Saturday, October 29, 2011

Movie Watching by Genre: Video and Theater

On a Saturday night at the end of August, I rented the movie Catfish. It was a film I had wanted to see for a long while that I was waiting to hit the cheaper backlist video section. It threw me into a bit of a funk, so I'm glad I didn't get something more cheery or sexy. I haven't been watching many films lately mostly for that reason, that they remind me how lonely I am. At least I have a number of friends.

Catfish still managed to remind me of such, only it did so not by presenting a world where people find perfect love but where the Internet proves to be a place for deceit and self-deceit. It seems the only type of dating I'm capable of and one that is always fraught with the same lack of success that dogs me in real life, so much so that when something actually seems to be working, I can't help but think there's a catch, because romance simply doesn't happen to me. Does it happen to anyone? It seems to. Friends of mine have girlfriends--and they are gals they actually like.

Anyway, Catfish was the second film I saw in a week, the other being Septian, a film in which a couple of my friends appear (it showed on the big screen one night, so that's when I went). These were the first films I'd seen since February.

I had thought I hadn't seen many movies at all this year, but looking back at my list, I've actually seen quite a few--it's just that most of them have been on video. I've only had access to a DVD/video player since 2005 or so, which means that before then, if I wanted to see a film, I had to go to a theater. I thought it would be interesting to see how home video access has impacted movie watching.

The big movie watching took place in the early 2000s. After I got access to video, it appears that the number of films watched stayed constant for a while but that the video and move theater split the total. In recent years, however, the numbers have gone down for all.

Also of interest is what genres of films I watch. *Catfish* was a documentary. Am I more prone to watch foreign films or documentaries on video than in the theater? Let's see.

So it appears that the numbers correspond on video and theater somewhat closely, though I am slightly more prone to rent a documentary than see it in the theater. Such makes sense, given the price differential. Even I figure the documentary is going to be visually less impressive and thus something better slated for small-screen pricing.

As for why the numbers drop off. My theory is that I was more motivated to see a film when I had access to movies only in the theater--that is, I had to catch the film before it disappeared forever. Now, I can reason that I'll catch it later on video, but by then, often, my interest has wained.

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