giving up on movies

Giving Up Movies

Film

I’m giving up movies. They’ve been a huge part of my life since as long as I can remember. My dad would take me to the movie theater quite often and I’d obsessively watch the same movies on the VHS player over and over. I never tired of them.

Until recently.

Many reasons could have contributed to my recent fatigue. For the past several years I’ve reviewed movies for the website Minnesota Connected. Being able to review movies had always been a dream of mine and having the ability to get early and free pre-screenings really roared a fire under that passion. Though as time went on and my desire to keep writing fiction remained, my passion for reviewing movies waned.

Also, the movie industry, the people in the movie industry, the political games, the creative and moral bankruptcy, and all the reviewers and talking heads, and the entire community has become, frankly, toxic.

For a time, I wanted to be a part of it, to have a seat at the table, and be able to have fun discussions with fellow film-goers and movie critics. Then, it just dawned on me, that’s not what I want at all. Nothing good seems to come out of those discussions anymore, nothing fun, and nothing productive.

Secondly, while many unknown, underground, and independent films break from formula, try new things, and are overall creative (i.e. The Killing of a Sacred Deer), I’ve grown tired of the standard formula of Hollywood movies. It’s all the same stuff pumped out like cotton candy to the masses. I can’t really say that I care anymore. The magic, for the most part, has faded from view.

Lastly, my main interest is creation, participation, and having a voice. Not being an armchair critic or spectator. While I’ve written several screenplays in the past and plan to write more, I don’t know if I’ll ever make my own films. With that in mind, I’d rather focus on my main writing craft – fiction.

The only way to improve is to read and write. Constantly. If I’m off watching movies, then my brain is in a totally different realm of thinking and it’s not helping my writing.

Movies actually, in my humble opinion, kill the literary writing mind and make it wooden and uninspired. It trains the brain to think primarily within the frame of action rather than narrative and prose. It might work for some people but overall it ends up being bad writing.

So, what now?

Movies will be taking a backseat for the time being. Rather than popping in a movie, I’ll likely be picking up a book or a piece of literature to continue sharpening my brain for the unceasing battle of words I find myself in.

Farewell, movie world. It was fun.

~JI

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