I’ve tried for years (and years) to share movies with Agent Bun, only to have her demur and refuse.
I tried once, long ago, to get her to watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. She took a phone call during it because she just didn’t care. She didn’t understand why I got upset. She still doesn’t.
(To be fair about this, or more fair than I should be: When she showed me A Room with a View I fell asleep so hard I snored. The difference is, of course, the movie I was sharing was awesome and meaningful. Hers just sucked. A Room with a View is as boring as having your taxes filed.)
To quote Captain Kirk from Star Trek III: The Search to Undo Star Trek II: C’est la vie.
But as I try to share movies with our kids, I’m frustrated by their own lack of interest. Movies were an important bonding experience with my dad, and my kids couldn’t care less. It’s disorienting!
Raised in the wasteland of YouTube and Netflix, the virtues of careful attention and longer-form storytelling aren’t as valued as they were when I was younger. There’s something less special about movies in the era of binge-watching.
I’ve tried everything short of outright bribery to get them to care about movies. They can sit down and watch Stranger Things several episodes at a time, but they don’t want to commit to 2 hours for a cinematic journey.
The great Quentin Tarantino saw this issue forming years ago. I guess we all did. People will watch 4 hours’ worth of episodes in a row, but if you ask them for a 2-3 hour movie they disconnect.
Mind you, these kids are whip smart. So it’s not that they “can’t understand” movies. They’ve seen some classics here and there.
I’ve just observed that online culture has bent tastes toward short form, ironically in binge blocks. The emphasis is on consuming as much content as possible, without consideration of the art or the craft. That’s the business model.
Maybe it’s always been that way. But I’m trying to unlock the secret to get them to that place where my dad got me. I tried with Agent Bun, but failed. I don’t want to fail again.
Maybe it’s that we don’t have as many people in the mold of George Lucas as we should. Lucas was a pioneer storyteller in film, but he also came up in the era with Murch, and Coppola, and Scorsese, and DePalma, and so on. He’s as much a symbol of an era as an example of his own.
Maybe it’s just that the world belongs more to the Agent Buns than the kesseljunkies.
If so, maybe it’s time for a revolution.