The holidays have come and gone. It’s back to university and deadlines are looming. However, when it’s not a night out, it can be a good idea to chill out, grab snacks and watch a movie. But what is the best way to watch a film? Well this is obviously dependent on the film itself. Is it a bad film? Perhaps a wildly popular blockbuster? Something completely unique? Either way, films are things that often demand a reaction (be it good or bad) so that’s probably the first thing to bear in mind. The second thing to bear in mind is that your surroundings can also make or break it for you. There are loads of creative venues where you can watch a movie which makes the entire experience more special in some cases. If you’re more into watching something in the comfort of your own home, there are different ways to do this too which changes it up.
Some say that you should watch a bad movie in order to learn what makes it bad. Indeed, I realised having watched Avengers: Infinity War that having more main characters than you are able to count on your fingers is possibly not a sensible idea. The new Star Wars films made me realise that you if you do indeed wish to copy your previous work, at least improve on it. I know it sounds harsh but we as audience members are entitled to an opinion. Sometimes watching a film for the sole purpose of critiquing it (for a blog, article or video) can be a great way to make sure you really make the most out of the viewing experience. You may ask the very sensible question of: ‘What counts as a bad movie?’ and, personally, any film with a box office gross of 9 figures and above should be avoided at all costs (rather ironically), whilst only a select few with 8 figures and a handful with 7 figures are worth just a glance at the poster. When watching a ‘bad’ movie, my advice would be to write about it. Tell people why it is so bad and be creative about it. It is often these kind of pieces that get the most attention.
watching a movie with a group of people instead of just on your own can lead to hilarious moments with (sometimes uncalled for) commentary which adds to the viewing experience
Of course, another way people love to watch bad films is with friends, some drinks and preferably a game which causes you to have drunk all of those drinks in the smallest amount of time. Watching a movie with a group of people instead of just on your own can lead to hilarious moments with (sometimes uncalled for) commentary which adds to the viewing experience. The cinema makes for an entirely different practice altogether and taking yourself away from your sofa or bed to watch something can also be a great way to make it more exciting. It truly is a tragedy that less people are going to watch films at the cinema nowadays, although one could argue that paying to see a bad film in cinemas is an obvious waste of money. There are certain films that charlatans love to holler about for their ‘cinematic experience’, hence why I watched such blockbuster classics such as Moonlight and The Godfather in the cinema when I could. Personally, I could not see what all the fuss was about but it arguably still makes for a different overall experience than if I had simply stayed at home.
When watching such films as often as I do, you soon learn that you are never watching them for the pleasure you get from doing so, more the pleasure you get from being able to say that you have watched them. They begin to become played-out due to a lack of originality and can be boring, with the occasional spark of ‘meeting expectation’ few and far between. I would recommend having them on in the background while doing other, more important, activities (even if in the cinema). There’s no rule saying you can’t exercise or cook food or paint whilst watching a movie. Let’s make multi-tasking a thing!
if you don’t want to go to one of those multiplexes and watch an inspired auteur-driven film instead, then I must insist on seeking out an art-house theatre near you
Now, if you don’t want to go to one of those multiplexes and watch an inspired auteur-driven film instead, then I must insist on seeking out an art-house theatre near you. Indeed any reputable cinema-goer would be happy to point you to one, and once there, it’s very simple. You ensure your selected screening is being projected on 16/35/70mm film (digital is simply a waste of time), head to your screening and take a seat. Turn your phone OFF and sit in good silence for the next 180-210 minutes. At the end of your screening you have two options: applaud the film for its technical and artistic aspirations to pay respect to the film-maker who crafted it (like you would a painter or musician), or voice your displeasure through a series of hisses and boos, before drowning your sorrows in the bar afterwards where you can debate the film’s (lack of) merits with other self-respecting patrons, such as I did after a screening of Une femme est une femme. Alternatively you could voice this displeasure in the middle of the film before walking out, thus getting to the bar before there is any queue, such as I did in the middle of Zimna Wojna.
There are many different ways you can watch a movie. On your own, with friends, at home, at the cinema, at a random (but very cool) venue, whilst doing other things, in order to critique it for a blog or article and much more. There is no right or wrong way to watch a movie, you kind of just do it and see what you make of the experience. If anything, the above methods can provide some inspiration for what to do in order to spice up your movie experience.