In this age of side-taking and constant arguing, I think what gets lost “appreciation” film is that love of sharing. Sure, it’s fun for me to tell my friend, Ryan McNeil, how wrong he is about films, and getting into arguments is fun, too. But you know what’s more fun? Enjoying a film together with someone else. Sharing an appreciation. This is doubly true as a film lover who often gets other people to watch films I already love.
My mom, for example, is particularly open to watching all sorts of films. Sharing films with her is a joy because she’ll actually watch most anything I recommend to her. She won’t like everything, but she’s open, and I’m usually pretty good at figuring out what she’d like. For example, a couple weeks ago we were looking for a movie to watch on Netflix, without even really asking her or telling her about it, I put on The Skin I Live In. The name “Antonia Banderas” was enough to pique her interest—stupid, sexy Antonio—and so she gladly sat down to watch it with me. About thirty minutes in, with the disturbing elements of the film making themselves known, she said, “I’m not sure I like this film.” But guess what? She stuck it through. She watched the whole thing, and when the final, gut-punching scene came around, all she could was was, “Wow!”
I’d seen The Skin I Live In before, though I did love seeing it again. More wonderful, though, was the satisfaction I got from sharing a film I love with someone else who ended up loving it, too. I’m not even sure what motivates that satisfaction, but it’s real and it’s great. My sister is more difficult about watching films than my mom, but she can also be very receptive. I still remember the time, many years ago, that I got her to sit down and watch Back to the Future. She didn’t want to, but I convinced her to give it a try. When it finished she begged me to put on Part II. We now share Back to the Future as one of our most favourite films.
I’m also lucky enough to have a great home theatre system. Nice sound, a Blu-ray player, and a 106″ projection screen. This makes things ideal for watching movies, but even more ideal for gathering groups of friends to watch movies. I’ve gotten friends to watch all sorts of things. Blade Runner, Alien/Aliens, The Rock, Back to the Future, Die Hard. I’m even talking to some friends about coming over to watch some French New Wave films like The 400 Blows. But I think the best instance of sharing films was when I had a big group of friends over to watch a double-feature of Dead Alive and Troll 2. To say it was a fun night would be putting it mildly, and sharing my love of films, even completely ridiculous ones like those, was a great experience.
Of course, the sharing extends even to the online realm. Any time I get someone in the online community to check out a film I love, I’m happy. In recent months I’ve gotten people to see Take Shelter and The Muppets and War Horse. In most cases they went over very well, and that just makes me happier. It’s not that I love people sharing my opinion, but sharing a general sense of love over the same movies is just so nice. So yeah, arguing is good, but so is sharing. In fact, I’d say that as a film-lover, it’s the sharing that makes me love film most of all.
What films have you shared with your friends and family members? Any good stories about films that your friends or family ended up loving? What about films that didn’t go over so well? Let me know in the comments.