This post by Linda Holmes over at NPR from a few days back, “The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We’re All Going To Miss Almost Everything,” beautifully encapsulates why I don’t consider myself a movie expert, despite the fact that a few of you seem to consider me one for no reason other than that I draw a comic strip about a movie theater.
I, like everybody, have massive gaps in my experience of film history and modern film. I know very little about horror. I have seen only a handful of French New Wave. I have seen maybe three African movies in my life.Â It’s simply numbers, as Holmes points out. There isn’t enough time in the world to see all of the great movies that have ever been made.
Some things just aren’t available to me, of course, but thankfully, I live in a time where that’s becoming less and less of a problem, thanks to Netflix and things like that. Also, I prioritize â€” sometimes consciously (Michael Bay? uggh), sometimes practically (gotta pay the bills), sometimes lazily (don’t feel like leaving the house)â€¦ but I prioritize.
Whatever the film buff term for “well-read” is, I’m not it. I might have seen more movies than the next guy, but shit.Â I’ve never even seenÂ Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (andÂ I probably never will, because I didn’t really like Oldboy that much). I haven’t seen The Birds. I haven’t seen Gone with the Wind. And so on.
But hey, the point is to explore. To get out of your comfort zone and watch those things that maybe don’t immediately interest you. That might teach you something about yourself, because they’re showing you something you’ve never seen, generating thoughts in you you’ve never had. And maybe, also, they’re really, really good. That’s what I love most about movies: each one is a world unto itself. And, yeah, a lot of them are kind of boring or stupid or even nauseatingâ€¦ but those little, beautiful, heart-wrenching gems you find mean so much more because of it.
Thanks to Dave Malki! for linking to it on Twitter and bringing the article to my attention.