Because I aim to work in the film and/or TV industries someday, my audiovisual media consumption is constant.
I had a nice thing going for like one decade until I brought streaming services into the picture, no pun intended.
What made me move towards streamers was a serious slump in my capacity to find and watch good movies, coupled with a drastic reduction in my storage space due to several disasters.
That happened in late 2017. Since then I have been watching movies that I researched or otherwise found by my own means, in favor of streamers.
My Post-Cyberpunk Years
It all started when I was starting to write screenplays, in 2004. I wrote post-cyberpunk scripts back then. I watched everything in the genre I could.
When I was like one year into buying pirate copies of cyberpunk movies, I watched a horror movie and felt that I had neglected horror. I picked up horror movies with a grade of enthusiasm way higher than the one I had for cyberpunk ones.
It may sound silly now, but back in 2006, when I started watching horror to study the genre. I didn’t have a lot of reference points. I didn’t also have a strategy to approach horror systematically.
Still, I think my journey of discovery was a natural and fructiferous one. I began by watching the classics. The complete sagas of Movies like “The Exorcist”, “Friday The 13th”, “Phantasm”, and other old classics like horror movies that featured Vince Price.
When I started to run out of ideas I didn’t let that put me down or stop my periodic watching of horror movies. That’s when I began reading old Fangorias and curating movies from them.
You can argue that doing that was to have a filtered version of horror cinema, pretty much akin to the streamers filter. I disagree, because Fangoria is, like it or not, like the Variety equivalent of horror.
I read practically all the issues from the start to the ones from the early 2000s.
What that magazine does might be a filter, but a positive one. I believe that in the specific case of horror, there’s too much stuff and a guide is required.
To have a guide like Fangoria, that only endorses movies that deserve to be watched is actually better than nothing and trying to find one’s own way without it.
What I’d say of the movies I watched after reading about them in that magazine is that most of them were fun, and the kind of movies you don’t fall asleep while watching.
My Westerns Compromise
When I was curating from Fangoria, I started to accept that someday, I will run out of classics and must-watch horror movies.
The genre that I picked then was western. I rationalized that watching at least one western movie a week I would expand both the waiting list for good horror in the future and my knowledge of the western genre.
This habit, I haven’t given it up, maybe for a while that I stopped watching westerns for like four-five months.
My Eastern Movies Years
I knew that there had to be movies that I could enjoy, so there came a moment when I tried to watch as many Japanese and HongKonese movies.
I watched as much as could stand by John Woo and Takashi Mike, and a few others like them that I can’t remember the names at the moment.
I also watched a lot of Indian movies, most of them Bengali ones by Satyajit Ray. Those are the soberest Indian movies I watched, they don’t feature the idiotic musical segments most Indian movies have.
My Trash Years
I lived a schism in my movie watching. It was a summer that I went bat-shit crazy about trash cinema. I remember I watched Ed Wood movies, the John Waters aberrations, Russ Meyer, and similar trashxploitation movies.
La creme de la creme of that divergence into the dregs of cinema must have been when I watched Warhol and Anger, that I personally consider trash cinema like Waters or Meyer.
My Socially-Effacing Case with TV Movies
I called this section that because I love TV movies and others may see it as a confirmation that I have a low-denominator approach to film tastes.
Nothing more away from the truth. There are many made-for-TV movies that I consider classics and should get more love.
To give an example, “The Dark Night of The Scarecrow”. It’s not “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” but a toned-down equivalent of a rural horror like it.
My Film Noir and Silent Madness
I let this for the last because if there’s something that others would attack me about my movie watching is my investment in old movies.
I enjoyed the silent classics like “Metropolis”, “Nosferatu”, “Intolerance” and the like. Sadly, I don’t think many will relate to me at this level.
I’m a lover of Charlie Chaplin movies and they were the kind of movies that I suffered when I realized that the material was unique and less in quantity of what I expected.
I watched Buster Keaton movies, but not with the enthusiasm that Chaplin movies awoke in me.
Of special note was my fever about film noir, that started somewhere around 2012-13.
I couldn’t curtail noir movies to only one per week as I had done with westerns. I watched a lot of them, and still do, no less than two a week.
There are a lot of them, and for a person who likes them, like me, most are good, almost none is boring.
It’s good to reminisce, but things have changed for the better with the arrival of internet video streaming services.
I’m not talking about the most popular ones only, though. If one searches, there are streamers and streamers. Some of them are even free. I’ll go over them in detail in a future post.
An Orange Clockwork (1971)
Phantasm 2 (1988)
The Norliss Tapes (1973)
To Have and Have Not (1944)