Last weekend I watched a movie that I’d been needing to see–not because it would change my life or teach me a lesson, but because I teach film, and sometimes I need to know more than what I read in reviews and scholarly criticisms. So I watched The Big Lebowski. My friend Aaron loves this movie. He loves it so much that when I told him, after I saw it, that I didn’t get it, he blogged about what the film meant to him.
I commented that as soon as I figured out what “my Lebowski” was, I’d write about it.
I’ve been thinking about it all week. What is my go-to film? The one that can make everything right in my world? The one I never tire of, the one I evangelize to anyone who will listen?
And Friday, I realized, I don’t have one.
For a girl who has seen 75 of AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time, and at least an additional 100, this is unsettling.
I don’t have a go-to movie. There are movies that remind me of old boyfriends that I’ve never watched again, and movies that make me cry so I don’t watch those if I’m feeling vulnerable. Some movies I watch when I need to laugh, and some movies I watch when I need to feel smart.
But I fear I’m developing the same relationship with watching films that I have with reading fiction–the concocted plots, characters, and outcomes don’t reflect any reality with which I’m familiar, so I don’t (or can’t, or won’t) take away anything of substance from films I watch. I’ve lost an ability to connect.
How’s that for some armchair psychology?
I won’t stop seeing films–I enjoy the escapist element of them–but I don’t know if I’ll ever find “my Lebowski.”