The Movie Marathon – Or How To Kill 300 Greeks In One Pass


Whoops. That escalated quickly. Peace upon you, Lacedemonian brothers. No harm intended. The movie marathon is about watching movies. Watching until you make yourself slightly ill.

I have been sensible throughout life. Well…sensible lite, at any rate. I have never committed myself to watch all 17 of the Die Hard movies or all 58 of the Rocky movies – or even all one of a Gerard Depardieux movie – because I knew it would be bad for me, the culture, and the environment. We would all suffer.

Not so my friends and family. Currently one division of fools is trying to watch all of the Star Wars movies in the correct sequence to allow them to go to the latest one in the sit-down cinema. Their faces reflect their fate. I stopped with the SW business at No.3 and have never regretted the decision. I have avoided James Bond for decades and done myself a similar amount of good. I do confess to having seen the entirety of the Back To The Future marketing exercise but have not gone to any of the fresher Lord of the Rings episodes.

Am I cutting myself off from Western Civilisation? Will I twist on my deathbed in regret for not knowing what becomes of the latest adaptation of a children’s fairy tale or a Marvel comic? I doubt it. Western Civilisation is far better represented by Cato and Cicero than Captain Special Effects. Books don’t scream and explode nearly as well as television series but their effects are far more lasting.

I have been fool-enough to sit out all night waiting for a ticket office to open but it was as escort to a teenage daughter and her friends who wanted desperately to see some pop group. Put it down to parental indulgence.

I have been fool-enough to see a movie at midnight but it was just one movie and then home to bed. The importance of the cultural experience is so ingrained in me that I cannot remember what it was we saw – just that cinema seats at 1:00 AM feel really grotty.

I have been fool-enough to sit in a 1970’s London mini-cinema watching a blacksploitation movie while trying not to squirm – and fool-enough to sit in the Windsor theatre in Perth for an “R” rated film with Vanessa Redgrave. It was torture on the screen, in the mind, and in the seats. The old Windsor had seats provided by Torquemada.

Would I ever sit through a Marathon? Well, there would have to be a reason to do so – a continuity that would be both necessary and unachievable by other means to demand such a span of attention to a cinema screen. One can be alert initially and then progressively dulled in real-life situations that have a vital point in your life if they continue for hours or days. I do not think we need to exercise the same stamina with motion picture entertainments.



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