Watching Films On The Silver Screen & Google-Box: My Life's Story So Far

I remember lifetime ago, when I had "believed" in "movies on television", having my life revolving around the google-box since my earliest memories of childhood, of seeing feature films presented on the small screen, within the comforts of home - as opposed to being engulfed in a huge darkened room, along with strangers around you - the memories of which dwarfed the notion and memories of the movies I'd watched itself, truth be told. Take for example, "Star Wars: A New Hope" - the first time I watched it was with my parents, in a theatre on campus in the former Nanyang University of Singapore, on a Saturday afternoon, not too far from the hostels we lived in - I enjoyed the show, but the locale did not necessarily endear me to the experience…

The "belief" I had mentioned at the beginning of this article, led to my tenure at designing for television for a local broadcaster in the mid-nineties, when I was well into my mid-20s, after a short stint in an Interior Design firm, after studying to be a Interior Design at a local vocational institute earlier.

I remember distinctly watching a whole lot of HBO during my numerous / near-every-other-day experience of working late into the night, and sometimes even over-night in the office, while in the midst of documentation for the shows I had designed for ("Conceptualization" tok up most of the day and evening, I guess :p).

And even then, I would veg out in front if the television at home, from morning till night watching films, so much so I'd end up watching the rerun of programs played during the day before.

Watching movies in the cinema was kept strictly for "dates", and not something I'd do on my own time, because simply, I had HBO at home!

Watching films on the local free-to-air channels was a different thing, always beset by commercials galore, breaking up my enjoyment of said film(s), which not long later I had felt was not meant to be viewed with breaks as such, perhaps? That notion follows me until today, actually, and I still do not have patience for movies on local free-to-air-channels,

It was not until the mid-late 90s when my notions of watching film in the cinemas changed evolved, when I started down the path of filmmaking. The allure of sitting in said darkened space watching a giant sized screen telling me how to feel, and showing me what it specifically wanted me to just see (with no distractions around), appealed to me gradually and greatly. I became a self-empowered "cinepile", and would ONLY watch feature films FIRST in the cinemas!

I devoured films at least once a week (also often on dates with lovers and friends), sometimes marathoning at least to or even three films a go on the weekends. Then there were the "film festivals" - from the Singapore International Film Festivals, to country-related fests, to Anime Film Festivals, I watched as many as I could, and reveled in them!

I got my first gig in art directing for a feature film, because of conversation(s) struck up with a producer whom I've met in the local film fest too!

Watching films on the television set became somewhat of a "taboo" for me - a films is MEANT to be watched in a cinema under specified conditions, otherwise the intent is diluted when watched on a small tv set, or even outdoor projections against a building's wall - something outdoor cinema did not appeal to me, when seen as a youngster, in Jurong too lol

That illusionary mantra stayed with me for a good decade or so, until the time I freelanced and subsequently withdrew totally from the media industry, and begun a spiral of abject self-poverty. Ironically, I begun bloggery near the tail-end of my decision to leave the industry, and have stuck with it, until now, making "blogging" the longest I've ever worked on as a "job" - a woefully underpaid job, sad to say, but still a paid gig.

Half of that time spent on blogging was pre-Stroke, while another was spent struggling to adapt and continue with a gig, that by far was more achievable within my physicality and temperament, as opposed to "return" to filmmaking or the media industry. The closest I'd been was in "education" - of teaching in "Art Direction for Films" in both private arts college and local vocational institute, again, half my tenure pre-Stroke, and the other post-Stroke.

And because of my physicality, I had not been a staunch convert of the "darkened cinema" concept, and as much as I'd still love to do so, it is a challenge to watch any films, wearing an eye-patch ("double vision" being my current malady, borne of affliction to diabetes, discovered when I had my Stroke).

Remember when I mentioned "abject poverty" earlier? Well, I could't really much afford consistently paying for cinema tickets, actually. Funnily, before Stroke happened, I had accepted watching movies by my lonesome, without the trappings of going with friends, and needing to spend more money eat and socializing afters.

I would take a feeder bus service to my nearby cineplex here in the East, during a early weekday afternoon, and catch a movie with cheaper ticket prices, and be sated, even if it was by myself. "Blogging" had actually "helped" me with accepting being "alone", then the need to "belong in a group" - which suited my temperament then, and as importantly, "financial ability". It had been a seed planed that was not, and is still not healthy for my state of mind, but that's another article for another time :p

Fast forward to the NOW, I am devouring feature films both online and on the television again. Trips to the cinema are meant to be "treats" and for specially selected "cinema-worthy" features - ie: movies MEANT to be enjoyed on the big screen, while some movies could simply be experienced on a plasma screen (slightly bigger than the usual television screens from a decade ago, or so we lie to ourselves LOL).

Movies like MAD MAX FURY ROAD is meant to be enjoyed on the big screens, as is STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS (which I really need to see again becoz the first time our seats were third row from the screen and by the side lol), while films such as David O'Russell's JOY could easily be enjoyed on a smaller screen, like on a laptop (sorry, David). Decisions of choice, of course was/is borne by myself, based on what I know, and even blogged about, or even seen in trailers on youtube.

What I enjoy about watching random films online are, (A) It is free, a I am still treading the path f abject poverty, and (B) I could randomly select a film, watch it, and choose to continue watching it, or turn it off - unlike being IN a cinema, sat "trapped" between strangers LOL


Watching Chris Nolan's INCEPTION today on local cable, brought all these emotions and memories out of me … of the enjoyment I had watching it in the cinema, and subsequent repeat viewings on reruns on television - a sort of "classic" it has become for the masses, that still grabs at my attention and interests, even though I've seen it again, and again … somewhat same for another Leonardo DeCaprio film, "Catch Me If You Can".

Evergreen films "work", regardless of the size in which it is presented in, innit?

We've not had HBO for years now, funnily enough, as we'd been trying to keep the budget manageable … but somehow I am "grateful", as I'd be knee-deep in addiction, as I had been decades back, be it on the google-box or silver screens in darkened cinema, meant to ME to enjoy the feature alone with :)

Cheers
Andy

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