Tuesday 12 April 2016

Watch and learn, watch and learn

Let's go again
I read a film review the other day in which the critic accused the writers/director (the Coen brothers, in this instance) of writing gags and sketches that would work best on the second (or even third) viewing. Can that be right? In a world where the majority of film goers will still only watch a movie once and once only, are films now so subtle that, short of rewinding every five minutes, the public are missing whole chunks of subtle and nuanced dialogue?

Maybe they are. Maybe they always have been: think 2001 A Space Odyssey, 12 Monkeys or any number of time travel related flicks. But concentrating specifically on some of the movies I watch at least once a year – The Odd Couple, Fargo (yes, those Coen boys again), A Hard Day’s Night, Local Hero, About Schmidt, Comfort and Joy – I always pick up on something new every time I immerse myself in any of these - even if it's just a sideways glance or a raised eyebrow I may have missed before. And, anyway, if you like a film why wouldn't you watch it again? And again?


  1. Yes! I find the same with several comedy series too, and love the way many subtle little details become apparent only on subsequent viewings, when the degree of familiarity allows you to notice the less obvious. We dig out our old favourites time and time again and somehow never get bored.

  2. It's one of the upsides to living in an *on demand* society. In the old days we carried around with us a lot of memories (and a lot of false memories too) from films and TV shows we'd seen years before. Netflix allows us to rekindle (and sometimes reshape) those memories.