How do you "remember" movies in your mind? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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So here's something I've been thinking about lately:

I have two primary ways I watch video content. One is my 100" projection screen using an Epson 3D projector in a dedicated room. I currently use surround headphones (due to sleeping kiddies right below my media room), but I have a traditional 5.1 speaker setup as well. Suffice it to say it's an average (or slightly above average) setup that gives one a fairly immersive home theater experience in terms of video and sound.

The other way I watch stuff is on my iPod. I lie in bed on my side, and put my iPod on a table next to the bed. I use a single earbud for audio (since it's uncomfortable to lie on my pillow with an earbud in the other ear). It's essentially mono audio on a 4-inch screen. I've watched all sorts of things this way (full movies, netflix tv shows, etc).

Months after watching something, when I go to recall the movie in my "mind's eye", I actually sometimes struggle to remember how I watched it (ipod vs. home theater). For example, I watched Valkyrie on my iPod once. It's the only way I've seen that film. But, I don't feel like I missed any of the experience watching it on a 4-inch screen.

Now I will admit, there are certain aspects where the full blown home theater leaves an impact. We watched Life of Pi in 3D in all it's glory in our media room. When I remember that movie, I do remember the 3D impact, the awe at some of the visuals, etc. But those moments are a small percentage of the whole rememberance of the film.

For me, for the most part, recalling a movie in my mind seems about the same regardless of how I watched it. It makes me wonder, at the core of it all, how much the technical aspects of a viewing experience truly matter and carry over to the long-term memory of that viewing experience.

Thoughts?


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post #2 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 11:46 AM
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This is a good topic.

I have only one viewing area now and seldom go to the theater, but for older films I sometimes can't remember: "Did I see this in the theater or on crummy VHS tape?" Obviously, a spectacle film is more likely to leave an impression from a good theater.

When you get lost in the story the delivery medium tends to fade in importance. Maybe this is why action pictures deserve a high-end presentation: because the stories themselves are forgettable. Which can be a good thing: you can revisit them as if they were new.

A parallel case: I've been listening to audiobooks for about 25 years. In some cases I can't remember which I heard and which I read in print. I retain about the same amount either way.

-Bill


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post #3 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 12:09 PM
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That is definitely a great question.

Like both of you, I almost always remember just the content irrespective of how it was viewed. I found that as I've gotten older I've cared much less about the technical aspects of the equipment a film is played on, as well as the format in which the film is stored.

As Bill said, mindless popcorn flicks tend to be the exception due to their "all flash, no substance" nature.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 12:09 PM
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I will never watch a film on an iPod. Ever.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 01:59 PM
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"I like to remember things my own way… how I remembered them, not necessarily the way they happened."
- Fred Madison

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 02:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

"I like to remember things my own way… how I remembered them, not necessarily the way they happened."
- Fred Madison
I just watched that two nights ago. Great flick, and Patricia Arquette in her prime!

Funny little side note - both Lost Highway and Mullholland Drive give my wife nightmares more than any horror movie. eek.gif

Edited to add an oldie but a goodie:
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeb View Post

I just watched that two nights ago. Great flick, and Patricia Arquette in her prime!

Funny little side note - both Lost Highway and Mullholland Drive give my wife nightmares more than any horror movie. eek.gif

Edited to add an oldie but a goodie:

Mulholland Drive was creepy as hell. smile.gif

That video made me laugh out loud. smile.gif I see his point, to be sure...but I definitely am guilty of watching stuff on my iPod.

I admittedly only watch things on my iPod that are "non-critical". It's convenient sometimes to watch something on it right before I go to sleep. That said, and maybe this means I'm not as sophisticated as David Lynch wink.gif but I did feel like I "experienced" Valkyrie (for example) having only watched it on my iPod.


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post #8 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

A parallel case: I've been listening to audiobooks for about 25 years. In some cases I can't remember which I heard and which I read in print. I retain about the same amount either way.

I find this *very* interesting, because that is an even more pronounced difference in the delivery medium (reading text on a page, versus an audiobook are basically two DIFFERENT delivery mediums, actually!). The brain and memory are such mysterious things.


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post #9 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 05:21 PM
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The brain is truly complex and IMHO, modern science still has only scratched the surface of its power.

More to specific topic, I grew up watching tons of movies on TV, plus going to the theater a lot too.

There are films that I can almost literally recite verbatim, and see them as I close my eyes. Once during lengthy visit to the dentist office for some unfun surgery, in order to divert my attention to the action by the dentist, I closed my eyes, and
'watched' one of my favorite movies.

I do not consider myself as anything special, but again, there are many films I love and
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 05:25 PM
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....sorry, bad fingers on cell phone.

...films I love and have seen so many times, they are fixed in my memory.

Again, nothing great about it and no different that being able to 'hear' ones favorite song in their head.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-03-2013, 11:50 PM
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As far as I can tell the memory of the content of a movie isn't based on how I watched the movie.
However some movies stick out based on the context when viewing the movie.
E.g. when I saw Evil Dead 3 at the theater, full of hardcore fans of the earlier movies, great experience smile.gif

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post #12 of 15 Old 07-04-2013, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatherom View Post

I find this *very* interesting, because that is an even more pronounced difference in the delivery medium (reading text on a page, versus an audiobook are basically two DIFFERENT delivery mediums, actually!). The brain and memory are such mysterious things.

The mind is indeed strange, and people have different modes of thinking which sometimes frustrates understanding and communication.

Taking my favorite subject -- me -- as an example: it took me just about forever to understand that I do not have a visual imagination. I don't picture things in my mind. This might be why I enjoy movies so much: because I could never create those pretty pictures for myself.

My first clue: long ago (I don't know if it still happens) there was intense interest in visual computer programming. Drawing pictures of logic and processes instead of writing lines of code. Even with primitive technology management wanted flowcharts and systems diagrams and we never could find the right techniques. Compared to the simple text of the code, pictures were awkward and never very useful.

I always thought of programs as stories or narratives with the text of the code itself as the best representation.

My limits became clear when watching Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies. I'd think "That's spectacular, but not quite how I imagined it" ... then stop and think: how did I imagine it? Answer: I hadn't pictured it at all. I remembered the story and the text, but had no images in mind.

This is why printed books and audiobooks are about the same in my memory. Both are narratives and my mind accepts them as such.

If that seems strange: I sometimes dream a narrative without images. Occasionally in play format: "Scene: windswept moor. Enter: three witches..."

-Bill


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post #13 of 15 Old 07-04-2013, 07:52 AM
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The picture is a lot bigger for me as I am very hard of hearing. I now pass up quite a few films without subtitles if the film & (cranked way up) dialog doesnt strike me early on. I have a sizeable # of dvd's but rip them so's I can 'fast reverse' (one misses a lot sometimes in dialog) & pick up on what I missed. I delete when done. (can always re-rip) Movies v books are another thing. I have found that watching a flic after reading the book 1st, the movie tends to not be as good as the book. The better the book, the less good the movie. If the movie is good, the book tends to be much better. (There is just too much, generally, in a book story to translate to a film, good films carry enough (& the right parts) of the story to convey the 'message'. eg: Anybody see the movie 'Love in the time of Cholera"? I liked that one.Then I got the book from the library. (21 day loan, & renewed it one time to finish) I was so captured by the novel, I read it word for word, & read multiple pages over to help understand what was going on. Then I went out & bought the book for myself. And read it again. And watched the movie again. When watching a good film again, I find myself anticipating the best parts over & over. I have watched 'Koyannisqatsi' like 10 times & know what is coming up next, & can hardly wait, But that is almost totally a visual trip. (for me, anyway)
-corne-
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-12-2013, 12:45 PM
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For me, it doesn't really matter how I watch the film. Instead, it is more of an impact thing. Films that hit me hard or that I watched a lot tend to be remembered in what I would consider as real time. Other movies tend to come to be in quotes or just moments, but I don't consider them real time, more just stream of consciousness.
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-12-2013, 03:14 PM
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On a related note, I have watched Pink Floyd The Wall under various influences and it was an unique experience every time. 



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