– So, how was it?

The first question, after going out from the cinema. And if nobody asks, that’s a disaster for a movie, because there was nothing to talk about. When I was starting my directing school, I thought that the worst thing that could happen, is to make a bad movie. When people would talk about all the things, that were bad. But after school, I realised, that there is something worse. Make a flat movie, uninteresting one. Look at the credits at the end of every movie – even the worst one – hundreds of people worked on that! Director, people responsible for picture, sound, screenplay, cutting, producing, make up, music, food on set, driving, script, continuation, animal owners, kid’s parents, flat owners, there are even STAND-INs, people, who stand in front of camera, when the star wants to get a coffee or rest, but the lights need to be set for the scene. And hundreds more! And they are all working whole days to make it happen. Not only days. Weeks. Months. Of preproduction, filming, postproduction.

And when people walk out of the cinema, and instead of being shaken, they shake their arms, it’s a disaster. When people, instead of arguing if the movie was good, or bad, they have nothing to say.

On the other hand, sometimes we go out of the cinema in silence, becuase we don’t know what to say. Because we were thinking about the movie, and we didn’t know what to say, yet, we were processing it. We were still living it. In screenwriting classes they said, that you can make the simpliest movie, but if you make the audience FEEL the real emotions, you win. And that this is what cinema is about…

I’ve always had a problem with reviewing movies. IMDB with “stars” seemed awkward. “Good”? “Very good”? “Average”? “Great cinematography, but the potential of actors wasn’t used”? “10 for shaking me”?

And once I went to see the “Perfume” movie. A I realised, what my problem is. It’s not like I don’t know what to think. It just changes.

In this movie they were making perfumes. They constructed them. They were deciding, in which phase and what tome you would smell this, and that. And there are three parts of a perfume – the Head, the Heart, and the Base. And it’s the same, as my perception of movies:

  1. The Head – the scent you smell as the first, after you apply the perfume on your skin. Probably because of this you decide, that you like the perfume. You smell it around 15-30 minutes after applying. This the moment of leaving the cinema. Those are the emotions that you take with you. First talks about the film, thinking about it, feeling it. Or being angry and dissapointed. Impulsive rewieving. The moment, when you reccoment it to your friends in social media. When you search for the soundtrack. When you check out the actors. It lasts for hours, sometimes few days.
  2. The Heart – this is the dominant in a perfume. The nature. It lasts for 1-4 hours. That is the moment a few days or weeks after seeing the movie. When the emotions are gone. After discussing it with your friends. When you already forgot about it, but for some reason you’re thinking about it again. How do you feel about it now? Are they the same, but quiter? Or maybe now you think, you overreacted before? Or maybe now you can really appreciate it and say “that was a really good movie”. I usually think something like “I rated it to high, it was just another adventure movie…”. But this is why I like adventure movies! I follow the adventure, and emotions, and I don’t analise it. I’m in it.
  3. The Base – the background of the perfume. It lasts hours-days after application. A few weeks or months after watching the movie. You forgot, you’ve ever watched that movie. And maybe you wouldn’t be able to say exactly, what wa sit about. This phase decides, if you’re going to ever see that movie again. If you’re thinking now “that was a really good movie”, if you watch tv in the future, one night, and bump on this movie, you will watch it even at 1 a.m. That’s how I watched recently “Taxi Driver” and “Drive”. Sometimes in this phase I change the rating for higher – it happened for example with “Springbreakers”. In cinema I was quite bored, and after months I got back to it, appreciating the kind of music-clip form, and James Franco.

This is it. Now I look at movies from so many angles, that it’s almost impossible to rate them with stars, it’s just better to talk about it. Those are open questions, not the ABCD tests.

Oh, but I still rate movies on Polish version of IMDB. And I put stars only right after watching. Very rarely I change it after year, when I’m very disturbed.

And how do you watch movies?


photo: Anna Gnadczyńska