A common question I get is whether I get burnt out or fatigued from constantly watching films. The answer is no, but sometimes I’m not always in the mood to watch a film or commit two hours to watching one. I have sat through a ton of films this year, and over the past decade I’ve probably ruined my back, knees, neck, and most importantly, my eyes, and will probably pay for this abuse—hopefully later than sooner. I’m always looking forward to seeing new films, especially if I have paid to see them in a theater or have rented a DVD or Blu-Ray.
After returning from the Toronto International Film Festival over a month ago, working on Sound Unseen and going to Lake Pepin and Stockholm, Wisconsin this past weekend, all those events film-related, sometimes instead of watching more films, I look forward to catching up on TV shows stored in my DVR. Or, now that college football and the NFL season are up and running, I look forward to watching as many football games I can—although I’m skeptical as to whether the Vikings will win more than four games, which I’m fine with knowing there isn’t much talent on the team and I expected them to take their lumps this year. It was great to see rookie quarterback Christian Ponder start against the Green Bay Packers and play a decent game; the Vikings were competitive most of the game, which at times was as thrilling as any film I’ve sat through this year. I know we’re 1-6 and even if you won’t see me donning Helga braids, painting my face purple, or wearing a Vikings jersey, I’m still a die-hard fan and always put aside three hours every Sunday (or the occasional Monday night) to watch those loveable losers. Just like taking a chance on a new film or television show with bad reviews, sometimes you have to endure pain to find promise.
Now back to TV shows in my DVR: sometimes it’s easier to sit back and catch up on recorded TV shows that I can’t always watch when they are on, since I might be watching or writing for my next article or looking at films to see whether they will work for a Sound Unseen monthly screening, which have now been going two years strong at the Trylon Microcinema. It’s relaxing to sit back and stream roll through a show which I’ve managed to save for a few weeks and watch back to back to back-to-back episodes of a certain show. And maybe it’s just me, but cable TV has really picked up its content and its “wow factor” over the past few years.
I don’t know if maybe The Sopranos started this tread when it premiered on HBO in 1999, but I know that I’m just as invested with my favorite cable shows, as I am with every film I see—whether I’m covering it for the Daily Planet or just seeing it for pure enjoyment. If I’m not watching a film, I’m usually trying to catch up on Showtime’s Dexter; HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Bored to Death, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Eastbound and Down, or True Blood; or AMC’s Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead; or more recently, PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery. Some of these TV shows have been hilarious, frightening, poignant, and downright brilliant, and I’m forever grateful to who invented DVR, as it’s been a nice conduit to keep up with my ever-growing cable TV addiction, while I still try to race through film after film.
Some people may consider me a film nerd or someone who spends too much time in front of a silver screen or my television, and obviously I know there are more important issues going on every day around us besides seeing Paranormal Activity 3 on opening weekend or yelling at the Vikings for running a stupid play or watching a meaningless TV show. I know I should be spending more time reading, learning a new language, or investing more time in my community—but I’m still a film lover at heart and always will be. I’m interested in finding a new story to fall in to, day in and day out.