Hobbit movie? In light of what you said (and without giving spoilers) what impression did that make on you?

Luthien
01-10-15, 08:45 AM
(...)
Lu, I take it you have already seen the latest Hobbit movie? In light of what you said (and without giving spoilers) what impression did that make on you?
I did, indeed. Shortest possible answer is: I wouldn't bother going.

Maybe I should have mentioned above that this intense immersion only happens when it's either interesting (which is good) or when it's intense (which might be good, but can also be bad). If a movie fails to trigger a minimum of identification, nothing happens.

So it is with the Hobbit, unfortunately, and that goes for all three movies. They almost entirely lack the magic that made me forgive the LOTR trilogy it's glaring omissions (Tom Bombadil, the field of Cornallen) and hollywoodification.
The best description that I've read of the Hobbit trilogy is that it's a remake of Indiana Jones and the temple of Doom.

I just happened to write a kind of review that I wanted to post on Facebook but postponed a little after the terrorist attacks in Paris this week. I'll review it for spoilers and if there aren't any, I'll paste it in a next post.

Luthien
01-10-15, 08:55 AM
(Written for a Facebook discussion)

(No spoilers inside)


It just occurred to me that what irks me the most in PJ's 'the Hobbit' (and, to a lesser degree, in LOTR) is that something is almost completely missing from it.
It's the element of which Tolkien stated in 'On Fairy-stories':


The consolation of fairy stories, the joy of the happy ending; or more correctly, the good catastrophe, the sudden, joyous "turn" (for there is no true end to a fairy tale); this joy, which is one of the things that fairy stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially escapist or fugitive. In it's fairy tale or other world setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace, never to be counted on to reoccur. It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, or sorrow and failure, the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance. It denies, (in the face of much evidence if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.


In LOTR's The Return of the King (the book) this element is, IMO, most notable in the chapter titled 'The field of Cormallen', where Frodo and Sam are welcomed and praised by a huge gathering:


And when Sam heard that he laughed aloud for sheer delight, and he stood up and cried: ‘O great glory and splendour! And all my wishes have come true!’ And then he wept.
And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.


The Silmarillion has many (eu)catastrophic moments like that. Just to name a few: Finrod discovering the first humans; Turin Turambar's death (even though that's a dyscatastrophe rather than a eucatastrophe, it's still breathtaking); Beren, defying Morgoth, boldly singing the Song of Parting; the song-battle between Finrod and Sauron; Huor meeting Ulmo; Eärendil being hailed by Eonwë - etcetera.

All these literally take my breath away because of their sheer intensity and vividness of the vision involved: at such times it feels even more real, more solid and enduring than the everyday, objective world we call "real" - even though it is a different reality.

Despite that I genuinely enjoyed the LOTR movies, the shortened alternative of the Field of Cormallen in Minas Tirith felt like an anticlimax, not even a pale shadow from the Cormallen scene from the book. It didn't take my breath away, it brought forth no tears. And the distinctively 'modern' Hollywood-style kiss of Aragorn and Arwen didn't help either I’m afraid :)

With that said, PJ still succeeded in summoning up a few eucatastrophic moments of enchantment in LOTR and that’s what made them enjoyable enough. Of course, the Hobbit as book doesn't offer the same depth as LOTR, but watching the Hobbit movies I only felt a very slight glimpse of enchantment at the end of the first movie. For the rest it's been full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
It's the same story as in the book, with the same characters doing the same things (or, as the case might be, approximately so) but yet it feels as something completely different. The magic is gone; the one ingredient that Tolkien identifies as essential for any fairy-story, and in which he is the master second to none.
What remains is just another adventure movie; and this is exactly what I’ve noticed is the conclusion that many people arrive at: “just forget the book, try to see it as just a fun movie”.

loverainbow
12-30-15, 04:20 PM
Yes!! If I watch movies, I truly, genuinely could relieve the scenes in my head if I want to.

anonymous1234
09-05-16, 08:29 PM
yes. i never really liked horrors but recently i discovered i just really cant watch them any-more. the last one i watched with my friend i started crying saying turn it of ,turn it of. i just felt so bad for the character being hurt. i couldn't tell myself its not real,its acting. it felt to real. and yes my heart was beating very fast too .