I spent a year of my life watching High Fidelity once every week. Why did I do this? I could give you a long spiel about movie science, and trying something no man had ever tried before, but that’s probably a load of hogwash. I don’t know why I did it. It was a crazy, stupid whim. Bill declared that he was going to watch Top Gun every week, and I just jumped onto the bandwagon.
Come the end of the year, I was supposed to write up an analysis of how the year had affected my life. I didn’t. I got all wrapped up in writing about Jurassic Park at the second, more fun, year of Cinema 52, and life happened, and I didn’t get around to cleaning up my year one work area. Now it’s 2014, my final analysis of Jurassic Park is due, I’m starting to write about Avatar at the newer and more improved Cinema52 year three site. It would be ridiculous to have year two wrapped up with a nice bow while year one is slumped over with its dick hanging out.
For our purposes, the part of year one will be played by Tim Robbins.
So here I am. I’m really sorry for the ridiculous delay.
1.) I gained respect for High Fidelity.
You might expect that a year of exposure to one film would highlight all of it’s faults in the viewer’s eyes. Not so with High Fidelity. I came out of the year with a slightly greater regard for the film than I had going in. It’s a solid film. I approve of it. I rate it highly. Now get it the hell out of my face.
2.) I grew to hate all the characters in High Fidelity.
Rob’s an asshole. Barry’s an asshole. Everyone sucks. I hate them all. I think that any hate I might have garnered for the film itself transferred instead onto its characters (and by extension, anyone who ended up reminding me of them).
3.) I stopped listening to music.
This was a weird one. I had expected to delve more deeply into music in order to be able to more greatly appreciate the conversations about it in the film. Instead, Rob and friends’ priggish superiority just made me sick, and I, for the most part, stopped buying and listening to new music. I even stopped listening to the music I already had. Even now, if you look at the “Last Played” bar in my iTunes, many a song has laid in dust since 2011.
4.) I avoided record stores.
Kind of an extension of the last point, but in this case more visceral. On many occasions I felt a keel of disgust at passing old vinyl shops.
5.) I watched non-High-Fidelity movies less.
In 2011 I was a movie-watching fiend. Just ask my friends. Oh wait, I spent too much time watching movies to have many. It was not unusual for me to get home from work and watch three or four movies, several times a week. This continued a little ways into 2012, but slowed to a trickle by June. Sure, I was still watching a lot of movies, but not as many.
6.) I derived no pleasure from alcohol during viewings.
Contrary to my expectations, my drinking habits shrank during my year with High Fidelity. Viewings got so boring that alcohol just made them seem to take longer. It was no fun.
7.) My list-making wasn’t greatly affected.
I still love categorizing the things I do into lists. Before 2012 I had my “Read Every Book By Charles Dickens” list, my “Watch Every Film Ever Nominated for an Oscar” list, and my “Read Every Play by Every Playwright Featured in Robert Brustein’s The Theatre of Revolt” list. In 2012 I added “Read Every James Bond Novel” and “Read All the Economics and Political Science Books You Were Supposed to Read in College” list. This appears to just be a way I organize my life. Rob Gordon and his lists had no effect on it.
8.) I resorted to ridiculous, pointless stunts to fill the time.
God, I must have hated High Fidelity. In order to keep myself occupied I did really dumb shit. Like watching in a mirror. Or whatever the hell this was.
So did I change deeply and truly as a person?
Damned if I know.
I’m just glad to be done with that shit.