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Quick, Poll: How Old Were You When Movies Began To Matter 
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Post Quick, Poll: How Old Were You When Movies Began To Matter
To you, not in general.

I generally like to know what company I keep and find hanging out at a forum with younger folk can be interesting for any number of dull, painfully boring reasons. I have to remind myself that The Tintin Guy is 18 or 19 and so, out of concern for my already-murky soul, generally refrain from making inappropriate comments about marathon Spielberg viewings interspersed, and sometimes watched during, impromptu games of Soggy Biscuit. I'm 32 and should probably learn how to listen a bit better, maybe learn something about what the next generation considers valuable instead of building resentments and mocking all things unfamiliar. Zeppelin wasn't of voting age when I met the guy and he still remains one of The Great Posters so who knows, maybe the message is worthy even if the messenger plays Soggy Biscuit.

I was 15 when I realized that movies could do something other than entertain with dinosaurs, bare breasts and explosions both originating in the groin and from that gas tank Arnold just totally bit into with his fucking teeth. Of course, I was irretrievably damaged by pornography and have maintained a solid relationship with the kind of fare only children should appreciate. Porn, for example. Of course we shouldn't offer viewings of pornography to the little ones despite the helpful dialogue ("You're now fucking me,") and kind of plot developments that stand in the way of the candy stand. And it's always about the candy stand.

15 isn't my answer. I was 22 before I began to consume that which I previously feared would sail over my little world. 22 is my answer.

How old were you, you? When did you see something you couldn't previously see?

If you're of the mind that "age doesn't matter, it's maturity or intelligence or what have you" I'd like to tell you that you're probably wrong. But I think most kids operate on attitude alone. Except for Zeppelin. This one is for you, Zeppelin.

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Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:20 am
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Post Re: Quick, Poll: How Old Were You When Movies Began To Matter
When I started to like movies as more than just a distraction from life? Young. Way young. Just about as young as my long-term memory allows. It was never about boobs and explosions. It was about adventure and enchantment. I liked romance between heroes and heroines at a time when I still thought that the girls on the playground were icky and bossy. I liked stories set in faraway places with exotic sights. I liked characters whose can-do optimism and superhuman capabilities gave me an idea of the kind of person a kid should become someday. Simply put, I liked movies more than the other kids did. Maybe a lot more.

(Not that I never grew to appreciate boobs and explosions, but that came later.)

When I started to appreciate movies in a way that enlarged my world and started developing my visual literacy, I was probably 17 or 18. It was definitely happening by the time I was a college freshman. Looking back, my tastes and my grasp of the medium were still pretty two-dimensional, but they were in major flux and that's what matters. This was around 10 years ago, by the by.

I'd had a couple literature classes in high school that included some film stuff (for example, my first viewing of Un Chien Andalou), plus a filmmaking class taught by our can-do, seize-the-day drama teacher. I suppose I was pretty lucky to have those opportunities. Most film nerds have to at least get into college before their brains get massaged by teachers with a mind for good cinema.

When I did end up taking a film curriculum in college, it was a pretty disappointing experience. Few screenings in poor facilities, limited access to equipment, less-than-stimulating projects... it gave me a good nuts 'n' bolts understanding of the craft, which helped me find my own appreciation for the movies I watched on my own time. That's the best I can say about it.


Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:07 am
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Post Re: Quick, Poll: How Old Were You When Movies Began To Matter
I don't think I understood the concept of subtext, really understood it, until I was in high school. Even then, most of the films I saw at that point were not the kind that really demanded analysis. Once in a while, like with The Shining my sophomore or junior year of high school, I could appreciate that movies could sometimes do what literature could do. It only occurred to me later that virtually any movie could do something amazing if I knew how to look at it. Which I didn't know how to do. I was distracted by all of the moving parts and what I perceived as a lack of intimacy between the viewer and the film. Books are easier to appreciate as a negotiation between the author and reader. The same thing happens with movies but I didn't know that until much later. Those movies that proved formative to this easy-for-some leap were Red (from the trilogy) and, years later, stuff like The Ice Storm and Boogie Nights and so forth.

I liked the fantasy life offered by movies since I was young but, since I've got similar screwball problems in my thinking that I had at age 5, spent more time envying the accolades that art received than appreciating the art. Sad. I've tried my best to make up for this and have made some progress. Thus this thread and an attempt to learn about someone other than myself for a few pages.

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Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:32 am
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Post Re: Quick, Poll: How Old Were You When Movies Began To Matter
Pulp Fiction, when I was 12, was the first film that made me thing about how films are made...and for what purpose.

This was in 1994 after a succession of made-to-order 80s films in which each line uttered by any character involved seemed to exist merely to advance the plot to the next linear sequence.

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Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:06 pm
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Post Re: Quick, Poll: How Old Were You When Movies Began To Matter
I'd say I was about 15-16 when I started differentiating between those that were just entertainment and those that worked on a higher level and those that worked on both levels.

Partly because I originally aspired to be a novelist for a long time i considered literature and plays to be superior to cinema. It wasn;t until later that I realized that film not only compllements literature it also completes it. As David Cronenberg once observed, you can't really compare em anymore.

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:44 pm
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Post Re: Quick, Poll: How Old Were You When Movies Began To Matter
Late 14, early 15. Had been using my family's Netflix account to alleviate boredom when I stumbled on A Clockwork Orange and thought "Hey! Cultural Literacy!" Two hours later I had pretty much decided to dedicate my life to film.

I'd elaborate on the post-game, but I'm pretty sure this forum was founded soon after, so the lucky ones among you may have seen that period of my movie-going personally. Scary thought, that.


Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:16 am
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Post Re: Quick, Poll: How Old Were You When Movies Began To Matter
17. Senior year. I took a film studies class and haven't looked back.

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Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:51 pm
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