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Joker94's avatar

How many times to does it take for you to really "get" a movie?

Asked by Joker94 (8180points) March 27th, 2011

Sorry if the question itself is a little vague. You know, how many times does it take for you to watch a movie before you understand the message or themes that a movie is portraying? I mean, some movies out there have serious smack-you-in-the-face-see-what-we-did-there ideas presented, and I can usually pick up on the themes after one viewing. But others, like Inglourious Basterds, I had to watch about 50 times to really understand what, if any, themes were present in the movie. And I could be totally wrong, to boot.

But enough about me…

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22 Answers

yankeetooter's avatar

I’m not sure if I’d be willing to watch a movie 50 times to ascertain it’s meaning, so I compliment your tenacity…

For most movies, I get the message the first time around, but usually one does notice more details the more one watched a movie.

marinelife's avatar

Usually only one viewing. There are very few movies that I even want to see more than once.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

After the second time, I usually understand things completely. Sometimes, if I love a movie, I’ll watch it over and over again. Some movies I get right away, but others, like Inception, I had to watch a second time to completely get it, and clarify parts I didn’t understand.

flutherother's avatar

It depends on the movie. If I really like a film I will go back to it several times and find something different every time.

Joker94's avatar

@yankeetooter Oh, I didn’t watch it all those times just for the sake of analyzing it, I just watched it for kicks and giggles. Then it just clicked. Wait, this doesn’t help my case at all..

ratboy's avatar

I’ve watched Mulholland Drive 13,851 times, and I still can’t find my way home from the liquor store.

josie's avatar

This is a good question.
I watched Syriana a few times until I got into it.
Same with Munich
I watch The Outlaw Josey Wales a couple of times a year and still find something I missed the last time
Since movies got transferred to tape and disc, there is an opportunity to discover subtleties in the final product that nobody could have appreciated before.
Thus, knowing this, movie makers make the message more suble.
Kind of fun.

dxs's avatar

Only about once, but when watching it again, there are sooooo many new foreshadows/clicks that I woud not have made before. It’s really very entertaining to watch a movie for the second time.

zenvelo's avatar

I took me three times to get Chinatown. I was a bit high the second time, and got more confused.The third time I realized the connections.

mazzkat's avatar

Depends on the film itself. You can get so many things from one scene, see the film so many times and still not understand what it was trying to do. Personally, it takes me a lengthy discussion after the film with someone t grasp the concept sometimes. But most of the time, on 2nd or 3rd viewing a lot more things become clearer.

@yankeetooter I think it’s impossible to expect to see everything a film is saying on just one watch. Either you’re incredibly hawk-eyed or just don’t care enough to search for more?

Written's avatar

I get it on the first viewing. When watching Inception last year, I was the only one who exited the cinema and understood the ending. People clean their minds when they watch movies, so they don’t get things. I don’t. It’s just the way I am. However, some movies have, ’‘hidden’’ messages that you can only see after a few viewings.

As for Quentin Tarantino. Hah. That nutjob. Love his filmography. You can’t understand his movies, because he changes the order of scenes. Like if you’re watching a normal movie, the scenes go 1; 2; 3; 4; 5.

In, say, Pulp Fiction, one of my favorite movies, the scene lineup goes like 4; 2; 5; 1; 3.

Go figure.

mazzkat's avatar

@Written Seriously must have been one deserted theatre :P

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If the movie is riveting enough, some of us get caught up in the details and zoom out to assess the purpose of the plot.

There are others, like Primer and Donnie Darko, that are designed to confuse the viewer. (List of Top 10 Most Confusing Movies.) Even most of the Primer cast members confessed that they couldn’t follow the plot. I wonder if it is intentionally done to increase PR as well as sales. Primer cost $7K to make and grossed over $424K at the box office.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Depends on the movie. Something like The Matrix, it’ll be several. But the rest, after the first or second viewing, I stop looking – I’m not a big fan of symbolism, and I’m not really interested in watching it just to see if maybe the writer or director put some in there, even though I have no reason to believe they did.

filmfann's avatar

I am known by my friends as someone who insists on watching movies I don’t like several times. Sometimes I change my opinion of them. On the other hand, I have watched The Deer Hunter about 8 times, and I can say for sure that movie sucks.
Some movies, like Apocalypse Now, I immediately loved, but required repeated viewing to fully grasp.

Berserker's avatar

Depends on the movie…stuff like Jacob’s Ladder I had to watch quite a few times, and I’m pretty sure I still don’t get Eraserhead. Usually though, most more traditional movies I can get on the first viewing.

DominicX's avatar

Usually just one (I didn’t feel I needed to see Inception again, for example, though I would love to). However, I’ve seen Mulholland Drive three times and I feel there will still be something new I get out of it the next time I see it… :)

Joker94's avatar

I agree that it depends on the movie. I first watched The Matrix when I was about eight and understood nothing about it. I watched it several times as I got older, and more and more things started to click. Though, I must say, I feel like I’ll have to give that flick another go or two to really get it.

augustlan's avatar

It depends on the movie for me, as well. Most are easily grasped in one shot. Memento, on the other hand… I’ve seen it at least three times and probably still haven’t figured out every detail. I can’t wait to see Inception again!

ratboy's avatar

Some films may be less transparent than they seem.

“Economist claimed that Welles, when preparing his fictional account of the life of William Randolph Hearst, had learned from Hollywood gossip that “Rosebud” was Hearst’s affectionate name for his favorite part of Marion Davies’ anatomy.”

Joker94's avatar

@augustlan I loved Memento!

Written's avatar

Christopher Nolan, is the man.

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