Nice to meet you. I’m Saikawa Goto. Thank you for coming to my blog “Lushiluna”.
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In this article, I will write about my past experiences with movies.
However, compared to books, my involvement with movies is quite small.
I hardly watched movies until I was 30.
That’s quite extreme, isn’t it?
What Prompted Me to Start Watching Movies
Until my 20s, I hardly ever went to movie theaters, and watched movies occasionally. At that time, it was not common to watch movies through streaming, and I rarely had the opportunity to rent DVDs at rental shops. Basically, I had little interest in movies, and still have hardly touched the so-called classics or masterpieces.
The reason I started watching movies was because I moved from Tokyo to a certain regional city. I got a job as a bookstore clerk there.
My boss at the time said, “Reading books is work, so don’t read them on your day off.” Certainly, to work at that bookstore, I had to read books with a focus on “how to sell them” more than before, so the feeling that “reading books = work” was stronger than ever. So, following my boss’s advice, I completely stopped reading books on my day off.
That’s honest of you.
So, I thought about what to do on my day off, and decided to watch movies. The fact that the regional city I moved to had a street lined with mini-theaters and had a long-established movie culture was also a big factor. I started a habit of going to the movies every week on my day off and watching about 8 movies a month.
My Rules for Watching Movies
I’ve become interested in watching movies, but I’ve been adamant about watching them in movie theaters from the beginning. There are several reasons for this.
First of all, for me, movies are an “experience”. Watching on a smartphone or computer doesn’t feel like an “experience” to me. Although different people may feel differently about this, I think that whether it’s an “experience” or not is an important point.
It might be different if you have facilities like a home theater, though.
I won’t know how I feel until I try it, though.
However, there is something more important than that. It’s to “narrow down the choices all at once”.
The same is true when choosing a book, but I want to “touch the work without knowing the evaluation of the work in advance”. That means “I want to watch movies without prejudice as much as possible”.
However, if I watch movies through streaming, the number of choices available is enormous. It can be difficult to choose from such a large selection, and as a result, I’m tempted to rely on rankings and other information… But I don’t want to make film choices like that.
So I’ve decided to follow a rule of “choosing movies from those currently playing in theaters”. In this way, I believe that I can choose the movies I want to see without being influenced by public opinion or my own preconceptions.
In addition, I’ve been following the rule of “writing my thoughts after reading a book” for a while, so I started doing the same thing for movies. When I watch a movie, I bring a notepad and pen and take notes on dialogue, setting, and anything else that comes to mind. People often ask me, “Can you really concentrate?” or “Can you write in the dark?” but I don’t personally have any problems with it. And it’s those notes that I use to write this blog.
Moving to Kanto
I lived in the regional city for about three years, and then returned to Tokyo. The habit I picked up in the regional city of watching movies on days off did not disappear even after returning to Tokyo.
In fact, I started to watch movies even more frequently.
When I was living in the regional city, I didn’t realize it, but of course, the selection of movies playing in Tokyo’s theaters is quite extensive. Even if I limit it to “movies released in theaters,” there are quite a few that catch my interest, and I have been going to the movies more often than when I lived in the regional city.
Many of the movies I want to watch are only playing in one to five theaters in Tokyo.
You’re watching quite obscure movies, aren’t you?
Like books, I initially watched a lot of fiction movies, but gradually became interested in documentaries, and now most of the movies I watch are documentaries. I have read books so far and been exposed to various realities of the world, but I am reminded of the tremendous power that images have.
I don’t like to rate books or movies with stars or pick out “the best book/movie of my life,” but there is one movie I want to mention. That is “For Sama”.
It was an extremely shocking piece of work. The film captures the shocking reality of a doctor and journalist couple who stayed in Syria to record the reality of the ongoing bombings and raise their daughter in the war zone.
I wonder if any documentary film that exceeds this can be created in the future.
However, unfortunately, the tragic reality can occur in any era.
While books have their own roles, there are some realities that can only be conveyed through visuals. Encountering works like this makes me unable to stop watching movies.