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Old 10-05-2014, 04:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: What do you think determines rewatch value?

I find it interesting, how varied the answers are. After some reflection, I think something has rewatch, for me, when it shows something truely extraordinary happening. But it doesn't have to be "2001," I've watched "High Fidelity," plenty of times; Rob tracking down his exes and coming to terms with his insecurities is plenty extraordinary.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: What do you think determines rewatch value?

Great scenes. Some movies have 1-2 memorable scenes. Movies I've re-watched over and over have at least 6-8 or more memorable scenes. Princess Bride, Ferris Bueller, Pulp Fiction, Wizard of Oz, Argo, Zombieland, Goodfellas, Airplane, Ghostbusters, The Shining...

YES, I agree with atmosphere-- people love the Harry Potter atmosphere, otherwise they'd never watch that many films taking place at Hogwarts and re-watch them so many times. Also character. Also fun lines. But great scenes is the thing that puts it all together, in my opinion.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: What do you think determines rewatch value?

I'd say it's the same reason you'd wanna see a girl repeatedly and not have it be a one-night stand -- emotional connection.

I "fell in love" with Raiders of The Lost Ark. So I watch it every time it's on TV. The theme of faith vs. science, well-timed humor, mystery, religion connects with me.

Contrary to that, The Crystal Skull repulsed me. It was like a hoarse-voiced 50-year-old prostitute. The nukes, fridges, aliens, Shia LaBeouf, miscasting, prairie dogs. I never connected with ANY of it on ANY level.

That being said, I know some people who it did connect with. And they don't mind re-watching.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: What do you think determines rewatch value?

I am taking a quick break from writing my scene writing book and reading some scripts to answer this, so this will be necessarily incomplete. But having spent a couple years thinking about scenes and concept and their relation to each other, I might have a novel approach to answering. Not fleshed out here but maybe thought-provoking.

First of all, of course movies that have great individual scenes are rewatchable, because you can jump in at any point and enjoy that section as its own complete meal. Good Will Hunting is a perfect example. So are many Tarantino films.

But consider something that happens in really well done high-concept movies -- like Tootsie, Eternal Sunshine, Back to the Future, Groundhog's Day, etc And maybe this is just a subset of movies that are really integrated in that their stories, scenes and twists are really unique to their setups. There is a constant "call-back" and payoffs. And then payoffs become set ups for other payoffs.

In these sorts of movies, watching it for a second time remains an engaging experience not just because you see new layers that weren't apparent the first time, but because you experience scenes and moments as part of a whole... there is always tension and pleasure from knowing that the scene you are watching is a set up and is auguring twists and scenes to come later. So you are not watching it with the same sense of suspense of what will happen next, but you are engaged by what you are watching because it does relate to something you know that's coming. So even the setups are payoffs. Scene 50 in the story that was originally a payoff for scene 24 now becomes the setup for enjoying scene 24 as a sort of payoff. When I am watching Annie Hall, I enjoy the first "lobster" scene with Annie more because I know how it relates to the later lobster scene with the unneurotic woman. On first viewing, the second scene is the only one that has an added layer of meaning.

When a movie has a less self-contained world or limiting concept from which the payoffs come, it can feel a bit sprawling on a second view. For instance, unless it's a masterpiece drama that is mining the setup of a really complex character or brilliant theme or idiosyncratically masterful exploration of the human psyche, I would say some slice of life dramas are less rewatchable. If the twists and surprises are borne from the nature of honest psychology and the possibilities of the real world, then on a second viewing, the first half of the movie is sometimes not as interesting because not everything you see is resonating as strongly with a sense of connection to what will come later.

Trust me, I have already thought of 100 counterexamples.

A meta example would be the first reboot of Star Trek. Its weird post-modern blend of new and old created an active dialogue with the viewer during every scene. In fact, I would argue that some scenes like the Kobayashi Maru scene -- without some background knowledge of the world are almost incomplete. But because every scene is a reference to something else, you can enjoy it on a couple levels when you rewatch it.

I think Fincher films work on this level because he is a very visual filmmaker and creates really interesting motifs and image systems that allow you to constantly be making connections to what has come earlier and what you know has already come. So on a second viewing, I am more conscious of checkerboard/chess pattern and the metronome and switchblade in Se7en. In Social Network, I can enjoy the irony of the 25-40 iterations of the word, "Friends." Maybe this is more of an example of appreciating details you missed on a first viewing, but some of it is also looking at the benefits of a self-contained world, where the expression is unique to itself in some ways. like...

In Liar Liar, when the judge asks him if something is true, he answers, "it has to be" which is fun only in the context of the conceit and premise. And it is more enjoyable watching the character lie to the series of 4-5 coworkers because YOU KNOW a twist on every one of those interactions is coming. A similar effect in District 9. When you know what the character will become at the end, then all of the setups with the "prawns" and the way they are treated become payoffs in a way.


Excuse the rambling...

I have a very concise discussion of concept on my DVD set and in my upcoming book that talks about how concept makes a script or movie smashable. Even if you look at just one little piece of the movie, you immediately can identify the whole thing concept-wise. So all of your scenes must pull from the conceits of the concept and, for the mostpart, nowhere else. I think well-executed high concept films are some of the most rewatchable films, so I was trying to extend the principle. I hope the ideas counterbalance the conversational nature.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: What do you think determines rewatch value?

To be worth watching again, a film has to evolve with new viewings, or have some sort of layer to it to dig into. Blade Runner and Apocalypse Now give me different things at different times. There are few movies I can go back to that don't do this, though the extreme high end of the spectrum do this; Ghostbusters and stuff at that level.
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: What do you think determines rewatch value?

Emotional moments.

But I think dense storytelling is a factor. There are movies I can watch again and again because I notice some new detail. There are movies which are so vague that we can debate what is happening, but when we watch those again we get no further information to add to our debate... but a dense film offers more information (put there on purpose) to add to the debate. The writers (and directors) were creating those possible theories.

But emotions are a big thing for me. There are movies I watch again and again to feel those emotions again. So that's character and conflict and creating the situation where the *audience* cries, not necessarily the character.

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Old 11-13-2014, 02:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: What do you think determines rewatch value?

Dense films, emotional moments...

Which films did you have in mind when you thought of these examples? Hopefully they're available on Netflix.
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: What do you think determines rewatch value?

This is a great topic, but probably unanswerable...or at least each person will have their own answer.

A lot of films that I can rewatch endlessly are films where everything came together...from writing to cinematography, acting to soundtracks to editing. Casablanca. Lawrence of Arabia. Smokey and the Bandit. Midnight Run. Master and Commander.

For my spouse, a different list...My Best Friend's Wedding. Legally Blonde. Grease.
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: What do you think determines rewatch value?

This is going to vary by individual, so that makes it hard for a writer who might be consciously trying to instill rewatch value into a script. I'm pretty sure you can't.

For me, it's character and character dynamics, and I can forgive plot problems if I'm pulled in by the characters and how they interact (plot is also one of my weaknesses as a writer; I wonder if there's a connection). I actually find very few movies that I care to rewatch, and I suspect the majority of them are not on most people's list.
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