So why exactly do I put myself through it, then? Can I not just choose to look away? Do I have some kind of sick addiction? Is it time for a good ole' fashioned 'social media intervention'? Maybe. But I also think there is something far more important going on here.
Now, if you were to ask me the same question relating to any recent year, I would honestly struggle to conjure up any kind answer. But why? Do I think the quality of cinematic fare has dipped of late? No, not really. It's just that twenty, hell, even ten years ago, there was a build-up and anticipation that would keep a film somewhere in the front of one’s mind, not only leading up to its initial release, but also long after viewing the finished product. Simply put, there wasn't an avalanche of content diluting the experience - or helping to erase the films from the mind completely.
Honestly, who the fuck knows… The only thing I am really sure of any more is that films are now but a small component of an overcrowded wave of information and entertainment that's damn near impossible to keep up. For a borderline-crazy cinefile like myself, this is proving to be increasingly problematic.
I am not alone when it comes to (over)thinking about all this, either. On a recent episode of his podcast, author Bret Easton Ellis broached the subject, making mention of a recent article by New York Times film critic A.O. Scott. In the article, Scott posed the question "What does it even mean to be a cinefile anymore in such a disposable culture?" Ellis, quite the film buff himself, admitted to initially felling "kind of shitty" upon reading the article, actually going as far as giving serious consideration to the idea that perhaps A.O. may just have a point. Thankfully, he just as quickly snapped out of this negative mind-frame, realising that it is now more important than ever to be a supporter of film, given the present state of things.
I couldn't agree more.
Look, I will always hate the idea that great films - along with great music and literature, for that matter - could ever possibly be considered only short term distractions. I don't want any form of worthy art to be diluted, or worse, forgotten. I want fans to remain passionate. I want interest to be sustained. I am not ready to surrender to the idea that cinema is dying, that new bands are doomed, that novels no longer have a place. And it is because of this that I will continue watching, reading and hearing all that I possibly can, no matter how colossal the wave of content ultimately becomes.
Either that, or I'll drown in the process.