Behind the Times

Yesterday, one of my non-geek colleagues turned to me and asked, “so, when are you going to see the new Star Wars?”

I didn’t know.

I still don’t know.

I know that I’m excited to see the film and that I’ll definitely see it at some point. I’ll probably even slouch my way into a cinema to experience it on the big screen, but that’s really as far as my plans have gone.

And yet, it’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask – I present as one of the crowd who should be there, lining up on the very first night. I have been that guy, in the past. When they re-released the original trilogy into cinemas, way back in the nineties, it’s possible that I watched the movie once and went straight out to buy another ticket.

And, lest we write that off as the folly of youth, I’m the guy who mainlined thirteen episodes of Jessica Jones in one night when it was first released.

I still get my geek on, from time to time, but I have to admit that my interest in seeing the new Star Wars film early is low. Not because I expect it to be bad, but because I have no interest in being in a crowded cinema with people who are very, very excited about seeing the film. Because I sure as hell have no interest in sitting through the advertising that precedes new films these days – the twenty minutes of ads before Ant Man just about killed me – and because…

Well, because I really, really have no interest in engaging with the Zeitgeist – good or bad – that will inevitably develop around the film as people start talking.

These days it’s hard to figure out what you actually think of a film, with the internet blaring its opinion at you before you sit down in the cinema. The usual response to this is getting in early, or to spend the week before a major film drops threatening every mother-fucker on your Facebook feed with death if they let out a spoiler. I can respect that, to a certain extent, but these days I prefer to wait until the furore has died down and the conversation has moved on.

It lets me figure out what I think, without getting caught in the echo chamber of the internet.

For instance, I heard all sorts of rhetoric about whether a particular season of Doctor Who sucked, or read any number of arguments about the quality of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and both were ultimately pleasant experiences when I finally got around to seeing them. Not the kind of stuff that would go on my must-see list, but not the dire betrayal that seemed to dominate the bulk of the criticism I heard.

I have come to enjoy being behind the times.

While the bulk of the people I know are out seeing Star Wars, I may finally get around to seeing Mad Max: Fury Road.

Or, shit, I’ll sit down and watch The Third Man again, now that I’ve discovered that the film is streaming on Stan. It’s been a while since I had the zither score stuck in my head…


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