May 21, 2006

Rewatching "Coffee and Cigarettes."

I'd rather rewatch a movie I love than watch something new. Much as I'd like to add more titles to the list of movies I love, the rewatching experience is so much deeper and more pleasurable. You can't really see things the first time. The other night we were going to rewatch "My Dinner With Andre" (my most rewatched movie), but then we hit upon the somewhat similar "Coffee and Cigarettes" (which I watched -- and blogged -- a year and a half ago).

So, yeah, "Coffee and Cigarettes" turned out to be nicely rewatchable. I found new appreciation for the lesser scenes. Aware Bill Murray was going to be insignificant, I got so much more out of watching him drink that coffee straight out of the carafe. Knowing where the longueurs were, I relaxed and took in the luscious black-and-white photography -- all those checkered tablecloths and checkered tiles, seen from above with circular coffee cups and swirly cigarette smoke.

Speaking of photography, the "My Dinner With Andre" DVD is horrible. Every time I think of watching it again, I have to air the same complaint. At least this time, I had a new way to say it: It's like watching the movie on YouTube.

9 comments:

knoxgirl said...

I'd rather rewatch a movie I love than watch something new.

me too! I'm that way about books, especially.

Bailey Quarters said...

I haven't seen the movie, but I do love the RZA.

Patrick said...

I've started to notice the same thing about myself. Its work to make your way through a new movie, and you don't know if you are going to like it. With an old favorite, you know what the emotional payoff is going to be. I think it may have something to do with age too. Faulkner, when he got older, said he preferred to reread old favorites than read newer works.

Ann Althouse said...

Kids love rewatching stuff even more than grownups.

I don't tend to reread books, but my job involves reading the same landmark cases every year (and then talking about them). I like going back over the old standards.

chuck b. said...

I certainly agree that the re-watching experience is deeper, but I don't agree that it's more pleasurable.

The next infatuation always pleasures me more than the last one.

chuck b. said...

Although, if it's the depth that pleasures you most, nothing new will ever do.

For me I suppose it's finding something new.

John said...

Wow, I thought I was the only one that preferred to re-watch or re-read old movies or books! I'm usually not too enthused about watching a movie I haven't seen before (unless it's something I've really been looking forward to), and it drives my partner up the wall.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

Have I missed previous posts about My Dinner with Andre? That's a shame. Great movie.

I'm mid-thirties, and only saw Andre for the first time a few months ago. I was STUNNED at how current it still sounds. The issues, the malaise, the outlook - all totally relevant today. Except, of course, there is no mention at all of cell phones, computers, the internet, MTV, Cable TV, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, etc etc.

It was another world then (the very end of that world), and they were as unhappy as we are.

Ann Althouse said...

Stranger: Here are the old Andre posts:

Writing about surrealism and coincidence makes me want to say something about my favorite movie, "My Dinner With Andre"...

Tonya's talking about my profile: she hasn't read any of my favorite books and she hasn't seen any of my movies.

I was going to try to get something from "My Dinner With Andre," but what I had was too long and rambling. ("Do you want to know my actual response to all this? I mean, do you want to hear my actual response?...)...

My son, Christopher Althouse has made this List of the Great Movies. It's not my list....

I loved the movie "Coffee and Cigarettes" (which is newly available on DVD). Keep in mind that two of my favorite movies are "My Dinner With Andre" and "Slacker"...

...or sight, the one that springs immediately to my mind is: the sight of the New York Times on my front walk in the morning. [Make mental note to watch "My Dinner with Andre" again soon.]...

An early Malle film that we love chez Althouse is "Zazie Dans Le Metro." A later Malle film, which happens to be my favorite film ever, is "My Dinner With Andre."

Audible Althouse #42.