It’s been 52 weeks and this experiment is done. Finally. Initially, 52 viewings of the same film seemed a noble, if a bit crazy, enterprise. Now I think it was a year of complete dumb. Just the purest, high-grade dumb strewn across 2013 in the form of The NeverEnding Story. I’m really trying to put myself in the same head-space as I was when I first agreed to this experiment. I thought that I’d get a chance to improve myself with a creative project, really stretch outside my comfort zone. I can say with absolute certainty that I was not comfortable once the entire year, so I can put a big old check in that box.

Pictured: The opposite of my year.

Looking back at my hypothesis, I was so much more excited. I was looking forward to a challenge and to proving that I could commit to the project. I ended up proving I should be committed for agreeing to this project. But let’s take a look at how my predictions from the beginning of the year fared.

1) The NeverEnding Story will affect my consumption of the fantasy genre.

Nope. Wrong. While I did read the Poetic Eddas and Grimm’s Fairy Tales and I did watch extra fantasy films for the project, I didn’t seek out anything extra. The fantasy genre is not my favorite and the weekly dose was enough. I didn’t want to read any fantasy books or watch films with wizards or dragons, either. I was on fantasy overload and couldn’t bear to take on any more.

Just make it stop.

2) I will continue to love The NeverEnding Story.

Yes. With conditions. I do still love this film even after watching it 52 times this year. But I need a break. It’s smothering me and I just need some space. Maybe we can take some time apart, find out who we really are and whether we’re truly made for each other. I mean, if you love something, you have to let it go, right?

Atreyu would understand my predicament.

I plan on watching The NeverEnding Story again, but in the name of science, not for pleasure. I want to watch it again in six months (maybe a year) to see how much I remember and how I feel about the experience. After that, I probably won’t watch it again for a long time. Again, I still love the film, but a long-distance relationship will make us stronger.

3) I will have a more hopeful outlook on life.

Life is still balls. My work life went through a lot of upheaval this year and still hasn’t settled. The effect certainly overpowered any positive messages The NeverEnding Story had. Watching The NeverEnding Story and writing about it came to replace my usual second job. I’m miserable when I have to work two jobs, which is why I quit one this year, except I really didn’t because of this damn movie. Life is life and it has its shitty moments to overcome. The NeverEnding Story has an uplifting message, but it never really pierced through the realities of living. Maybe if I had consumed more of the fantasy genre, my outlook would have changed.

Fuck you, student loans!

While The NeverEnding Story didn’t affect me the way I thought it would, this experiment has changed the way I watch films. I’ve become hyper aware of details in films now, especially when I’m at the movie theater. I try to observe and memorize as much as possible because I only have once to take it all in, which has affected my movie analysis personality. After a film, I used to be all “I need to think about it and really let it sink in before I discuss anything.” Now, I’m ready to rip the sucker apart and get to the good stuff as soon as the credits end. So, I can thank Cinema 52 for that, at least.

In the end, and despite the copious dumb, I did enjoy the spirit of this experiment. It gave me the opportunity to look at The NeverEnding Story in a way I’m sure nobody else ever has or ever will. I still have to wonder what my year might have looked like if I watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or Much Ado About Nothing instead. That aside, I feel like I’ve said everything I could say about The NeverEnding Story (more than I ever needed to say, really) and I’m satisfied to close the book on this adventure.

See ya, suckas!