Dangerous Compassions

why I don’t like movies

  1. Suspense is uncomfortable for me, to the point of pain.
  2. They’re too long–I can’t take the commitment.
  3. Violence freaks me out–graphic, subtle, physical, emotional, sexual, against anyone.  I feel it a lot and can’t enjoy it, even when it’s supposed to be justified or satisfying.
  4. Sex in movies usually has some problem about it, so it’s disturbing too.
  5. I’m partly face-blind and have trouble telling the characters apart.  The actors all look the same, so I’m confused.
  6. Feeling manipulated is uncomfortable.  The content with music painfully pushes me to feel a certain way.  The movie is unkind to me.  It tries to lead me to an experience of disturbing me, then resolve something, completely on its terms.  Often I feel I can accept the whole thing or reject the whole thing–no subtlety of choices.
  7. Movies make me hate myself, if I let them.  Fat, disabled bodies like mine are immediately and automatically embarrassing, worthless, shameful, unworthy of love, undesirable, irrelevant except for a joke at my expense.  Movies teach me I’m a bad person, don’t count, deserve harm, or can only be laughable, to the side, and mostly irrelevant.
  8. Sound, visuals, people, feelings, suspense, my own traumas being touched on, how long they last all combine to my overwhelm.  If I get sucked in and do manage to inhabit that world, it really disorients me to come out of it, and that scares me.
  9. I’m usually being hit over the head with the movie trying to make me feel something, or see something as important, that I already feel and already see as important.  I never feel like the intended audience.
  10. Movies that try so hard not to bore me, I get full in five minutes.  I have a different amount of stuff that feels comfortable to hold in my mind.
  11. The ideas are overly familiar to me.  It moves really slow in predictable ways that frustrate me, or else is too erratic and confusing.  Very rare to find a good balance for my art needs or entertainment needs!
  12. I don’t like movie conventions.  There’s a scene and then a switch to another scene that has some big contrast.  I don’t like cliffhangers.  Most movies use a lot of tropes in a way that’s not playful or self-aware.
  13. Lack of humor, or humor done in a way I don’t enjoy.  Serious self-importance.
  14. Weird values of capitalism with all its destruction being put forth as good, and also being enacted with big budgets, popularity contest, yuck advertising.  Small gems are lost.
  15. The nature of entertainment, where the movie thing needs to be different enough to have an allure, but almost the same as known things so it won’t be too challenging.
what I like

Some movies I’ve liked are Holy Week: The Story of the 2016 Sacred Peace Walk, which I’ve seen around six times and am in.

Pather Panchali, which is Indian.  Ghost Bird, which is about a maybe extinct woodpecker.  Don’t Need You, which is about Riot Grrrl and gave me hope when I wanted to die.  How to Cook Your Life, which is about a zen Buddhist monk I like, Ed brown.  And A Sidewalk Astronomer, about my guru John Dobson.

A Sidewalk Astronomer

Those are all documentaries, except the Indian one.  Thank you to a new friend for inspiring this post by asking me to tell her more about why I don’t like movies.

This essay about why I don’t like movies from 2006 is more than 14 years old because it’s from a zine that was previous.  I mention video rental places–I don’t think those exist anymore.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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