Film Fragments

Last night I watched twenty minutes of Major Dundee. A few days ago I watched five minutes of The Usual Suspects. This morning I watched part of The Thin Red Line before watching all but twenty minutes of Heat. I never purposely set out to not watch all of a film and I’m not really sure what happens or why, but my attention often drifts.Drowning their sorrowsMaybe I have Attention Deficit Disorder; but unfortunately it wasn’t recognized when I was a child, so I was never diagnosed with it. My mind wonders and then I start the movie again– but now I’ve lost it. Or rather, the film has lost it. Lost its flow. I decide to make a sandwich and pour a glass of beer and then come back.The situation that occurs when I return is symptomatic of a bigger problem.

DVD Dilemma

Addicted to Love or One Fine Day?

Namely that my moods swing erratically when it comes to film watching. I really have to be in the mood to watch a film. Often, when I stare at my DVD collection, wondering what to watch; it’s not so much about what is a good movie but more what film will match my mood. I need my fix of film, but it has to be the right prescription.I've Created a MonsterFor example, last night I was in a carefree, happy, Meg-Ryan-is-a princess mood so I reached for Addicted to Love. I’ve seen it countless times but Meg always takes me on a ride in this film, with her natural sparkle, and a comedic grace rarely seen on screen. It was rare back in the 90s, but seems even rarer now. I was swept away in the moment, but as the film was playing, I had an idea for a great debate feature between Addicted to Love and One Fine Day. I paused the DVD and began typing. Half an hour later I realized my idea was hardly original. I turned off the computer and returned to the movie. But now I was angry at myself for starting a film and not finishing it, the magic had been lost.Film FragmentsSo my mood swung back to One Fine Day. Believe it or not, I haven’t watched this film at all this year, ever since I lent it to Olga at work, who decided to let her cat sharpen its claws on the data side of the disc. I decided to try it, in the hope the disc would work. It did, and like that the spell was cast. The film was as good as I remembered and Michelle was radiant, so talented and so beautiful. I was falling for Pfeiffer all over again when the ringing of a telephone shattered the illusion. Interlude over I couldn’t get back into the movie. I’d seen it too many times before, so I skipped to the scene at the Bethesda Fountain and then took the disc out.side by sideIt’s often like that.The scenario isn’t unusual. I’ve experienced fragments of these films many, many times before. I do sometimes wonder though if it’s good to keep watching random scenes from the same movies, and then I went back and watched the beautiful dissolve that occurs 58 minutes into Addicted to Love, proof that film is an incomparable medium, a supernova from which a boundless array of images might emerge.Dissolve_2




Filed under Retrospective

9 responses to “Film Fragments

  1. Interesting psychological rumination! I find myself watching movies in fragments all the time, mostly because I know if I wait for a solid block of two hours I’ll never start a movie!

  2. Paul S,
    I can see how watching bits of old stuff beats sitting through some newer stuff. What few films stand out for you in the last 10 years or so?

  3. I am on the other hand a solid film watcher, nothing will stop me once I get started…

    • Welcome. Have you got any New York related recipes for Addicted to Love and One Fine Day. Both films give me a craving for desserts, what with vanilla custard at Di Roberti’s and frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity.

      • Addicted to Love asks for something sweet and salty like chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing, One Fine Day would be something earthy but delicate like Pfeiffer, something like New York Vanilla cheesecake with blueberry sauce, no crust… fuss…

  4. You should definitely watch Whiplash. Not once will you ever feel bored.

  5. Yes, the movie has to fit my mood and timeframe! I find myself asking, is this worth 2 hours of my life?

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