How 900 Films In 10 Months Rewires Your Brain

An intense journey into the heart of cinema, I think.

Ezra James

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Photo by: Oleksandr Shcherban | Getty Images

Call it impulsive, call it silly, call it whatever name you want, but there is nothing else I rather do for the rest of my life other than watch as many movies as it’s conceivably possible. Every single aspect about the medium, from the editing to the lighting, framing, acting, writing, planning, and producing, intrigues me to a point of complete surrender. There’s something truly magical about a group of arts and aesthetics banding together to form a vivid image of inherent fantasy, something pure and chimeral that speaks to the indomitable essence of the human spirit. It is with this mindset that I decided to embark on a year-long quest of movie binging, hoping to reach either 1,000 or 1,200 movies watched by the end of the year.

As I previously wrote when the list was just 200, I wanted to put my money where my mouth was when it came to my supposed film knowledge. It didn’t sit well with me that I touted myself as a film buff without really having watched that many films. It got to the point where I decided to embark on this compulsive journey into the heart of cinema, one that has taken me many places, changed the way I see movies, and taught me one or two lessons in the art of patience and observation.

I’m sure there are many who have not only tried to watch this many movies in a year but also far exceed the amount I’ve watched in my lifetime (I know a reviewer who has seen 1,180 films this year, and counting). Despite the number there is still so much left to go through in the pile. Plenty of avant-garde and obscure cinema left, like the works of Cocteau and pretty much everything from New German Cinema. I’ve taken a few breaks in between some binges, but the consumption has been relentless and in bunches, with days featuring 5–7 full-length films. Even now I’m intrigued to note how I never really get tired, mostly because I find its possibilities endless. You can find any detail on any film you watch and you can write an entire dissertation for its significance if you tackle the topic with the right enthusiasm.

There is perhaps no more interesting topic for me to discuss than the time capsule-like quality every film has from the very moment it was released to the public…

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Ezra James

Absurd journalist and essayist from the outskirts of Shambhala.