March 22, 2023

Get Over Your Neck – watching movies the right way

Posted on December 29, 2009 by in Health

The proper way to watch a film is from the front rows. Yet 95% of the public who seem so glad to go to an IMax or big screen theater experience, then choose to see the film from the back, over the shoulders of others, until the screen is the size of an iphone. Why? “My neck hurts when I sit up front” is the number one excuses. Well, get over it.

Henri Langlois, the founder and director of the French Cinemteque, is said to have advised his film club, the free masonry of cinephiles, to nourish themselves with at least one movie a day for a year from the front. That’s your education. Eat it up with your eyes.

I am in that club. I am one of the insatiables…the ones you’ll always find sitting closest to the screen — eyes wide open — receiving.

Why do we sit so close? Maybe it is because we want to receive the images first…when they are still new, still fresh…before they clear the hurdles of the rows behind us…before they are relayed back from row to row, spectator to spectator…over the ambient muttering…until worn-out, secondhand, the size of a postage stamp…before it returns to the projectionist’s booth spent.

I’m not nuts! Try it for yourself. Sit close and receive the images first. You will be rewarded. It’s the only way I can watch a film.

Or are you afraid to discover that maybe the screen really isn’t a screen. Maybe it screens us. Maybe the world will finally burst through.

Sit close, my fellow film masons, eat the images with your eyes.

This was paraphrased from The Dreamers, a film about the Cinemiteque.

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