What’s your viewing pleasure?
Do you like watching TV shows, films, documentaries, the news, youtube videos, etc? Playing video games? Going out to see a play, opera, or to a comedy club? Strolling around a museum, gallery, park?
What thrills your eyes and stimulates your mind through your eyes?
What soothes your soul, heart, and frazzled brain?
Some people have songs which are part of the soundtrack of their lives, when they hear that tune, that lyric, it evokes a moment in time. I have a few of those, some which make me smile, others which make me cringe, and a couple which… I’m not sure how to react to those.
However, film and TV dominate when it comes to my recall and recollections.
I have been a film buff since I was a toddler. Some of my earliest memories include films in one way or another… or maybe all my memories are made of film clips.
Perhaps that wasn’t me who may or may not have been dead while riding off into the sunset, maybe I was the one crying – Shane, come back!
Occasionally it makes me rather irrational due to affection and loyalty. I refuse to watch The Lion King. It insults me… the adult in me is fine with it, but there’s a feisty child inside who bonded with Kimba and feels that my heart would be cheating on the original with a fraud. I did say it was irrational.
Cheating was a big issue in my family, it permeated the environment like a noxious poison, a pall weighing heavily on the heart. It wasn’t just about adultery, even though that was my mother’s main concern and constant gripe, a source of both pain and pleasure (in her sainthood and martyrdom) for her, an intrinsic element of her identity – there were times when I wondered if she truly wanted my father not to have affairs as if he stopped doing that she would also have to stop playing the long-suffering victim, and the self-righteous rising above it better than you because you’re worse than me holier than thou mother of all. It was also about other kinds of infidelity, such as the fact that my mother had betrayed my father by having a child when he didn’t want one and was very specific about that, or that my father felt cheated in his professional life.
A friend of mine once asked me if Mistral’s Daughter was based on my family… it wasn’t, however, I could see parallels between the stories.
Watching Kimba helped me to deal with problems that reality kept offering without solutions. The box tends to box things up for you, while out side of the box it’s just a bloody mess.
I have never been able to get stuck into a soap opera, although I did love Soap. I’ve tried to watch soaps but it’s too stressful, too similar to my experience of reality when I was stuck in Narcville. Most narcissists think their life is a soap opera and if it isn’t, they turn it into one. And in my case my mother had actually studied opera, the stories are incredibly twisted and complicated, and when she had a tantrum it was like listening to the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute – Mozart).
My parents could turn even the simplest of things into a drama in several interminable acts. And they were constantly killing characters off, only to resurrect them awhile later as though nothing had happened.
Going to the cinema with my parents was a bit like playing a game of Saw. Luckily we didn’t do that too often. Mind you, watching TV with both of my parents could end up in the same way.
My mother’s viewing style was every critic who ever existed rolled up into one person. She could ruin a film while the titles were rolling. She had to bitch, criticise, critique, pick on every aspect of it, point out flaws, judge the fashion, scoff at the dialogue, undermine the actors (she had been an actress so this was a professional view not an amateur one, therefore it was aid with authoritah), moan, groan, and talk non-stop to enjoy what she was watching. She particularly pleasured herself in ruining moments of suspense – watching Hitchcock with her was anything but thrilling. If anyone dared to tell her to STFU… all those critics inside of her would perceive you as her new target for decimation.
My parents arguing all the way through a show was a normal occurrence. My father could argue with my mother without saying a word, he always had control over the remote. His silence (and the cigar he often smoked while lying sprawled on a sofa) while he flicked channels drove her insane with grief and fury. He would sometimes raise the volume to drown her out.
However, watching TV with my father when my mother wasn’t around (usually because she’d gone to bed early in a huff or due to her being an early-to-bed saint) was rather fun.
Staying up way past a prescribed bedtime for a child, watching horror, westerns, swashbucklers, noir, and the occasional musical (I’ll never forget seeing The Pajama Game with him… fairly certain we both sang along, which was weird) with my father… film allowed me to have a bond with him which was difficult at other times. Maybe the act of viewing distracted his mind from its usual course of thought and allowed him to interact from the heart more easily. In those moments he was… who he was without all the added extras. He wasn’t a man with a devious plan, he was just a human, relaxed and enjoying something which relaxed him.
Sometimes watching films and TV is not about escaping reality, but experiencing an alternate version of reality not just through the screen but where you actually are.
Watching a film with friends can be insightful, you sometimes get to see sides of them they don’t openly show when their conscious mind isn’t distracted, and sometimes what they’re seeing evokes a memory, a passion, a love, a spontaneous thought which they share, and you get to know them better.
I remember laughing a lot with my father at the blood, gore and ridiculous predicaments of monsters and hapless travelers who always seemed to get a flat tire or lose a wagon wheel or some other event which forced them to seek shelter in a haunted house. For some reason the KEEP OUT sign never applied to them. Tut, tut, tut… this is going to be messy!
When I got older I realised, thanks to personal experience being a good teacher, why they were so stupid… I guess I built up quite a bit of karma simply by being smug when watching TV and Films.
When you judge someone else from a pedestal of any sort life has a way of showing you how rickety your pedestal is, and it also tends to think that when you judge someone you’re asking a question…
Q: How could they possibly do that… be that stupid, mean, evil, naive!
A (from life): Let me put you in the same position as they were in and show you.
A wallop from the personal experience of living what another person is living, making your shoes similar to theirs, should provide you with an answer and clarify that matter for you.
Do you have any more questions, because life is more than happy to oblige you with experiential answers.
Be careful of saying – I would never do anything like that – life sees that as a question seeking answer too, more than that it sees it as part of the power of attraction, as you saying – That person is doing something I’ve never done! I want to do it too!
I learn a lot about myself from the shit which goes on in my head while watching a film or TV show. The running commentary of the mind, the tangents which are inspired, the sudden shifts in perspective, new ideas, new takes on old ideas, and so much more… can be insightful.
I thought I’d share a few of the films and TV shows which I’ve watched recently that have prompted mental shit to stir in the membrane. I’m not reviewing them or explaining what they’re about (that’s what the links and videos are for), instead I’m going to scribble some personal views which went with them.
1 – Man From Reno – Fragments coming together… akin to how I think. Pieces. Connecting. How. Feeling confused about time, timelines, past, present and future indistinguishable from each other… I was making things more complicated than they actually were, I have a habit of doing that. My mind is so used to things being more complicated than they need to be, that when they’re not… defaulting to thinking that they are. The intertwining of lives… follow a thread which is unraveling from someone else and it may lead you on a journey back to yourself.
2 – Attila Marcel – Legacy… of memory, guilt, shame, fear, loss, trauma. Recovering the truth which the past holds that is missing from our present and is affecting our experience of life and being. Blocked. By ourselves, others, duty, routine, coping mechanisms, silence. Silence. Loud. The people who shape us… due to how we see them, how they see themselves, what we or they don’t see because something is obscuring the view. Perceptions and misperceptions. The flow of life, it twists and turns to get from A to Z. Small details overlooked, the big picture loses the little ones which make it up. I hated being forced to learn to play the piano… I wish I could play the piano.
3 – Psychobitches – The therapy of laughter, of learning from history, of just behaving badly because it’s fun and you’re going to get judged, analysed, pigeon-holed, critcised, put on a pedestal and then torn down because you fail to live up to expectations, no matter who you are or what you say or do. New perspectives on assumptions, using the imagination to discover… it can be hilarious to embrace being human!
4 – Gayby – Messy humans having messy relationships, life being lived… with a cheeky wise laugh. If it’s hysterical then it’s historical… so if you’re getting more upset than the situation requires, those are your issues, deal with them don’t dump them onto someone else to deal with because… they can’t deal with them for you, and if they try they’ll end up resenting you as they don’t represent you or anyone else who they are not, besides they have their own shit to deal with. And I’m actually rather relieved that I’m not a birthday person, I used to pick on myself about that until this…
5 – Boy Meets Girl – Eric Schaeffer… how I love thee! Who you are… who decides? Acceptance, rejection, love, pain, preference, challenges, and all those other aspects of a life, and the other lives which are a part of our life… when someone truly loves you, you know it but may overlook it because it’s here, a given, and your eyes are on the over there, back there, anywhere but here… here is safe… but does it feel safe… is safe a vault in which we’re locked and want to break free… we can’t help being drawn to a risk. Why?
6 – The Guitar – Is the life you are living the one you want to live or the one you’re living until you can live the one you want to live. What happens if… you run out of time, lose everything which was a structure holding your life together on its course, keeping the you that you have made yourself be to fit in, do the right thing, what was expected of you, in a skin you’re not comfortable in… what if you could just do anything… what would you do. I’d do exactly what I’m doing… is that weird? What if you had nothing… what would you fill it with? What if you… didn’t think about you, but just experienced being? Tick, tock, tick, tock…
7 – Starry Eyes – Hello, Narcville. A spot on allegory of the dynamics involved in a relationship with a narcissist. Pity it’s a horror film (which actually makes it even better) as it would make a great instructional video that answers questions about why we’re attracted to narcissists and why they’re attracted to us. Why society is so narcissistic. It holds the wound within its frames. But people are put off by the darkness, especially that within them… prefer to disassociate from it, project it onto others, turn it into an icon of evil which repels and attracts in measures that may be unequal in favour of a dark desire that must never be brought into the light. To dare to know. That need to only see the light, fix your smile, and ignore the dark… it’s always others… is what makes those ties which bind so hard to sever. Drives us all to hurt ourselves, to hurt ourselves through others…
Am I wasting life, time, grey matter while watching TV…?
Survey says… screw what the survey says, it isn’t surveying what I’m surveying. It’s eye is on a piece of the pie, while mine is… seeing other pieces which I think it may be trying to steal from me by attempting to use a distraction tactic.
Look over here at this bad thing…. while I take what is good, yum, yum, away from you.
A cat on my lap, purr, purr. A lover beside me, who loves the things I love, with who I commune without saying a word and when a word is said it is… heard by more than just the ear. Communication is in surround sound.
Together we open our minds, hearts and souls to…
That’s all folks…
Over to you, please share your viewing pleasures.
Related link – A great WP movie blog – Off the Halloween Path: 13 Non-Traditional Movies to Watch on All Hallows’ Eve
Great posting. I loved the line “She could ruin a film while the title was rolling.”
Thank you very much 🙂
Thanks for the pointers. 🙂
I, too, am a film buff.
I experienced similar behaviour from my mother, as well. Lots of natter, natter and just deliberate ruination. I hated having to endure tv shows or movies with her unless it was something she really wanted to watch. Then everyone had to be quiet.
Good post. 🙂
Thank you very much 🙂
Narcissists have a compulsive need to ruin everything. They’re terrified of liking something or someone because this makes them vulnerable and feel out of control. When they’re being critical they feel safe and in control. When they’re threatened by enjoyment, which they often are, it’s like they’re testing the source of enjoyment to see if it can hold up to their expectations, live up to their highest perfectionistic ideals – problem is their biggest expectation is for everything and everyone to disappoint them, so they destroy something or someone before it can disappoint them.
That shit be weird and exhausting.
What’s your favourite film that you’ve seen recently?
Oh yes! That shit be very weird and exhausting.
I really haven’t been watching much of anything lately – no extended cable, no Netflix, no DVD player. Have to wait until next month before those are hooked up again. And, not much time lately either. I did recently watch “Insomnia” again after many years and admired how well it was done. (I haven’t seen the original yet – Norwegian, I believe? – but do intend to sometime.) The location is such an important character in that film. Before I moved I was catching up on “House of Cards” and do have plans for some other catch-ups. Back in August I watched “In Bruge.” I really enjoyed that one. I would like to see “The Guitar.” 🙂
Baseball has been on TV most recently in my home, my partner is a big fan. It screws up my internet connection, so I usually just fall asleep on the sofa or actually get some packing done. What I need is a shrinker, a machine which zaps things, makes them small, so everything fits into a holdall. Of course, the shrinker is also a deshrinker and can return things to their normal size when the time is right.
It’s kind of fun doing things differently for awhile, we get so caught up in our systems, it’s nice to see what happens when we can’t do what we normally do. But not for too long, we need our systems or we start to destabilise and may turn into someone else, which would be confusing.
I looked up the area you’ve moved to… OMG, it’s just so beautiful, hidden valleys galore!!! I didn’t realise Canada had its own wine. I bet it’s naturally delicious!
I’ve seen both versions of Insomnia, they’ve blurred together in my mind, they’re almost identical. The remake was very well made. I remember thinking what a wonderful experience a white night would be.
Scandinavian crime is often poetically bleak, with a thread of philosophical wondering. They’re very good at crime drama. There are some truly wonderful films and TV shows.
Their comedy is also great. I’ve been enjoying ‘Dag’, about a relationship counselor (has a few crossovers with ‘Lilyhammer’). It’s Norwegian. Such a twisted sense of humor. Very clever. Great observations about being human and how crazy we all are. The characters are lovable even when they’re being awful.
In Bruges… that was good, very British crime caper style, always fun to watch. Brendan Gleeson is awesome, saw him recently in ‘Calvary’ which is a dark comedy. When I saw the poster for it, and that it was about a priest, I confess I went ugh, this is going to be heavy going, but he is no ordinary priest and it was anything but boring. Thought-provoking, especially the ending. I screamed at the TV a little. 😉
Are you moving??
I understand about the shrinker. I have recently wished for the same thing. Or Harry Potter’s wand. 🙂
Baseball is very big here, too. Of course, Toronto is involved, so last night we had a double header: a federal election and a Blue Jays game. Lots of channel switching going on. 🙂 But absolute delight ensued – the Jays won and Harper was defeated. 🙂
It is interesting ( and good) to do things differently for a while, but also I have to say that I’m really tired now of living in motel and just want my own bed again. All our stuff is being moved in three weeks and that will be great.
Yes, the Okanagan is quite something and a relatively unknown gem at this point, although it has always had some attraction for tourists because of the beaches and weather and produce. Now the wine industry has really developed too, and there’s been a corresponding rise in visitors. Ontario has had a good wine industry for about 35 years now – that area is particularly known for ice wine. (Go figure – ice wine from Canada. 🙂 )
M and I have been doing a lot of exploring when we can and you’re right. The valleys and views and drop-offs that we unexpectedly encounter are jaw-dropping. We love it here. 🙂
Yes, the Scandinavians are very good at producing crime drama. I watched “Lilyhammer” but haven’t seen “Dag.” There’s a new film coming out from Atom Egoyan called “Remember” that I’m interested in seeing – all his stuff is heavy going but he also somehow captures “Canadianness” in a way that I haven’t really seen anywhere else.
“In Bruges” was fun. I enjoy a good comedy now and then but I’m not into slapstick. I find it kind of silly and boring, but then again, I can be silly and boring. 🙂
It seems as though I may be shifting from one place to another, but it’s not quite real yet so I’m preparing but also not yet prepared. The idea of it has been creating some curious side effects. 😉
I’ve always been intrigued by how a change of location can change alter the way we experience ourselves. The place itself, the energy and nature of it seems to have a subtle influence on mood, feeling, thought. Kind of like a different view can inspire different perspectives. If your window looks out onto a wall, your neighbour’s house, a garden fence, it’s very different from see open fields, mountains, the ocean, a valley. The eyes travel and take the mind and heart with them. So when our entire body and being travel, and move to live elsewhere… we may become someone else, who is still us but altered.
The Okanagan looks like a place where it’s a pleasure to breathe, really breathe.
There’s a geographical branch to astrology, where you can look at how your chart is affected by and changed due to location. It’s fun to play with it.
Speaking of astro, I saw that you have a Liberal Capricorn in charge now, that should be interesting. Virgo rising too, and Uranus/Pluto in the house of personal values. I like looking up the charts of politicians, and other public figures.
I looked Atom Egoyan up recently but I can’t remember why as I don’t recognise the titles of his films, but then I’m very adept at forgetting titles. Thanks for the recommendation, I shall check out his films now. I like the work of Sarah Polley, especially her documentary about her family.
I’m not much of a slapstick fan either, although I did love Harold Llyod and Oliver and Hardy when I was a child. I prefer darkly twisted humour. One of the funniest films I’ve seen is in the last couple of years is – It’s a Disaster.
It is a pleasure to breathe here. Very fresh and mountainy and expansive and fertile. I haven’t been able to really be with myself here yet and am longing for that. There’s been so much going on that I’ve felt like I’m just surviving, even though M and I have gone exploring and I have hugely enjoyed that. It’s that old introvert thing – I’m being forced at the moment to gulp, and there hasn’t been room to just take it in. Put together with having been sick and my sister’s illness and it all has been overwhelming.
Sarah Polley acted in an Atom Egoyan film called “The Sweet Hereafter.” Very well done but also an emotionally demanding movie. Thanks for the suggestion of “It’s a Disaster.”
I hope your move goes well – if you do indeed move.
Most of the time I never know what to say when others are facing the deepest and darkest depths. There is really nothing to be said. Certain experiences go beyond the realm of words.
I’m here if you need me, let me know what you need.
Other than that, this has always helped me:
“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
I don’t, either, and believe as you do, that there is nothing to be said.
Thank you for listening; thank you for being there; thank you for passing on the words that have helped you. They will help me, too. 🙂
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