How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Found Time for Film

  Couldn't help myself.

Couldn't help myself.

Time. It's a motherfucker. Just ask JT.

Between work, school, family, pets (see last weeks post) or other responsibilities, finding time to watch movies can be tough. Although it seems like you'll only be able to watch 1 full feature film a month, there's hope. I found 3 ways that help me continue my passion for film that I wanted to share with you.

1. Watch Short Films (for free)

Strapped for time? This might just be the time to indulge in the film category of "shorts". The Academy of Motion Picture (F)Arts and Sciences defines a short film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits." With attention spans getting shorter and shorter this type of film making can only get more popular. Two sites that offer a ton of free films to watch are www.shortoftheweek.com/ and www.filmsshort.com/. They both include award winning films, films by famous directors and films by the average joe. 

Recommendations: 
Doodlebug (1997), Directed by Christopher Nolan, Runtime 3min
How They Get There (1997), Directed by Spike Jonze, Runtime 3min

2. Bonus Features

Now's the time to actually watch those bonus features on any DVD or Blu Ray you own. Obviously, this isn't movie watching, but education. Find your favorite movie and get to know the film even more. It'll make future viewings and random discussions even more interesting simply because you'll know more than most (as most don't watch these).

Recommendations:
The Witch (2015) - Two features on the Blu Ray copy include background on witch folklore that inspired the movie (The Witch: Primal Folklore) and a panel discussion with some of cast, director and local Salem, MA historians (Salem Panel Q&A). A deeper dive into the inspiration and the historians perspectives show how truly authentic The Witch really is.

There Will Be Blood (2007) - Several features are offered on the Blu Ray copy, but one personal favorite is a 1923 black and white silent film that chronicles the oil business in the 1920's (The Story of Petroleum). The historical context this provides makes this already great film even better.

3. Turn Movies into Mini Series

Break a film up over a period of a few days (e.g. film = mini-series). Ideally, this is best suited for movies you've already seen and know great stopping points. This allows you to pay closer attention to specific points in the movie, leave thinking about them and getting more out of it. Grab a VHS, DVD, Blu Ray, Streaming or pirated copy off your iPhone and chunk that bad boy up.

Recommendations:
Pulp Fiction (1994) - This film has the perfect combination of hidden details and perfect stopping points. These both allow for multiple viewings both in one-sitting or broken up. Here's the structure of the film (without credits), including approximate run times to highlight appropriate stopping points:

  1. Prologue - The Diner/Title Sequence: 7:06min
  2. Prelude to "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife": 14:02min
  3. Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife: 42:23min
  4. Prelude to "The Gold Watch": 5:15min
  5. The Gold Watch: 42:48min
  6. The Bonnie Situation: 22:43min
  7. Epilogue - The Diner: 16:26min

At the end of the day, watching a movie in one sitting is always the #1 option. Hopefully these help in times when that can't be done. Do you have other ways you continue your film watching whens time is tight? Join the discussion below.

  Sorry, I had to do it.

Sorry, I had to do it.

- AJ