Wednesday, December 5, 2012

More is not better; neither is less

The 4Q Glut in Books & Movies

Continuing yesterday’s rant about Black Friday, the 4th Quarter itself gets my juices flowing—and not in a good way.  Today I’m speaking about the 4Q Glut of movies and books.  Both publishers and the motion picture industry have thoroughly embraced the retailers’ end-of-the year mentality.

After the Oscars, there is nothing on view at Cinema,X  except the movies that won awards (which you’ve already seen) or the latest teenage blood drool, car crash, futuristic dystopia or violent cartoon offer.  Maybe if you’re really lucky, you can watch a mash-up of them all.

The rest of us search in earnest for something, anything.  Even “On Demand” has nothing much to offer because it is also showing what you’ve already seen or would never be caught dead watching.  And the TV channels showing movies just show the same movies over and over again, with one major exception—TCM—which carries the few movies I haven’t already seen.  And now, it’s beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
Then comes the 4th Quarter—particularly Thanksgiving through Christmas—and all the good movies hit the theater in time to qualify for the Oscars.  I’ve had it.  I don’t want to watch ten movies in 1-2 months.  I want them spread out over the year.  The result is:  I have to make a choice, and, if I don’t make it quick enough, the movie is already gone.  Take last year. “The Artist” hit Plymouth for one week and, then, vanished, only to turn up again after it had already won the best picture Oscar.  I had to view the movie in NYC so that I could see it before the Academy Awards.

This year, all the good movies are again showing up at once.  And I’ve had it.  I have neither the time nor the money nor the inclination to go to all of them.  I will choose the ones I absolutely, positively must see in a movie theater because it is beautifully shot or is in 3-D.  And I love going to the movies.  I love the experience of being in a theater sharing a common experience with everyone else, hearing the groans and the gasps and the awws.
The same is now true for books.  Nothing for months.  Then, it pours.  Now there are at least 15 books I’m interested in reading, both fiction and non-fiction.  And, guess what.  I’ll have to make a choice that is not based necessarily on what I want to read, but what seems the easiest (how the easiest is determined is an article in itself), or what I have time for, or whatever.  So, next April, when I’m looking for something to dive into when it’s still snowing, I’ll probably have forgotten the title of that book I wanted to read last November and will sit there with my remote desperately looking for something to watch that I haven’t already seen.

Enough already.

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