I started off this year by reading Ayoade on Ayoade – A Cinematic Odyssey. I’m not one to usually succumb to a book because it has “celebrity status” but this particular tome interested me. I pretty much happiest when I’ve got my nose in a good book or when I’m curled up watching a good film. Now a book about film certainly has got me interested. But the book of which I speak is not the subject for this particular post. Instead I’ve been pondering about film.
I’ll watch any kind of film. Action. Comedy. Romance. Thriller. I like it all. Well pretty much all of it. Most people have this idea of university students chained to their laptops watching Netflix for entire weekends without seeing daylight. Now this is pretty much the truth. At least I do a fair bit of binge-watching whole series of TV shows for hours on end. This might seem like a waste when I live in such a culturally rich and beautiful city but I’ll tell you why I like it and more importantly why it isn’t such a waste of time.
There is something about film as a medium that can speak to you on a very direct level. Whether you just go and see a film for the sheer enjoyment of a good plot and the ability to just switch off for a few hours. Or you go and see a film to learn more about yourself or the world we live in. Maybe even all three rolled into one epic. You are entitled to that. Last year I went to the cinema on my own a few times. This seems really lonely and needy but I can promise you it was nothing of the sort. Half the time I find it really hard to find someone to watch a film with who isn’t just going because they have nothing else to do and who feels like they ought to keep you company. If you sneak in a cheeky beer or three and a few snacks, curl up on the seats and let yourself be immersed in the action, I can assure you there is no better feeling.
In my coming-of-age/existential/Parisian crisis that I’ve been having for some time now it reassures me to watch certain films that add something to my life. Oscar winner Birdman would be a perfect example of this. Despite seeing it in the UK I felt something in it resonate with my French life. The inner turmoil of authenticity and that nagging feeling at the back of your mind telling you what is right and wrong struck a real cord with me. The next film I watched after that was Chef. Sat amongst my delightful fellow Easyjet passengers I was sucked into the world of cooking and the feeling of making a breakdown something positive. For a recent seminar I had to watch Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (who says Arts degrees are all reading?!) Now despite my hatred of this film I couldn’t help but be seduced by the idea of walking around Paris at night and falling back in love with the true romance of the place (and not that depicted in the film).
So I call you dear reader, if tomorrow night you have no plans. No one to see. Nothing to do. Watch a film. Call a friend and watch it together in wondrous spontaneity. Or curl up with your laptop and have a big belly laugh by yourself. You will find out more about yourselves. I promise you that.