The First Time: Introduction

by Alex Jones

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We all remember our first time. You may have been excited or scared. There might have been many people in the room or just that special someone. The shades may have been drawn or wide open. Regardless, your first time cannot be re-done and will always be the baseline from which you will you base all repeat performances. Clearly, I am talking about the first time you watch a truly great or terrible movie. You know what’s more interesting than your first time? Someone else’s.

We all have our movies that not only do we love, but we LOVE to show other people. Maybe it’s when you were in elementary school and it was showing a sticky VHS copy of Porky’s to your fellow friends just so you could be the one who showed them their first boob. Or maybe it’s showing your friends the movie Saw so that you could watch their reaction to a man cutting through his own leg. Movie nerds like myself thrive for these moments. So the question is why?

Simply put, I want others to go through the same memorable reaction that I did. Whether it was insane dialogue in Pulp Fiction, torture scenes that make you squirm in Hostel, or the internal battle of inspiration and anger I experienced watching United 93. These emotions are validation that what you just watched was gripping on some level. I’ve had many first times with others who experience the same reaction. This only makes the movie that much better. But what happens when the person you’re putting through your little experiment doesn’t react how you expect? 

Assholes. Sorry, slip of tongue. I meant to say you feel like you’ve just been dumped or told that someone close to you has died. You go through shock, denial, sadness, and anger. Why could the movie not elicit the type of emotions you had felt your first time? There must be something wrong with that person or maybe they weren’t in the right mood. Contrary to George Costanza, it’s not you – it’s them.

The focus of this blog series will be to sit you next to me at people’s most vulnerable moments. The time they first get to experience a movie that I have found to be moving on some level.  They won’t know what’s coming, but you are on the edge of your seat hoping they feel how you did. I’ll cover times in the past and present. These will include times with close friends and family, as well some of my own first times. In the end, you can never change someone’s first time. That’s why it’s important to manipulate and argue why their emotions were incorrect or high five the shit out of them when they have an equal reaction.