Two types of movies…

…and those in between.

I’m going to lay it out quick – there are two types of movies: 1. First watch/Second watch movies.  2. Multiple watch movies.

requiem-for-a-dream

Requiem for a Dream

I was thinking on the subject of good and bad movies – what makes a movie either one of these.  At first, the obvious answer is a movie that you can watch a million times, that is what makes a movie good.  But…what about movies that you cannot, but are still good? Case in point: Requiem for a Dream.  In my so humble opinion, Requiem for a dream is a great movie. I have only ever seen it once, all the way through.  I saw it when it first came out on video (oh way back when).  It is an arresting movie, a haunting movie, a squeamish movie, and all the while compelling and visually stunning.  It is a movie that has it all (performances, story, etc).

However, I have NO desire to watch it again.  This is just my opinion however.  I told my friend about just this, and he disagreed with me.  But, this is my blog, so my opinion is what matters! (Ha!)

So as you can see, Requiem for a dream, while a good movie (great even), is at its BEST when seen for the first time.  Another movie, which is similar, but for difference reasons, holds a position in limbo.  Memento is a movie that after the first watching is never the same (this goes for all big twist movies).  However, it is with the first and second watch where this movie is at its best.  The second watch may be even more satisfying.  Same goes for Fight Club, Shutter Island, and the Sixth Sense.  (Some movies are so good, ahem…Fight Club…that they can be seen a million times, even if the first time is the best).

Movies that do not have big twists, or that are not intensely surprising – does not mean they are not great movies either. There is a joy in watching a movie over and over again.  I go through stages of different movies I watch over and over again, but there so some that never go away.  I watched the Matrix just last night, and I still enjoy it immensely.

I have mainly talked about outliers to my little two types of movie theory!

I think some movies are made to be either type.  Take for example when movies show how characters get from one place to another, in detail.  Or lengthy shots of the landscape. Some of these shots aren’t very interesting the second time you watch – I tend to have the remote in my hand when watching some of these movies. These scenes do not preclude a movie from ‘goodness’, but rather establishes it as a ‘best the first time’ movie.  Heavy exposition is also a place where it might work in first time watching, but not in multiple viewings.

I could literally write all day about this and still have more to say.  I haven’t even clearly presented my feelings on first and second viewings!

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