In simple terms a cinephile is a person who is fond of motion pictures. As someone who is obsessed with movies I can attest it goes way beyond that. Over the course of my life, movies have become my friend, therapist, confident, and all around life saver. I don't know if I'd consider my a true cinephile since I don't know the entire process of film making, but if you give me any random movie title from the 1980s I can easily tell you the year it was made. In fact I relate every major event in my life to what movie was playing that year.
Someone once asked me how I remember dates since I don't have children. Apparently she remembered important events by how old her children were. I answered her "through movies." Those are my children in a strange way. I remember the day I was hired full time at my current job not because it was an exciting day but because I went to see The X-Files: Fight The Future afterward. I remember when I've gone on dates with certain guys not because they themselves were memorable but because of the movie that we went to see. And of course I am aware of every movie which was released the year I was born. Years don't click in my mind until I've figured out which movie was out in theaters during the time.
I'm not nearly as obsessed as the person who came up with this list, but I did find myself nodding my head while reading it especially when it comes to judging someone based on their movie tastes. I plead 100% guilty.
10. We Don't Make Out In A TheaterThe idea of smacking your lips around with our own is a foreign concept when the lights dim and the projector starts up. It’s not that we find our dates unattractive or repugnant; it’s simply that we didn’t come see a movie to ignore it, no matter what the movie is. Even if we’re not into the film itself, it’s entirely possible that we might feel guilty if we don’t actually sit there and watch it. You might try and fool us by buying us tickets to see the new Ice Age, but I can assure you that you’ll be greatly disappointed if you go in expecting to get some action and come out learning about which scenes had un-rendered animation.
The theater is a place of respect. Like the religious with church, theater is where patrons come to adorn the work created and crafted for us, and dammit, we’re going to adorn and respect it even if it’s complete croshwaddle. That’s not to say we’ll enjoy the picture. Hey, we might even be so bored or disgusted by its contents that we walk out. But while we’re in there, you would do well to keep your lips to yourself. In our minds, there’s nothing romantic about traveling to a public location, sitting in a room with an enormous, lit-up screen, and ruining the theater experience for others by playing a game of tongue-choke.
Just let us mosey about in our natural habitat for two hours, then you can take us home and listen to us talk about the film for another two hours.
9. We Remember Dates By Years in FilmWhat were the years of the Civil War? *Thinks back to Glory. “1861-1865.”
When did the Titanic sink? *Thinks back to Titanic. “1912.”
When was the Writers’ Strike? *Thinks back to what won Best Picture that year. “2007-2008.”
This is how films help us in a practical way. See enough movies about true-life events, and they’ll be engrained in your head. I can’t tell you how to solve an algorithm of U x 76 pi, or even if that is an algorithm at all, but I can tell you all the important events of 1991 because The Rocketeer was released that summer. Does it make sense? Not much, but there it is.
Want us to be able to remember our anniversary? Take us out to see a movie. We’ll remember, if nothing else, by the release date. Are you really paranoid about us not remembering the day we got married? After the service, tell the driver of the car not to take us to the airport and our honeymoon, but to make a beeline for the nearest showing of Madea’s Giraffe Exploitation (working title). It may seem silly, but it helps us. And then we’re able to fire back a lot of details about that day, if the movie left a big enough impression (good or bad).
“Of course I remember, honey. You wore white that day.”
“That was my wedding dress.”
“And here I am, not wrong.”
8. We Complain About Things in Movies You Probably Didn’t NoticeProduct placement. Faulty editing. An off-kilter mis-n-scene set-up. Maybe you didn’t notice, because you were actually involved with the picture itself. Maybe you don’t even know what those things are. But a cinephile will often distance themselves from a picture and have a hard time coming back to it when something stands out that warps out of the story being told. When Mountain Dew bottles line a floor or when we linger on a Ford logo for a bit too long, cinephiles roll their eyes. It may have shot over your head and you’ll probably be wondering what we’re complaining about by the time the movie’s over.
Cinephiles have an appreciation for the components of film, which includes elements of editing, narrative, set design, stunt practicality…which means we have a lot to complain about when something stands out enough to push us out of the film. And a lot of times, we’re called pompous or pretentious because we can’t ignore it. Or because we waste time on thinking about it. But the fact is, when you see as many movies as we do, it sticks out because it’s often the result of laziness. And we hate laziness. You hate it when your sports team starts to slack off on the field, and likewise, we hate it when the director slacks off behind the camera. No, there’s nothing we can do about it, but it’s there and it’s annoying.
Just nod your head and listen to us. Maybe hold our hand or stroke our arm. But let us get it out. If we see that you’re genuinely listening to us, we’re more prone to invite you in to further discussions that may not be so one-sided. And that’s where the connections are made. We’re a lot to put up with over such a simple thing, but we will try to make up for it, I promise.
7. Memorabilia Is the Best PresentEvery year for Christmas I ask for the same thing. Movies. Every year, I just say that one word and my family shrugs and sighs. And almost every year, I get a collection of films I either already own or loathe with a burning passion. I have no one to blame but myself, because I strangely assumed that the people closest to me know exactly what I know, or that they really care enough to go out and search for “those daggum movies Cameron ain’t seen yet!” And how unfair of me is it to put all that on them? Incredibly. It’s just another unrealistic expectation.
But there is a solution to outsmart both me and the other cinephiles out there. Unless we’re all packrats, cinematic memorabilia is almost always appreciated. Even if it’s from a movie we haven’t seen or that we hate, we’re still prone to thinking the gift you gave us is pretty damn cool. Like lamps! I personally can’t stand A Christmas Story, but if you got me a Leg Lamp, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll display that mofo like it was a photo of my son winning the Indy 500 (that’s a joke, I’d never let my son go to Indianapolis). I was in the mall the other day and saw a Boondock Saints lamp, in the shape of two guns. I can’t stand the movie, but I also can’t legally say the things I would have done to own that lamp.
And for many, movie posters are the bomb. From the 80s, from the 90s, from Japan or other countries…movie posters are pretty much always awesome, as long as they aren’t from The Accidental Husband.
6. We Secretly and Unfairly Judge Everyone We Meet By Their Favorite MovieMovie taste is very telling. There’s often quite a difference in personality between people who’s favorite movies are the likes of The Deer Hunter and Schindler’s List versus those who swear up and down that the remake of The Nutty Professor is a cinematic staple. And you should never completely judge who someone is based on some of their favorite movies. This article proves that some of the best minds in Hollywood unabashedly love films that make us tilt our heads with questioning.
But since cinephiles are prone to bridge the gap between real life and celluloid, you should know that we’re very much getting a feel for who you are based upon your subjective film taste. For some of us, it’s a good barometer for film discussion and if we’ll be able to make a connection with you at all. If you tell a hardened Tarantino fan that the last Tarantino movie you enjoyed was Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, then you’ve just unknowingly shut yourself off from being seen as relatable. Often times, cinephiles will correct your mistake (sometimes pompously), and then make an effort to change the subject from film, seeing as that you probably won’t find much common ground.
This isn’t to say you can’t get along or date someone who’s favorite movie is Band of Outsiders if yours is just The Outsiders, but you should be prepared for that conversational shut down.
5. We Understand Demographics and Will Watch a Movie With That UnderstandingReal cinephiles will laugh at Twilight, but their laughing comes apart from the rest of the world. People who have watched everything from Bambi to Battle Royale probably have a good grasp of demographic, so when they watch Twilight, they often-times are intelligent enough to compare it to the likes of movies in the same vein. We often laugh because Twilight has slopped together editing, laughable writing, and malnourished acting. We’re not exactly laughing at the premise, like so many people are. In fact, we’ll probably point you in the direction of the 1987 film Near Dark, which is the darker side of the Twilight coin.
And we also understand who Twilight is being marketed to, as well. The trailers and marketing do not pander to a hard-action, male-oriented audience. So, when guys often gang up on the films, it’s because they’re seeking it out. They’re going out of their way to disregard something, which is idiotic in and of itself. Not convinced? Let’s take this stance then:
Imagine that you grow up wanting to follow in the footsteps of the legends of your chosen medium. You practice and find that you have the natural talent for it, you just need to be refined and marketed. You’re discovered and trained and thrust into the spotlight for wild success. And then you realize that you’re, strangely, the butt of everyone’s joke. Sound familiar? If it doesn’t, ask Justin Bieber, a kid who makes music for girls his age and is often called a homosexual for it. Think about how confusing that must be for an artist who watches Usher, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson make songs for women and come out clean, and when he does the same, he’s smacked about as a homosexual with negative connotation. Maybe music critics pass him off the same way movie critics pass off Twilight, but at least they’re doing it by the merits of the medium and not the overexposure of the product.
Cinephiles understand demographic fairly well, so prepare to have discussions based on that end of the spectrum, and not the side of wild, illogical hate.
4. We Relish Intelligent Cinematic Competition and Debate and Can Turn into Total Jerks About ItIf you haven’t noticed, movies are a pretty big deal around here. And cinephiles will get exceptionally riled up about film the same way teenagers with access to the Internet get riled about politics. We love debate, and we love winning even more. We love the engagement and hearing opinions, because it makes us feel like we’re actually using our “movie knowledge” in everyday life. But if you know something about movies that you know this cinephile is getting wrong, then don’t back down. Don’t let it go. Are you listening?
DO NOT LET THE CINEPHILES WIN.
We talk about movie themes and styles and directorial choices like we were there first hand, and we need to be pulled back, sometimes. Because, no, we don’t know everything, but we do need moments where we act like we do. It’s therapeutic for us, and having these conversations with us will makes us feel comfortable with you in the end. But if you always let us win, we’ll start to shut down in future debates. We’ll have a tendency not to listen to you, despite how well-argued you may have become. Don’t concede. Don’t let us win.
And please, please love us anyway.
3. We Become Giddy at the Prospect of Certain ProjectsWhy were people so excited about The Avengers? Half of it was because it was a project on such an enormous scale, but cinephiles were practically convinced of its success the moment it was attached to the name of Joss Whedon. It was a moment where we felt that Hollywood had reached down and hand-picked the perfect director all for us. It made us giddy. The idea that Christopher Nolan took an entire Batman trilogy under his wing made us giddy. Even smaller projects like J.J. Abrams teaming with Spielberg to make an 80s coming-of-age homage in Super 8 made many people giddy.
That’s the magic of cinema, and it can hit you at practically any age. The giddy don’t go, Joe. And if you’re planning on dating a cinephile, you should prepare for our giddy moments, which will seem silly because of how distant the medium may seem to us. To you, it could be “just a movie,” but for us, “just a movie” is what is the undercurrent to our lives. So, forgive our giddiness, and please try to find it cute if you can.
2. We Know Better than to Compare You to a Movie CharacterThere are lots of articles on this site about “Movie Boyfriends/Girlfriends We Wish Were Our Boyfriends/Girlfriends.” And they’re very entertaining, and for a lot of people they could be very true. However, in one of the rare cases of where cinephiles are able to separate film from reality, we understand that you, our prospective date, are not someone out of a movie. We are fully aware that you are a person, with flaws, and you might be lacking in the creatively romantic department. We don’t expect you to be Lloyd Dobler or Ramona Flowers. We’re ecstatic with you just being you, and we don’t need a movie romance.
That’s why we’re excited by movies that get it right. Movies like High Fidelity or Before Sunrise that showcase real relationships not laden with over-enthusiastic, romantic epiphanies. We understand that a life mirroring Love, Actually would drive us absolutely crazy. There’s a time and place for super, sappy sweetness, and we’ve put that time and place in the movies. So, don’t feel like you have to live up to these incredible standards set by the likes of Tom and Summer; we’ll want you just the way you are.
However, convincing us that we aren’t movie characters might be a bit of a challenge.
1. We Will Make You Sit Through the CreditsNow, not every one of us is like this. I don’t make my girlfriend sit through the credits unless I know there’s something coming at the end. Though there are a few instances in which I’m curious as to which special effects companies were involved, etc. etc. In those cases, I do ask that my lady stays. And odds are, you might be asked too. Luckily, you don’t have to stay silent and it’s a good time to start your conversation about the picture.
Just don’t look at your date with crazy eyes if they ask to stay for the credits. Pretend it’s because they want to spend more time with you if you have to.
It's me again. I'd also like to add how I quote movies in every day life situations and always watch the dvd commentaries. It may seem odd when I randomly spout a line of dialogue from a film, but it's almost like quoting the bible. There is a movie quote for every moment. I have no shame in admitting I enjoy dvd commentaries sometimes more than the movie itself. And hell yes I stay for the credits! I am interested to learn how many people were involved from foley artist to key grip to set dresser. I think a boom operator is a nifty job. These people work hard and it's important they get recognition.