Wednesday, March 4, 2009


If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed that the "Most Recently Seen" section on the right-hand side of this page has not changed in ten days.

The one below it has changed -- I finally watched Bottle Rocket again on Sunday (after posting about it January 27th) -- but "Most Recently Seen" refers only to movies I'm seeing for the first time. Technically, "Most Recently Seen" should be whatever I saw most recently, regardless of whether I'd seen it before. But "Most Recently Revisited" covers repeat viewings, while "Most Recently Seen," for want of an equally succinct way of saying it more accurately, covers everything new.

That's right. I'm in the midst of a rare drought.

How rare? The last time I went ten days without seeing a new movie was April 25 to May 5, 2006. (Yes, I do keep track of stuff like this, but you should know that about me by now). That means that neither my trip to Australia in 2007, nor my wedding and honeymoon in 2008, featured a ten-day period in which I saw no new movies.

It's no coincidence that the circumstances of The Great Drought of 2006 and The Great Drought of 2009 have something in common: In both cases, I moved. The timing is a little different, though.

When I saw Wolf Creek on April 25, 2006, it was actually the first movie my wife (then-girlfriend) and I watched in our new apartment. I had never lived with a woman before, and I remember, as I was watching, not being wigged out by the sadistic freak terrorizing backpackers in the Australian outback, though he was good for a fright or two. Rather, I sat there wondering what I'd done, committing to this unprecedented level of intimacy. It must have scared the movie-watching right out of me, because it was ten days later when I finally watched a second Australian film, The Proposition, which was written by my wife's favorite musician, Nick Cave. Then again, organizing the apartment probably had something to do with the layoff.

This time, the drought started more than a week before we spent the first night in our new place this past Sunday. (I might have ended the eight-day drought then, since we had to wait until Monday for our cable to get hooked up, except that the whimsical Bottle Rocket seemed like a better choice to convalesce from our moving injuries than Control, which concerns the band Joy Division and its suicidal lead singer). I'd like to say I spent that week leading up to the move packing and doing other productive things, but I'm too much of a procrastinator, as my continued trips over to the old place for more carloads of crap will attest. Rather, I tried to clear as much stuff off the DVR as I possibly could, irrationally concerned that our saved shows might get wiped out when our service was relocated. And since we usually hover over 80 percent full (remember what I said about procrastinating), that involved a lot of work.

Since our new place is still chaos, this drought might theoretically have lasted until this weekend, when I hope to convince my wife we're in good enough shape around the apartment to take in a screening of Watchmen. Except tomorrow night I'm scheduled to go see Departures, which won the Oscar for best foreign film last weekend, at a critics' screening held in Santa Monica. Barring any unforeseen changes in plans, the drought should end at 11 days.

I don't like going this long without seeing a new movie, and having this blog only contributes to the sense of antsiness. As I check the blog each day to see if any of you have answered my poll question, or to update what reviews I've just written, I am still faced with "Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009, P.J. Hogan)," a constant reminder of the worst of the four movies I've seen this year.

But more importantly, it means I'm falling behind. Okay, not in any realistic sense. I'm as "caught up" on movies as anyone I know, and it's only my own ridiculously high standards I'm fighting. I mean, if I'm trying to see every film that was ever made -- in other words, if I'm trying to complete an impossible task -- a ten-day break isn't going to make it any more impossible.

More than anything, though, I just like watching movies. And the fewer I watch, the more grouchy I get. Me need feed movie now.

I'm going to update this page the moment I get home tomorrow night.

1 comment:

Don Handsome said...

I hear you Vance.
Sometimes it gets so bad that you just need to see something, ANYTHING, to break the cycle. Its these times that I'm most likely to see the films that make up the bottom of my year-end list.
Not to rub it in, but I've got to say that nothing beats a drought like a stay in a hotel in middle America - nothing to do but Pay Per View. I'm not currently in a drought right now, but so far I've PPVd the yet-to-be-released John Malkovich and Colin Hanks vehicle The Great Buck Howard and tomorrow night I'm looking at Notorious...personally, I look to the Holiday Inn in Peoria as my main way to stay current on forgettable, yet surprisingly current, films.