Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That headline is completely accurate. I have a crack addiction. No, I’m not referring to crack cocaine. I like food, money, and dignity too much for that. I’m referring to the various cracks in my movie-watching experience. There are a lot, and I’m addicted to spackling them in.
A few months back, I wrote about the endless nature of cinema. If you really want to lose yourself, there are tons of directors, actors, genres, and countries of origin producing movies for you to watch. And if you’re honest, as a movie-watcher, you have a lot of cracks in your experience. No human could spend enough time filling in every possible crack.
At first, it’s fine- you find the things that you enjoy, watch and master those films, and all is right with the world. But it’s like an infinite telescope. Because I inherently like comedy and horror, I started watching classic comedies and classic horrors. Those were a gateway drug to classic films in general, which is where I learned to appreciate weighty drama. An interest in weighty drama led me to tackle foreign film, and classic art house. Classic art house led me to samurai films, samurai films led me to westerns… This could go on and on but I’ll spare you the causal chain.
The point is that I’ve reached a place where I realize that for as much as I try to see, there’s still so, so very much still left to see. This is what you call a good problem. And I’ve developed something of an obsession with filling in those cracks. My current crack obsession revolves around Alfred Hitchcock’s work in the UK. In the last few weeks, I’ve watched The Lady Vanishes (1938) and The 39 Steps (1935). I have Murder! (1930) lined up for a viewing this week. Prior to that, I had been watching 1980s and early 90s movies that I somehow missed when I was younger. Amongst others, that group included The Terminator (1984), Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Bugsy (1991), Shocker (1989), and Friday the 13th (1980). Before that, it was Pixar movies that I had missed- Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Finding Nemo (2003).
I’m even working on a few other cracks right now. I’ve tepidly dipped my toe into animé. My spaghetti western bender is about to start. Moving forward, there’s a healthy dose of films that directors voted for in the Sight & Sound poll that I’d like to see. For chrissakes, I even have musicals on the agenda, a genre that I’ve struggled with but am now intrigued about.
My exposure to Ozu, Eastern European cinema, and Cinéma du Look is all very limited. My knowledge of Howard Hawks and John Ford is woefully inadequate. I’ve seen almost nothing from China, Australia, New Zealand, not enough from Germany, not enough of the Czech New Wave (which I love), barely any British Social Realism… I’m like Oskar Schindler- “I could have watched one more film… but didn’t!” You know… except I’m talking about sitting on my ass and watching movies while Oskar Schindler was talking about saving lives from the depths of depravity, but I digress.
What are your cracks? Do you have a similar crack addiction?