14 January 2010

State of Delay

For several months, I've had three films from my to-watch list ready at home for me to watch them: The Great Escape, The Graduate and A Bout de Souffle. Somehow, though, I've never quite got round to watching any of them and not through lack of time, either, although the lack of subtitles on the latter did put me off somewhat because although I don't need subtitles when watching a French film, I would sometimes prefer to have them, especially when tired and the films in question are part of the Nouvelle Vague.

On the other hand, I've had the DVDs for the TV series State of Play for about two weeks and I've now watched three of the six episodes. In fact, I watched all three this evening. For some reason, my cognitively biased brain finds it easier to watch three one-hour episodes of a TV series than to watch a three-hour film or even, in the case of The Gruadate and A Bout de Souffle, a film that clocks in at well under two hours.

Of course, if I start watching a film I like to watch it in one go, without interruptions, whereas TV series are conveniently broken down into easily digestible, one-hour chunks (in the UK, at least), and can legitimately be interrupted or put on hiatus at the end of an episode. I only planned to watch one episode of State of Play tonight but it was so good that I ended up watching three, telling myself at the end of each episode that I'd just watch the intro to the next one--oh, OK, just the first half; oh well, I might as well watch the rest of the episode now. I only stopped after three because the other episodes were on the second DVD and the interruption was enough for me to shut down the DVD-watching computer. Even so, it's funny that my brain finds a one-hour time slot an acceptable use of time in a limited evening and will even end up using three hours, but won't commit in advance to the use of 90 minutes to watch a film.

I enjoyed last year's movie version of State of Play, even if it seemed to get hijacked by the bloggers vs journalists debate in places to the detriment of the plot as a whole, in part because I like Rachel McAdams and, against my better judgement, Russell Crowe. Naturally, my earlier prediction came true:
I will, of course, now have to acquire the original TV show so that I can honestly tear the film to bits and say how it has been butchered in its transition from a six-hour TV series into a two-hour film but I do like a good thriller and this was indeed a good thriller.

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