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"Remembering" vs. "Rewatching"

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  • "Remembering" vs. "Rewatching"

    I recently got into a conversation and mentioned that a movie they mentioned remembered better than it rewatched. The person I was speaking with had no idea what I was talking about, but I'd assumed everyone thought about movies in that way. Some movies simply seem better in the memory, even very recent memory, than they actually are when you sit down to watch them again. And conversely, some movies that I don't recall as being all that good are much better when watched again.

    Am I unique in this point of view? Or does this happen to everyone?
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  • #2
    I agree Doug. I have felt this way about several movies. I agree too that it can happen with recent or old movies - but I know too that I am a bit different than most folks, so maybe we are both weird - lol.

    One movie that I thought was GREAT when I first saw it was the original The Haunting. I saw it as an older teenager on late night tv, with commercials and everythign - it scared the mess out of me. But when I rewatched it a few years later it was not as great.

    I can watch a movie tonight and not be able to tell you barely half of what happened in the movie - I have a bad movie memory. lol But some movies that I can remember word for word I could still sit and watch over and over again and it still be as good as the first time.

    Anyways - no, you are not alone.



    • #3
      In this particular example, I mentioned Kubrick films as remembering better than they rewatch. Granted this is a very subjective thing, but I can fondly recall The Shining or Full Metal Jacket, but when actually rewatching them they're cold and uninvolving. But sure enough a few months later I'll remember them as excellent.

      The opposite example was Good Morning Vietnam. I remember it as a typical Robin Williams vehicle, with him prancing about and gibbering on like he's so famous for. But I recently rewatched it and it was touching and very involving, even though I've seen it a half dozen times. But now that I'm typing this, even as I acknowledge how good it was, all I can remember clearly was his mugging.
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      • #4

        nope, you're not alone. we got television in the 50's, when i was about 4 or 5. i was totally fascinated with the thing and watched a lot of that early tv stuff. as an example, i was a religious fan when it came to 'The Lone Ranger'. great stuff, totally black and white. and i was really hooked when they did the two hour special about the origin of the long ranger and tonto. absolutely loved it.

        years and years later, i saw that same, original show, the two hour special one and i was appalled at how cheesy it seemed now. i couldnt even stand to watch it all the way through; it was killing my fond memories.

        you can also relate this to books versus movies, somewhat as well. if you read the book first, the movie will never quite be right, at least in a lot of cases. but if you never read the book and see the movie, no problem.



        • #5
          Memory is a remarkably fluid phenomenom, and is influenced highly by the mood we were in at the time, as such is a poor guide to recalling things as they actually were.

          The term viewing things through rose coloured glasses could just as well apply to memories, we remember things the way we'd like to remember them, not the way they were.

          And yes, I suffer from it as badly as anyone. Know what you mean about the Lone Ranger Craig, saw one the other day on Satellite and it was awful (not how I remember it at all).


          • #6
            Mmmm... Kubrick. You have to admit he does good work and he intended his films not to be remembered fondly *shivers*. His films are extremely well done to the point where I consider many of them art. I think that is one aspect that keeps a film up there as a 'rewatcher'. But I have noticed that 'fad' films that relied on, for example, the novelty factor of new technologies in vogue at the time to the exclusion of an engrossing plot and clever screenplay tend to date. I see this with many new films... they may employ the most awesome cgi and effects achieveble today but the storyline is ordinary to non existent, in a few years time where will such a film be?


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