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21 Useful Tips For Being A Better Movie Buff

04 September 2012 | Other Lists | by David Zou

I treat cinema as serious art,that’s why I watch movies like I’m learning it in some art school,but I did not start it like this way,I learned all the methods by myself in the last decade.If you treat movies as pure entertainment,this post is not for you,but if you really want to watch movies in new eyes and make the best of each movie you see,I hope this post is useful for you.

movie watching tips

Here are my tips for being a better movie buff:

1.Don’t be afraid of the spoilers,great movies never live on the story alone.

2.Quit ASAP when you feel the movie is boring or you can’t enjoy it,don’t force yourself into some masters’ work,you may need time to accumulate  your experience in both life and movies.

3.Find a community in which you can talk about movies comfortably and learn things everyday,no matter it’s a group of blogs,a Facebook group or a forum,cinema is too big a world to be know-it-all.

4.It’s always better to watch movies on the big screen than anywhere else,but that doesn’t mean you need to go to cinema every week,watch a classic film for many times is always better than watching a poor new movie,why not save some money to buy some DVD/Blu-rays of classic movies you love?

5.Don’t trust lists that much,Citizen Kane is great only when you accumulate enough cinema knowledge to fully appreciate it.


6.Read reviews after watching a movie but think of it yourself first,you don’t need to borrow critics’ words to brag,you need to find your own exploring eyes.

7.Watch a movie from all aspects,not only the story,but the cinematography,the score,the set design,the score,the editing,the mise-en-scene,etc.etc,like The Fashions in Rear Window and The Visuals in The Conformist.

8.When you encounter a superb movie,watch it again shortly after the first time,analyze why you consider it as a superb movie.

9.Focusing on a certain directors’ work during a span of time,do a director marathon,would be great if you watch his works in chronological order.

10.Watch a certain number of black&white movies each month.


11.Do the homework before watching a movie,like looking up the background of the story,the movement,the director online.

12.Watch an appropriate movie at an appropriate time,like watching a Tarkovsky film in the morning of a weekend and watch some comedies when you are back from work in weekdays.

13.Never give up on a director based one film you saw,you don’t like 2001: A Space Odyssey doesn’t mean you won’t like Dr. Strangelove.

14.Don’t set boundaries of your exploring,always try new things,try to watch a silent,a cult,a South Korean film,being adventurous is not always good in life,but it’s always good in movie-watching.

15.Collect the DVD/Blu-ray of your favorites,watch the special features and listen to the commentary,take notes when it’s necessary.


16.Don’t set goals of how many movies you should watch each month,movie-watching is a very casual thing,and it’s always the quality that matters most.

17.View the whole cinema as a connected universe,try to compare movies to each other and figure out the influences of which on which,make movie lists like what I’ve done on my blog,it would be much more fun.

18.Always write downs your thoughts soon after watching a movie,no matter it’s short or long,you need to catch that flashy idea which would otherwise soon disappear.

19.You need to watch more than one movies in a certain period or movement to let the feeling flow,if you just watched Breathless and liked it,why not try 400 Blows and other French New Wave movies in the next few days?

20.Recommend your favorite movies to the people around you,if you can,send them DVD/Blu-rays as presents,you want them to see those movies because that’s what you are.


21.Finally,take care of your eyes,otherwise the 21 tips above is useless,and spend more time with your family than watching movies,because that’s your responsibilities,in a certain way,you owe them,but you don’t owe movies a god damn thing.

So,how many tips above you already followed and what are some of  your own unique tips you’d like to share here?





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