Spotting the signs of obsession

A blog I link to below, The Windknotter, is written by an old university chum of mine, whose dedication to the art of angling rivals (or possibly even exceeds) my own love of all things movies. Now what, you may reasonably ask, has fishing got to do with cinema? My honest reply would be: not a great deal. A River Runs Through It, starring Brad Pitt and directed by Robert Redford, was quite good if memory serves. But that’s by the by. What they really have in common is the passion they stir in those who follow their chosen interest.

Reading The Windknotter’s delightful posts entitled “Spotting the signs of obsession” and its sequel, “The most unpromising circumstances”, it became apparent that I had slightly underestimated m’colleague’s love of standing by the sides of bodies of water and attempting to hook small slippery creatures. And yet, despite my utter lack of fishing knowledge, I totally understood it, because we’ve all been there. All of us who are devoted to something – whatever it is – have finely tuned our brains to absorb incoming data and filter it into something more useful; specifically, to relate it to our passion/hobby/nerd domain. Even when said incoming data is in no way related to the passion/hobby/nerd domain. Mr Windknotter, stuck at a rather dry IT training course, salvaged something from the day by receiving a sturdy memory stick case and re-imagining it as a box for storing assorted fishing equipment.

So how do I, as a film fan, display these signs of obsesssion?  Mrs Ark (as I’ll call my other half) would I’m sure quite happily point them out to you, as she does to me on an infrequent basis. Perhaps you too have been here? Please add your comments if you recognise any of these, or want to add your own…

  • Secretly planning the evening’s entertainment schedule during the day which you’ll casually suggest during conversation over dinner that night (“Well, I thought as Ocean’s 13 is coming out next week, we could watch the original…?”).
  • Spending far too much time scouring the online dvd stores looking for that one dvd you need to complete your collection – a collection which, if you were honest with yourself, will never, ever be completed. Can you rationally explain why I would ever buy Candyman 3: Day of the Dead?
  • Calling cinema booking lines and negotiating the telephonetics service in the vain hope that you might be able to find out if the film you want to watch is playing in your preferred screen in the local multiplex.
  • Keeping posters for films, even though there’s not a chance in hell you’ll get away with hanging them up at home.
  • Memorising the release schedule of all the films you want to see for the next two months.
  • Wondering if you can financially justify upgrading your old dvd of that film you quite like to the new one they’ve just released, just so you can get rid of that bloody awful cardboard snapper case.

There are probably more, but I’ll close for now by repeating The Windknotter’s final note:

“Any of this sound like you? No? Good. Then quick, get out of here and take up golf while there’s still time!”

Published by Gavin Midgley

Freelance film journalist, blogger and geek.