This needed to change. No longer shall I be artistically bankrupt. Thus, the game was born. The rules are simple and rigid. A structure of such arbitrary stiffness that it essentially transforms the pleasure of watching films into homework. And, honestly, some of these films should be homework. They’re important, if sometimes painful. They’re difficult. They’re dense. And that’s the point. This blog is my exploration of this process, a collection of thoughts on each work. Let me be clear, these are not movie reviews. I might tell you to see something or not to…but what the hell do I know? I was essentially raised on Indiana Jones and Star Wars, I don’t know my asshole from a Corellian Frigate.
Enough foreplay. Here’s how to do it:
1. Make a list of every film you have ever meant to watch on Netflix Instant watch. Those movies that every time you see, you think, “My mom loved that. It won an oscar. It’s supposed to be amazing…but I’m more in the mood for G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra.”
2. Write every title on a notecard and put it in a bowl. Make it a big bowl. Let them move around. It can be a hat. A big hat. Or any other container. This rule has some area for artistic exploration. Have fun with it!
3. Pick any card at random. No cheating. Seriously. You’re ruining it for everyone.
4. You HAVE to watch the movie picked. The ONLY exception is if the selected movie is too long. Unacceptable excuses include: “But…it’s in French. And I hate the French,” or “I’m not really in a ‘German child-raping murder mystery mood” or “I wanted one with boobs.” You picked the card, you have to pay the consequences. Also, if it’s foreign, it probably has boobs.
5. No distractions. No laptops. No cell phones. No other activities. You watch the movie. Beginning to end. Discussion is allowed among party members.
6. You have to watch the movie in either one or two sittings. No more. If two sittings they have to be either on the same day or two consecutive days. This ain’t Lord of the Rings (unless you put Lord of the Rings on your list, then this absolutely is Lord of the Rings…also, what the hell is wrong with you? You should be watching Lord of the Mutherfucking Rings RIGHT NOW)
7. You have to be sober. A classy glass of wine is allowed. Maximum: one. You want to be conscious and aware of the images flying in front of you. Obviously that’s more difficult when lost in a haze of alcoholic glee.
If you’re playing the game by yourself, obviously the discussion aspect is difficult. Let me remind you, this isn’t necessarily about enjoying the movies that you select. This is about learning and enrichment. It’s pointless if you just let the movie roll by and you don’t pay it another thought. It might as well be Fast and the Furious 9: Asian Invasion. Find friends to play. But make sure they understand the rules. There’s nothing more frustrating than discussing the finer points of German cinema with someone in the process of scouring ‘Failbook’.
Well. Those are the ground rules. Let the games begin.