Monday, August 24, 2009

Questions



I'm a curious person, always wondering, wondering. Sometimes I ask "why?" Other times, "Why not?"

Lately, watching so many movies since Jake died (that's how I've wasted a lot of time this summer) I've been wondering why we love watching things explode. It seems we especially like big fiery explosions, in slow motion, that are also extremely loud. Do you know? Is it an American thing or univerally human?

Why do we love car chases? Or for that matter, boat chases, airplane chases, people on motorcycles chasing and racing? Any thoughts on why that is allegedly entertaining?

In fact, why am I saying "we" - because I personally find nothing interesting about big, loud fiery destructive explosions, in slow motion or otherwise. I don't even like fireworks. I don't like racing around in cars, or being chased in a car, squealing around corners, driving the wrong way down a one way street. I don't enjoy the spectacle of a car sailing off a cliff and crashing at the bottom.

Maybe the problem is me. Am I a freak?

38 comments:

glnroz said...

I you are a freak, you have my company in that "Freakdom". I guess i must be boring because a movie or book that makes me think is much more interesting. The better if there can be more than one interpretation. Didnt mean to write a book here. Hope you dont mind me sitting on your front porch and while drinking coffee every morning.. lol

Reya Mellicker said...

Love having you on the porch drinking coffee, Glenn. You know that!

Lynne said...

You are not alone! I hate those shoot-em-up blow-em-up chase around movies. They make me frantic. Usually those kinds of movies have no real plot and have to make up for it somehow.

ellen abbott said...

I've wondered about that myself on occasion. I do love fireworks though and fire does fascinate me. I love to watch a house burn. I don't love that someone's house burned, but the spectacle of it is mesmerizing. It has to be the real thing though. Watching films of big explosions, car chases, etc. gets a bit boring.

Brenda said...

I don't think I enjoy it, but we get a little caught up with it all when we are watching it. I think because we can't help but be curious. What is going to happen next and will it turn out okay...all that. Love your photo.

Steve said...

First of all, I would argue that you're not "wasting time" by watching movies. Every movie provides a cultural education, even the bad ones! And as you pointed out, they lead to interesting questions about humanity.

I'm not a big action-movie fan, but I always liked disaster movies as a kid, where things blow up or collapse or people die. ("Earthquake" was a favorite.) Even now, a well-executed special effect can be pretty awesome. If we saw these things in real life we'd be horrified, but the fact that they're just pretend makes them safe enough to appreciate for their power.

As for chases, well, it's the same instinct that makes us appreciate olympic relay swimming or the 500-yard dash. Something about racing is exciting to us!

Dan Gurney said...

You're describing "guy" movies. I personally, despite being a guy, do not like them. They seem, to me, to appeal to men whose development was arrested sometime in boyhood when, admittedly, I found such movies and behaviors fascinating.

But at some point it seems, to me at least sadly juvenile.

When I watch those movies, I think about what's seldom shown in movies: the effort to clean up and heal from events like explosions.

Elizabeth said...

For a strange movie experience try
"A Night to Remember" the original Titanic movie with a wonderfully stiff-upper-lipped Kenneth Moore being noble as the captain.....
it is awfully good.
No explosions........but an iceberg

Peaches said...

I'm with you, I don't like it. My son, however, does. I was thinking it may be a male thing, but Glenn busted that. Maybe it is a hormonal teen thing…except I didn’t like it then either.

willow said...

I hate explosions and car chases. If that makes me a freak, then I am one big freaky freak! :^)

Love the dusty miller in your second pic.

NanU said...

Not a freak at all. You're one of many who refuses to suspend disbelief to get 'into' such movies. The explosion-lovers are in it for the adrenalin rush their mirror neurons give them in the theater. When you and everybody else responding reject the movie because it really is too stupidly, annoyingly, empty, then your neurons too will stand back with their dendrites crossed and refuse to play.
And I'm all for that! Mindless movies are junk food for the brain. Be fit!

Meri said...

I suspect that it's connected with upsurges in testosterone and that the majority of women who watch these things do it to keep someone company.

karen said...

I don't enjoy that sort of thing,by choice, either! I usually can't wait for car chase/inevitable explosion to be over and done with, if watching that type of movie!

You must be so looking forward to your holiday, and thanks for all the beautiful photos to enjoy every day - sorry I don't get around to commenting on every post these days, but I do read them all!

The Bug said...

I love action movies & disaster movies - but I don't love fights/car chases/explosions. Actually, that's more freaky than just not enjoying the genre at all LOL.

tut-tut said...

I'm giving you a movie suggestion, Reya. The Love Letter with Kate Capshaw, based on the book. I loved the book, but the movie got bad reviews. It happened to be on yesterday afternoon, and I really liked it. No explosions, or car chases. A sparkler features briefly, though. there might be fireworks . . .

Rain said...

I love your photography! And your freakiness, if that's what it is, lol! Oh I admit, I love big Die Hard type of action and explosions! Only on the big screen though.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

If that makes you a freak, then I'm right there with you! I find it far more entertaining to watch a movie that is thought provoking without explosions or chases.

Ambiance in the Attic said...

You are not a freak! You are full of compassion so the explosions and chasing are just not your thing. Movies are a great way to escape temporarily...so enjoy.

janis said...

This is random and off subject, but, the second picture, close up of the plants, reminds me of a beautiful underwater shot of corals with a little sea creature or fish hiding in the dark. See him? He has a redish spot on him. ha-ha sorry I got off the subject, but I thought you'd like that.

Val said...

oh I am so with you on this. I am constantly commenting on how mainstream movies preach destruction. And not only movies - the news is all about chaos, pain, anger and disaster. The whole spectrum exists in life, but TV is an all powerful medium and it shows was the viewer watches guided by ratings. What is this about?

Cyndy said...

I think it's weird that some people enjoy watching other people get beaten up,blown up, killed, having their cars destroyed, etc. So anyone who doesn't enjoy that is not a freak at all, in my opinion.

Kerry said...

Pretty dusty miller. I like movies to be kind of slow, with a story in there somewhere. Like "Vitus" or "The Fall" Leave the car chases to somebody else.

Hammer said...

You're not a freak, you're just not the target market.

Traditional chases are played out. I think we need more chases along the lines of this timeless classic from "Raising Arizona."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JoaO9TlyoY

"Son, you got a panty on your head."

Jeninacide said...

I DO NOT like movies that portray any of those things either! I totally don't get why people like watching them. It at once bores me and irritates me. Maybe I am a freak!

John Hayes said...

Don't like those things either. We kind of don't watch anything too recent (easy to do when the nearest movie theater is 70 miles away!) Eberle's cut-off date is mostly (with a few exceptions) about 1965; mine goes into the 80s.

Tom said...

Maybe 'we' find it entertaining for the very reason we are appalled by it...we love to watch the bad guy misbehaving, or Bruce Willis putting a bullet in an ******* because we would like to, but are too mundane! For sure I like some shoot 'em up and explosions, but those 10 minute long John Wu-ish sequences are terminally boring. Someone tell these big-budget directors "More substance please!" See ya!

Bee said...

I've wondered about this one, too.
Put me in the (maybe not so sparsely populated?) corner of people who don't like explosions/destruction of any kind.

I don't like being scared, either.

steven said...

hi reya, i love films with colour, depth, richness, and that somehow unpack the human condition without being gratuitous. without appealing to the (as dan puts it so well) juvenile. i love to watch a film and feel the feeling of it for a long time afterward . . . and like that feeling. sad, happy, ancient, modern - it doesn't matter what the film's about as long as it lingers for all the right reasons. see you, steven

Mrsupole said...

I think some movies with car chases and explosions are okay if it is necessary to the storyline and does not overwhelm or go on and on and on....

I think comedies and romance movies are my favorites. Oh and westerns are great too, along with science fiction.

I do hate the horror movies that show everything and the TV shows that show all the blood, guts and gore and dead bodies everywhere too. I close my eyes or cover them and have even walked out of the room. Those are just things I do not need to see.

But on the other hand, when I went to see my Doc on my last appointment to see how my shoulder was doing, the nurse handed him the sets of pictures that were taken of 'inside' of my shoulder with the camera they used during the surgery.

Now I am not sure if this makes me weird or not, but I was fascinated with seeing the insides of my body. Doc had to explain what was what on almost all of the pictures. I saw the tear in my rotator cup, I saw the torn tendon, and the bone spurs on my clavical bone. Then I saw where part of my clavical bone was gone and the repairs Doc had done. I thought it was nice that Doc explained the pictures to me. But at the same time I was kinda freaked out. It was like watching one of those surgery shows that they have on TV, which I cannot stand to watch, so I am not sure why I was able to look at the insides of my body and not vomit.

Does that make me some kind of a freak too?

Freaks rock!!!

God bless.

Barry said...

Timidly raising his hand.

Here I am over here. Me. I sometimes like a big explosion and/or car chase in my movies.

I'm guy enough and immature enough to get caught up in the OMG amazement of "How did they do that??"

But, before your readers riot and burn down the windmill where I've taken refuge, I also have a mature side that enjoys more intelligent fare!

Just give me a couple of really clever explosions and some seat of your pants car chases once or twice a year.

Ronda Laveen said...

I don't think you wasted your summer watching movies. Movies are meditative. A few years ago, I saw a monk explaining that it has to do with space between the images on film that creates the altered state.

I love driving a fine car very fast. Something about the eye-hand coordination and being able to see the best invisible line to take while cornering.

Margaret Gosden said...

Went to see Julia and Julie yesterday, but first we had to sit through half a dozen trailers of upcoming movies that were trite, full of cliche sound bites and
boring chases. All very loud. When, finally, we got to the movie, the sound was soft, too soft at times to catch some wonderful dialogue. That is why, on the whole, I avoid going to the movies. There seems to be no sense and sensibility going on the in the projection room to make movie going a pleasant experience any more.

lakeviewer said...

We live a vicarious life through movies and books. Safe and protected, we can experience a bit of the extraordinary through others' adventures.

Escape and fantasy feed all of us.

Reya Mellicker said...

Dusty miller is it? I thought it was artemesia. But I'm no expert on the plant world.

Barry, I love your timidly raised hand. You're the best!

And yes, Hammer, I am not the target audience. I am never the target audience.

Ronda I love thinking about your adrenalin flowing as you race along the highways of northern CA. Very cool.

Elizabeth I've seen "A Night to Remember" many times. In fact, Cameron ripped off many scenes in exact detail for his big film, "Titanic" which I also love - for different reasons. And yes, I do love watching the ship sink, so maybe yes ... maybe like Steve says, it's the same thing as watching a swim competition.

Except ... I'm not sure it's the same. But I'll think about it Steve.

Tom: entertained and appalled. Yes, I get it.

But I'm more aligned with Rain and Lynne and Dan and Willow and Peaches. And Alica, Ambiance, Val and Bee.

NanU I LOVE the idea of my dendrites with crossed arms. Actually I can even picture it. I love science.

As always, Rosaria is the voice of reason.

What fun comments. Thanks, y'all!!

Delwyn said...

Hi Reya

action movies seem to me like 'Boys Own Books'... bigger and better because you can't repeat the last one...perhaps they play into man's search to feel a superman - to survive disaster and nature's wrath...

perhaps it's a survival mechanism...

Happy days

Amd said...

thokoza (i respectfully greet the spirit in you) gogo (respected female elder). i think the explosions and car crashes is a reminder that we are on a hair rising journey of spirit. if you know this already then the fake explosions seem a bit tame :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks for the blessing, Amd.

After reading all the great comments and thinking about it, I realized that because I am chronically anxious, I don't need explosions or car chases to get my adrenalin flowing. That's why they do nothing for me.

Thanks!!

Sheena said...

I really don't know how to explain why I like boom, bang, crash, clunk, bang, boom movies. As a kid a watched and still love them. The Bronson version of Assault on Precint 13 was one of my favs and my all time fav is Apocalypse now.