I’ve started to watch movies on a regular basis for over a year. I’m enjoing it a lot, but could it be harmful? And why am I watching movies? To escape a boring real life, to find answers or is there another reason?
I’ve started to watch a lot of movies. I’m not sure it’s good/healthy (I believe playing basketball a lot is good and healthy, whereas playing computer games a lot isn’t). I download movies and watch them at home. I don’t have close friends passionate about good movies, and going alone to the cinema once a week doesn’t seem fun. About 5 years ago, some classmates were sharing movies on CDs, but it didn’t seem interesting to me. Now, I definitely like watching (good) movies.
It started in my first or second year at the university. It was the end of a semester and we were having exams every 5 days or so. It was quite hard (especially the subjects that didn’t interest me). I had recently installed a broadband Internet connection (with a huge metropolitan speed) and started to download movies and watch them. I had watched a few movies on the computer before, but I believe this was the point when I started doing this frequently. I soon discovered IMDb and have tried to watch only good movies (sometimes doing a lot of searching through their database).
I don’t easily categorize a movie as ‘bad’. I do believe many TV shows are very bad (and watching them will make us stupid), but when it comes to movies, I try to understand a message, or learn something from them, and I believe a large number of people work trying to make something valuable, not just a lot of money from a bad picture. Out of the about 100 movies I’ve marked as “my movies” on IMDb, I only disliked 2 or 3. But, again, I usually do a lot of searching before I choose a movie to watch.
I think stories sometimes deliver a message, but some other times just “present us with a situation”. Some of the knowledge old men have gained can be passed on (even to small children) using stories. In this way, you can find out about some interesting situations you haven’t experienced yet. That’s about the reason I watch movies. I might also want to escape from the everyday world for a few hours (with movies like City of Angels, The Green Mile or Michael), but mostly I just try to find beauty (like for instance in Sweet November, Girl with a Pearl Earring and A Walk to Remember) and add some ideas from movies to my personal experiences, similar in a way to what you get from reading good books.
I find this enriching, and it helps me define what I want to do (in this way, my actions – better or worse – can be coherent, and they will represent what I want not what others do – because then I would just go along with the flow). The only case when I find movie watching potentially unhealthy is when movie experiences are many in proportion to real-life experiences.
Watching a lot of movies is great, but experiencing real-life even more is definitely needed.