Over these past few months I’ve been watching more movies than ever before, and Peter’s tweet got me thinking about movie-patience. I DNF books all the time. Movies, I almost always finish. Why is this? A couple theories:
- Movies last a specific amount of time. Knowing that I will be done with a mediocre movie in 86 minutes makes it easier to bear. Ambiguity around the time investment works against books.
- Movies require less attention, so I can do other things while I (kinda sorta) watch. Eating, light conversation, light internetting, intermittent texting, etc.
- Because there are fewer produced, movies make better conversation topics. They have better cultural currency. More people are more likely to have seen or at least be familiar with a given movie. So there’s a higher social cost for not being familiar with it.
- Movies have a better entertainment/time ratio.
- My priorities are out of whack.
- I am subconsciously addressing an innate human need for stories. Most of my reading is nonfiction, so I’m using cinema-fiction to make up for the lack of text-fiction.
- Eye candy.
- Movies involve more people, more money, more compromises, more constraints on time and budget, and thus they are less likely to have nonessential bloat. Though I can easily see this argument going the other way, too.