I Have a Crack Addiction

Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That headline is completely accurate. I have a crack addiction. No, I’m not referring to crack cocaine. I like food, money, and dignity too much for that. I’m referring to the various cracks in my movie-watching experience. There are a lot, and I’m addicted to spackling them in.

A few months back, I wrote about the endless nature of cinema. If you really want to lose yourself, there are tons of directors, actors, genres, and countries of origin producing movies for you to watch. And if you’re honest, as a movie-watcher, you have a lot of cracks in your experience. No human could spend enough time filling in every possible crack.

This is a gateway drug.

At first, it’s fine- you find the things that you enjoy, watch and master those films, and all is right with the world. But it’s like an infinite telescope. Because I inherently like comedy and horror, I started watching classic comedies and classic horrors. Those were a gateway drug to classic films in general, which is where I learned to appreciate weighty drama. An interest in weighty drama led me to tackle foreign film, and classic art house. Classic art house led me to samurai films, samurai films led me to westerns… This could go on and on but I’ll spare you the causal chain.

The point is that I’ve reached a place where I realize that for as much as I try to see, there’s still so, so very much still left to see. This is what you call a good problem. And I’ve developed something of an obsession with filling in those cracks. My current crack obsession revolves around Alfred Hitchcock’s work in the UK. In the last few weeks, I’ve watched The Lady Vanishes (1938) and The 39 Steps (1935). I have Murder! (1930) lined up for a viewing this week. Prior to that, I had been watching 1980s and early 90s movies that I somehow missed when I was younger. Amongst others, that group included The Terminator (1984), Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Bugsy (1991), Shocker (1989), and Friday the 13th (1980). Before that, it was Pixar movies that I had missed- Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Finding Nemo (2003).

So it’s come to this- Busby Berkeley dance numbers.

I’m even working on a few other cracks right now. I’ve tepidly dipped my toe into animé. My spaghetti western bender is about to start. Moving forward, there’s a healthy dose of films that directors voted for in the Sight & Sound poll that I’d like to see. For chrissakes, I even have musicals on the agenda, a genre that I’ve struggled with but am now intrigued about.

My exposure to Ozu, Eastern European cinema, and Cinéma du Look is all very limited. My knowledge of Howard Hawks and John Ford is woefully inadequate. I’ve seen almost nothing from China, Australia, New Zealand, not enough from Germany, not enough of the Czech New Wave (which I love), barely any British Social Realism… I’m like Oskar Schindler- “I could have watched one more film… but didn’t!” You know… except I’m talking about sitting on my ass and watching movies while Oskar Schindler was talking about saving lives from the depths of depravity, but I digress.

What are your cracks? Do you have a similar crack addiction?


Filed under Humor, Movies

45 responses to “I Have a Crack Addiction

  1. If left unchecked I would have a crack addiction. Thankfully I have a wife that keeps me from going off the rails. My last one was Almodovar… I simply had to see ALL of his films.

    • Ha… you just reminded me of another one I should tackle. I’ve only just started watching his movies- I’ve only seen a few- but I REALY liked what I saw.

  2. One of my biggest movie cracks will always be 50s Westerns.

  3. I should probably be embarrassed about my lack of cinematic education. The cracks are huge and countless. Perhaps that’s why I’m not so bothered by them. They’re too many to seal in a lifetime anyway so I could as well give up. I never engage in systematic watching in marathon style. I just pick whatever movie I feel like. Sometimes they fill in a crack, other times not. That keeps me happy. Chasing for cracks would just feel frustrating, more like a job than like pleasure.

    • That’s a really good point. At first, the marathons are fun and exciting, but they get old after awhile. A full month of Hitchcock is a blast for 2 weeks, decent for one week, and then tiresome by the last week.

  4. I don’t have cracks, I have wide gaping chasms. There are so many directors and so many genres where my knowledge is woefully inadequate. Can I ask, do you buy all these films or watch them online? I struggle to find many older films online.

  5. I’m not alone! We could start a discuss group! Mine are Horror Films. Since I’m not a big fan of the genre, I still have to watch the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and many other that I am ashame of havuing not seen yet. I am planning a Horror month of October of film watching. I just hope to find the time to watch those movies…
    Cracks are just like knowledge: the more you learn about the more you are aware that you need to learn more…

  6. aleksa

    Chinese cinema is gorgeous. You start down that road, you may never want to stop.

  7. I agree – there are many holes left open in my cinephile experiences. So many classics (both old and modern) left to be seen (can you believe I only saw Psycho two weeks ago?), and tons of excellent films that I heard praised every day, but have yet to grace my TV screen. I have a Movie Bucket List to keep track, but there’s many, many, many, more to see. http://randomfilmbuff.com/2012/08/17/d-10/

  8. mettemk

    Haha, I love this post, especially your Schindler-point.
    I think most of us movie bloggers have a crack addiction. My last one was watching all of Wes Anderson’s filmography. Currently, it’s checking out more serious and acclaimed newer Hindi films. And yeah, following up on anything else I haven’t seen yet, like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Requiem for a Dream… the list goes on.
    I think I’m ready to hop on the Woody-Allen-crack-train too, very soon.

    • Ha… serious and acclaimed newer Hindi films is definitely a crack for me, as is almost all Indian films. Other than Satyajit Ray’s The Chess Players, I don’t know that I’ve seen any.

      I’m smack in the middle with Woody Allen. The stuff he’s made that I’ve liked, I’ve loved. And I REALLY don’t enjoy the other stuff… which is usually his more popular work (I’m the weirdo who doesn’t like Annie Hall but loves Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex, or Bananas). There’s a ton of Woody Allen out there to try.

  9. SDG

    Great Post and I agree there are so many. Personally, I usually go behind directors – I did that for Wilder, Lumet, Scorsese currently Wes Anderson and next in line is Hitchcock but I have done that for so many actresses as well – Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams. I might go for Michelle Williams now. But currently my biggest crack addiction is ’60s Foreign films and I have almost given up on ’80s in general, not my cup of tea.

    • I used to really dislike the 80s, and I’m still not a fan when it comes to more weighty films. But I really dig it for horror and really dumb comedies.

      Amy Adams is an interesting one. I’ve become a fan really quickly (large part thanks to The Muppets and her work in The Fighter).

  10. The guy who met Kevin Meany

    My crack is the great TV series, Mr. Belvedere. For my money, it is the finest collective piece of acting in the history of television. I have studied each frame of each episode and I always find something new.

  11. goregirl

    ANIMATION. I have seen very few animated films from any decade. I have just started to delve into this medium. And within animation there is a million styles and themes and genres. It is a bit overwhelming at this point. I actually have an Anime review coming up and I am really struggling to get it written. I don’t know squat about animation! At this point I have nothing to compare it to. I figure the more I watch the easier reviews will be. At this point however, I might as well try writing about metaphysics.

    • Interesting. Does that include the more traditional stuff? Fantasia, Bambi, Fox and the Hound, etc…?

      • goregirl

        It does indeed; although I have actually seen Fantasia and Bambi. We went to the drive-in and the theatre tons when I was a kid, but I can not recall seeing a single animated movie. There would be the odd one on TV; but I seen very few growing up. I bought a big thick book a few weeks ago of “Animation on DVD The Ultimate Guide” it is from 2003 so it is outdated as hell, but it will get me started. That and a list of anime recommends.

        • There are three or four newer ones that I’ve loved to pieces- Rango, Wall-E, Up, and ParaNorman.

          The stories behind those early Disney ones are hokey as hell, but the animation itself is pretty impressive. The colors in them- Fantasia especially- just explode off the screen.

  12. Cody Morgenstern

    My crack right now is Scorsese pre-Goodfellas, which is the best kind of crack to be on! And i am getting a taste for Michael Curtiz, i have watched “Young Man With a Horn” and “Casablanca” within the month and loved them both. This may be the death of me, he has over 173 directorial credits according to IMDb.

    • Whoa… pre-Goodfellas Scorsese… you’ve got good times coming. His 80s movies didn’t do as well with audiences but I even love those, especially After Hours and The King of Comedy. Raging Bull and Taxi Driver are musts, and Mean Streets is very good too.

      Honestly, I’ve seen almost everything he’s ever made and there’s not one that I’d say is bad.

  13. My crack is Wong Kar Wai…I actually missed watching films because of school. I used to be crazy about David Lean (Not many ppl know him LOL),he is soooo good

  14. You’re right…It’s a good problem to have. I love being able to dive into something new in cinema and each time I do I crave more. I tend to dabble and come back around to things, though, more so now that I’m writing about everything I watch.

  15. ilovethatfilm

    Ingmar Bergman movies. Not seen a single one but really need a fix of them.

  16. For a while as a youngster, my film choices were dictated primarily by trying to watch things referenced in The Simpsons, which given some of the amazing stuff included, wasn’t a bad place to start.

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