I bet all of you who will be reading this have seen more than 200 movies (or at least near it). Well, I’m proud(?) to say that I’ve seen more than 500 and have made several lists relating to it. I download films from Torrentz and take my sweet time in finishing it (I finished Ben-Hur in 5 days) because I think that’s the best technique. Watching it in one single viewing it painful and I don’t know about you but I can’t. I guess this is the reason I don’t watch movies in Cinemas because you hardly, if any, get any breaks and intervals, so this is why I download and save them in my HDD. I have more than 195 GB of movies, yet I’m not your average movie-maniac. Surprising? Well, let’s get on with the real reason behind this post:
1998 – The year I saw my very first film. I mean, I may have seen film(s) before it but this is as far as I can remember and the film in question is Titanic directed by James Cameron. Off the record, Cameron is my most favourite director. Anyway, I was 5 years old when my family took us (me, my elder sister and my younger sister who was just a few months old) to the oldest Cinema in Oman, The Stars Cinema, which was the most successful Cinema in Oman but now has reduced to showing only Malayalam movies, but is still successful. Anyway, to a 5-year-old, Titanic was, in a simple word, boring. I did end up liking the theme song, however (yea, I’m one of the rare few who actually liked My Heart Will Go On). But, despite being boring, this film left a huge mark on me and from that day on for a few years I used to torment my elder sister & dad to download or buy movies. My dad, forever a fan of old-school action movies, introduced me to Die Hard, Last Action Hero, Commando, The Terminator, T2 and Rambo: First Blood. I ended up loving these movies – most being added in my greatest movies list – and, just like any-other, I asked for more and more. Not wanting me to become a movie-addict, my parents tried a different course by engaging me in sports and extra-activities in schools. Well, that did work successfully for a period but I was back on track again with my “second re-birth”
The 4 Epics: One day my dad bought home 4 DVDs for all of us to watch and they were: The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes, The Message. Watching these 4 movies re-ignited my love for movies and Cinema as a whole and nothing, I mean nothing, could detach me from it. I mean, these are impressive works of art and I was like “This cannot be the absolute zenith, can it? There are other impressive, bold works of art out there just waiting to be seen and I have to see them all”… and that’s how I got into these sort of films but wait! how do I start? I mean, I was ready but I needed a direction and it came in a form of a list:
Empire Magazine’s 500 Greatest Films of All Time!
Granted that I don’t 100% agree with all their rankings but to me (back then) it was the perfect sign ever. I downloaded the PDF and started downloading movies, most random – most heard by names only and that’s the end of the story. This is my history of movie watching and in my appreciation to Empire, I’ve made a similar list of my own. Please do watch: http://www.listal.com/list/500-greatest-films-all-time
But of course, I’ve only answered the first half of the title. Now for the second half – Why Do I Watch Movies…
I’m a short-story writer and I also write lyrics and sometimes form small plays. I watch movies 60% for entertainment and 40% to get ideas and to be inspired by. Whenever I watch a movie that makes sense or leaves an impression on me, I immediately start getting ideas and I guess I follow the Tarantino-Rule: Be inspired and make your own on the same vein but present it in a fresh way. Speaking of Tarantino, let me give you an example: After watching his Reservoir Dogs and Scorsese’s The Departed, I got inspired and combined those two together and made my own story called “Rat Department” and I’m not explaining it any further unless & until I finish it 100%!