How To Attain Movie Watching Oneness: The Flickchart / Jeet Kune Do Way

Chad Hoolihan

Having no affiliation with any spiritual or philosophical movements, Chad instead attempts to find meaning through watching movies.  He also enjoys  watching birds fight over food in supermarket parking lots.

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8 Responses

  1. I’ve had the same thoughts, though you’ve articulated them more compellingly than I might have done. I confess that I’ve become disheartened about commenting, because it seems that the only time there’s any discussion is when it’s a Spielberg vs. a “Star Wars” match-up.

    It’s also tiresome to find consistent remarks about movies like “Batman & Robin” or “The Phantom Menace” that just continue to parrot the declaration that those movies “suck.” No one ever explains why they think they suck; they simply take it for granted that it’s an accepted truth.

    I touched on this in my first User Showcase piece, about how unhelpful it is to find reductive comments that simply declare one film “ftw” and/or another to be a “fail.” Is it that users don’t feel more compelled to articulate their thoughts, or is it perhaps that many of us simply aren’t evaluating films critically in the first place?

    One thing that might be helpful is if we could be notified when someone else comments on a discussion in which we’ve participated. It’s rare that anyone responds to anything I’ve said, but it has happened once or twice. I’m sure it’s happened to others, as well. I don’t know about this until that given pair re-appears for me. There’s a sense that I’m simply throwing remarks into an abyss, and I’m sure other potential comment-leavers feel the same sense of futility.

  2. KingofPain says:

    Hey, Travis. I remember the editor from my high school newspaper once telling me “Write for yourself.” I’ve always followed that advice. I don’t really expect to get a response to most of my comments, because not a lot of people watch the same sorts of movies I do. When I make comments on popular matchups, I try to elaborate beyond “This sucks” by communicating my personal feelings as honestly as possible.

    At least by making comments, you can sort of track how your perception of movies evolve over time. I try to put down as much of my relevant thoughts on each matchup that I can. Later, when a similar sort of matchup appears, I can recall “Oh, yeah, that’s how I thought about the last one.” This helps me maintain a consistent record of my opinions. There’s a potential to uncover some sort of insight from every matchup if you think it through. Or maybe someone else will come across one of your comments and learn something.

    I just write how I honestly feel, and occasionally I learn from myself. The path to enlightenment might be lonely, but it can also be rewarding.

  3. TheOnceHotCleckley says:

    Haven’t slept in 50+hrs. Fucked out of my skull. So there I am, or here I am…NO! I AM! Stumbling through one of my many non-pornographic, virtual haunts, looking to squander the hours of my life by posting inane comments on a film-fan-site that exists in a reality even more meaningless than my own. I’m not really sure if meaninglessness has different degrees. Scroll down and what do I see? BRUCE FUCKING LEE. My man Bruce!

    At first, I wasn’t sure if I was delirious or if it was genuinely him lookin’ at me all steely-eyed and disapproving like…
    Like, “Remy, you’ve become a bum. Shape up, boy. Man up before your face intercepts my fist, bitch. I thought I taught you to express that human body!”

    Then I figure it IS him because, well, I’m on a film site. Now it hits me that my webular pal Stench of Pain is blogging about my very own fallen idol. Man, I’m beginning to despise that motherfucker now. Ahhh-pllllt to you Bruce. But, I clicked and I read because the man has a vice-like, gung-fu grip on me.

    So I read and I agreed with most of it, smiling at the ‘free-your-mind-ness’ of it all. And of course I agreed with the premise, a movies is just a superficial glob of entertainment…designed for whatever the fuck the maker designed it for…BUT received by this here clown as nothing more than a medium of pleasure. I just wanna be entertained!

    AND then I disagreed some. Maybe with the analogy, maybe with the wording. Like here:
    “In order to truly achieve Oneness, the follower must possess a diverse pool of movies to rank on Flickchart.”

    To accept oneness one should not be blinded by the socially constructed laws about diversity. To truly accept oneness, the viewer must realize that there is NO diversity other than the degrees of pleasure movies can bring. You stare. ‘Shit’ happens on screen. You were pleasured to some level or not at all. The nature of the ‘shit’, this diversity of ‘shit’ should not even consciously register. Only your enjoyment matters.

    How does this factor into the JKD analogy? Ahh, allow me to wax delusional and intellectual.

    The fighter, in all his training, encounters three basic stages on his road to bad-assery.

    On stage the first, he knows nothing of defending himself. He reacts instinctively and chooses either ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ when confronted. If he chooses to fight he flails his body with whatever unskilled, lame technique ha has at his disposal…instincyively. Probably gets his ass kicked, unless confronted by someone on an equal or lower level of physical crapness.

    On stage the number two. Boy has been attending MA classes or otherwise practicing his moves of death. He knows of the system, the punch, the kick, the combination. He’s been working on conditioning too. Once confronted his instinctive ‘fight or flight’ response is overridden by thought. He’s thinking about his technique (how to ‘attack or contract’ as Bruce said in the dialogue you cited in your 12innnch piece). Boy might win fight. Or, his thinking and slow response will get his ass spanked rosy.

    Third stage. True Warrior. Oneness. Boy has been repeatedly sparring, and punching, and stretching, and kicking, and jogging. Little mofo has now built up ‘muscle memory’. When confronted there is a combination of stages 1 & 2. There is no ‘fight or flight’ response. There is no ‘thinking’ anout systems or combos either. He kicks ass using his tools, but he didn’t think about it. He just did it. Or as Lee put it in that same dialogue…”And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself.” Instinct!

    How does that apply to movies? I’m not sure. Oh, no I am.
    Stage one, Kid watches movies. Understands nothing but will either enjoy or hate.
    Stage two, kid’s seen a few more movies. Tries to rank, sequence or assess them on objective and subjective bases.
    Stage three, his movie knowledge has done its job. He wouldn’t even think to analyze his movies. He simply responds. I saw shit. I enjoyed shit.

    So umm yeah, the abstract links between various obscure movies are eventually disregarded for whatever. Reviewing and commenting is no longer to ‘teach yourself’ or gauge your own preferences, it’s just mental wanking or an easy way to squander the hours of your meaningless existence.

  4. KingofPain says:

    I have many names and meaninglessness has many degrees depending on whether you’re looking out or in. One man’s wanking is another’s quest for meaning through meaninglessness.

    So, anyway, the diverse pool of movies thing was following the “no technique” idea. A guy can’t adapt fluidly to every Fickchart matchup situation if all he watches are 80s Action flicks and Romantic Comedies. In my bubble of meaningless that I gave meaning, I believe that the learning process continues on into infinity. So, everytime a new movie is added to the pool, infinity becomes a little bigger and my so does my range my understanding. When I took Kung Fu in college (Lion-style), the instructor told us that he walked around in cricles constantly as part of his training. Most people in the class thought it was tedious, but he believed it to be profound. I suppose if I did it enough, I’d eventually agree with him.

    All I know is, I get something out of my meaningless pursuits. Wanking is something I do to help me sleep better. (Of course, my post was not entirely serious and nobody probably took it that way.)

  5. KingofPain says:

    I think the sentence “infinity becomes a little bigger and my so does my range my understanding” was supposed to be “infinity becomes a little bigger and so does my range of understanding.” I haven’t slept much, either.

  6. TheOnceHotCleckley says:

    Dangerous thoughts such as these may only lead you to Bollywood. Course if you did start widening your horizons that much you would be at the natural disadvantage of not feeling the effects of crushing nostalgia… the only thing that BW has to offer.

    A deadly game you play, but I digress.

    Also, Walking Profoundly In Circles would make an excellent title/slogan/life affirming quote. Genous really, it’d be like a cross between Waking Life and My Diner With Andre.