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  • Writer's pictureJustin McConnell

Ingestion & Appreciation

Originally Published 4/12/2018, 11:42AM:

How do you "consume" movies? Do you prefer to go to a theater and share a film with a community of other people? Do you like to wait for it to come to Netflix and watch it on your phone? Do you prefer certain genres like horror, animation, comedy, action, drama, etc.?

How you watch, why you watch, where you watch, and who you watch with can completely affect your enjoyment of the film. What you take away from a movie may be entirely different from the person sitting next to you. You might enjoy the ability of the actors to immerse themselves in the role, the writing of the folks behind the scenes, the framing of the shots and the perspective the director gives you, or the emotions they elicit within you. Fear, humor, and nostalgia are powerful emotions which can be manipulated within an audience.

The idea of how you ingest a movie has always fascinated me. Even something like your age and station in life can affect your overall thoughts on a movie. Take for example, Ghostbusters. When I first saw Ghostbusters, I was about 3 or 4 years old. At that age, I was frightened by the ghosts and effects, but loved the action and humor. Sure, it was scary, but as long as someone else was in the room, I could handle it. 30 some years later, the film still holds up to me. However, the effects are more interesting to me in the "how'd they do that without computers?" than scary, and there are more jokes that I actually get nowadays:

That's a big reason why I RARELY watch a movie just once. To fully appreciate art, it must be viewed multiple times and discussed with others in order to try to see it in new ways. I also firmly believe that any art that I have strong opinions about must be revisited. Over the course of my life, I have learned to enjoy movies that I previously HATED (Man of Steel) or found problems with movies I initially enjoyed (Superman Returns).

Fandom, at its core, is all about art appreciation. However, being a fan of one thing, does not mean you have to tear down other people's enjoyment of another thing. 

Nerds are passionate people who often get defensive about their opinions and preferences. Arguments like Mac vs. PC, Marvel vs. DC, Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Republican vs. Democrat, iOS vs. Android, and Nintendo vs. PlayStation vs. XBOX often lead to division among people and the internet has often magnified this tribalism. The arguments presented are frequently trivial and rarely do very little to change opinions.

We could gain so much more by listening to people about why they like something and how it brings them enjoyment. Instead of dismissing their interests or letting trivial arguments separate and divide us. It all goes back to the old adage of "we can disagree without being disagreeable".

This little idiom is something I like to live by. Especially as it pertains to my kids. My oldest son has begun accruing his own list of interests and they don't always align with my own. Pokemon, Basketball, and mobile gaming are things that I may NEVER understand.

What is a better option; telling my son he is dumb and his opinions are invalid, or asking him to explain the rules of basketball to me and understanding why he enjoys what he does? I would rather hear him nerd out and talk about who would win in a fight between Pikachu and Squirtle. I would rather encourage him than alienate him. We should all be so inviting to others as we would be to a child.

Being cynically dismissive of others and their interests is one of my biggest pet peeves. We gain so much more by listening, understanding, and accepting people than we do by negating them.

So whatever you like, however you like it, YOU DO YOU... Be weird and Nerd Out!

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