Now, I am not sure that I would say that a movie or any piece of art has any sort of obligation, as Junior does.
No neither would I.
Whatever my initial frame of mind, I am much more likely to lower my level of attention if I do not feel the material is compelling in some way, and that is the movie's responsibility, not mine.
I appreciate you staying in this conversation because this is where the interest lies for me.
If someone makes you angry or irritated is it their fault? Or is it your fault for letting them anger or irritate you?
Same with a film. Are you in control of your feelings? It's a good idea to be in control, because the alternative is that somebody else is. That's the logical conclusion isn't it? Go around blaming others for how you feel. Or accept the responsibility for your feelings. I understand because I'm the typical imperfect being who struggles with that myself. That doesn't mean I don't know fundamentally that unless I take responsibility then all I will do is blame something or someone else for anything that happens. Then where will I be? I can't learn from what's happened to me because it wasn't my fault What's the point of learning anything because it wasn't my mistake and it could happen again the same way next time because someone else is doing it to me. Put in that light, how weak does that sound?
The film is responsible for not keeping your interest? Or was it your phone ringing? Or was it you getting distracted because you didn't turn your phone off before the film began. I hope that is clear. I know how hard it is to think in these terms, but I have started doing that. So when someone says it's "the film's responsibility" it looks like an alarming statement. Or when someone says "you make me angry" it looks like they are admitting the other person is some sort of puppetmaster. Their anger is secondary to something else. If they had a clear answer that satisfied them to some question they wouldn't be annoyed would they? If they were on top form, like all of us, on those good days, nothing bothers them. So it's not the other persons fault they get angry, how could it be, and why would they want to admit other people 6,000 miles away can do that to them? We all choose whether to get annoyed or happy.
So we go to movies to be moved emotionally. So the natural next step is to blame the film when we aren't moved emotionally? The opportunity to examine why it lost your interest is there if you want to take it, but you blame the film instead? Why did you go to the film in the first place? Probably because you thought it would move you emotionally i.e. you CAN be moved emotionally. And then when it did but in a negative direction instead, you forget why you went to see it just because it was a bad reaction instead of a good one. So what's the film doing all the time you are blaming or praising it? Nothing different. It wasn't made specifically for you or do you believe that. It just came off wrong with you or your phone rang (the film didn't leave your phone on) or you had an argument with someone before the film and you can't stop thinking about it (the film didn't have that argument) or a billion other things that distract none of which have anything to do with the movie. Yet YOU lost interest, the film would have run exactly the same whether you paid attention or didn't. YOU changed, nothing to do with the film. There are a lot of the interesting things that can be said looking at it this way. If we all saw the same film the same way; the common ground, then we would all write the same thing about the same movie. The interest is in YOUR reaction. Assuming the opposite would naturally lead to samey wamey reviews.
This is a very complex difficult thing to get one's head around but I thought I should explain why, when you say its the film's fault my response is "no it isn't, it's yours". Some people have gone out and killed people after watching films. When they said the film made them do it....do you believe them or laugh at how crazy that sounds?
As an exercise we could all take note of everything that distracts us when we see a certain film. We all watch the same film and then compare what things happened that made us lose interest. Chances are someone will say, yes the same thing happened to me but the film was so interesting it didn't distract me. Different people, different reaction, same film.Birdman
started that way. I was all sorts of distracted, not even awake properly, and it dragged me in. My interest grew. A lot of reviews said the opposite. Same film.