Sunday, July 30, 2006

What happened to Movie Girl?

I went to see The Devil Wears Prada this weekend (pretty good, pretty predictable), and realized it's been a while since I've gone to see a movie. And it made me wonder: when did I become TV Girl? I used to be the movie savant, the one who knew what was playing, who starred in what, and who was dating whom, even if I had no desire to see it, or them, or their dating details. It's not just summer blockbuster ennui. I've lost track, and lost interest, for the last several months.

Even blogging, I find myself writing about TV shows – OK, mostly a TV show - and being more interested in developments of the TV industry than the movie industry. And in a Bizarro world twist, I find myself knee-deep in a project trying to help champion Canadian TV shows I didn't know existed a few months ago.

I can think of some reasons for turning my back on movies. Besides being something of a novelty to me, I think it's pretty clear the TV industry is more interesting right now, flailing around in cyberspace to figure out what works in a multi-platform, on-demand world. There's some of that in movies, but the interesting stuff seems to be happening with TV.

I very rarely do movie reviews anymore, though I did them regularly before starting this blog and joining Blogcritics. But reviews are hard compared to posts I write off the top of my head (like, say, this one). I try to craft a review, to put some brain power into it, and be fair to my opinion but also to the material. So I need to be motivated to make the effort and write one, and movies don't seem to be doing it for me much anymore. They require more of a commitment, with the whole getting out of the house thing, and the paying for them thing. After all that, I'll endure mediocrity or even dreck, which can be a slight demotivator to wanting to do it all again. To then spend more time writing about it? No. With TV, at least the remote is handy when what's on screen starts to stink.

But I miss it. I miss my interest in movies. There's something I love about the event of seeing a movie in a theatre, something about the spectacle of seeing something on a big screen, in the darkness, so real life is completely blocked out ... until the guy in front of me's cell phone goes off. I often get this feeling - I don't know a word for it, except one I can't use without sounding like Mike Myers in Coffee Talk: verklempt. I feel overly emotional from the sheer spectacleness of it all. It happens even when the quality of the spectacle is not, perhaps, the most profound. It happens not just at movies, but any large dark theatre with a spectacle unfolding before me. It's happened at Cats. I know, shut up.

There's an intimacy to TV, where characters come into my home every week and encourage a long-term relationship, but the experience isn't the same. Not worse, in some ways better, but different. It's not a spectacle. TV might make me think, and entertain me, and bring me into another world, but it doesn't quite take me out of my own world to do it.

If only there were movies out that I want to see, now that I've realized I miss them.