A friend and I had a conversation recently about perfection. It was a sometimes frustrating conversation as all good ones usually are. But the take-away from the navel gazing session is this; perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Recently I achieved, in my not so humble opinion, the perfect fail.
As you are quite aware I set a goal this year of watching a new to me movie each day. What you may not know is that I’m really bad at keeping track of them. Probably about once every couple of weeks or so there is this frenzied memory game of writing down what I’ve watched. Luckily the streaming services I use keep histories and generally I mentioned movies I’ve rented or saw in the theatre to someone on chat or in email. Yesterday I was trying to recollect movies 269 to 291. My first round of movie searching yielded all but three results. The second round left me with just one blank line. Movie 270 was…I have no idea. In fact……….. it’s becoming increasingly likely that there is no movie 270. After 269 days of “perfection”, I failed.
I didn’t take the news well.
There was screaming, crying, gnashing of teeth. And why not? 291 days wasted, the reviews meant nothing, the movies I discovered, the classics I viewed, didn’t mean a thing. All because it was going to 364 movies instead of 365.
Yes, it was very melodramatic.
Then thanks, in part, to some lovely friends on Facebook who gently slapped some sense into me, I’ve decided this is the perfect fail. Why is it perfect? Because it freed me. I was finding that more days than not I was dreading watching a movie. I would put it off, debating whether or not among all my queues if there was the “right” movie to watch. Because in the pursuit of perceived perfection I was trying to be even more perfect. It wasn’t just 365 movies it was becoming 365 perfect movies. Then there was also the constant reminder that I was yet another movie review behind. But by committing the perfect fail the pressure was off. There is now no way I can complete the original goal so I’m free to change the rules. I’m no longer a slave to the goal, I can do whatever I want.
Which is how it should’ve been all along.
So I will continue to watch a movie a day for the rest of the year because when I look back at the movies and not the numbers, it’s been a pretty interesting journey. I’ve watched movies I would’ve never watched otherwise. I’ve caught up on some of the classics. I’ve discovered new actors and directors and genres. And most importantly I’ve got to share them with you. Because what good is it to watch a great (or horrible) movie if you can’t share the experience?
That being said I will review the rest of the movies, just not the way I have before. It has become way too daunting and frankly it’s caused me to procrastinate like crazy. You’ll start seeing the new review format soon, I think you will enjoy it even more than the current version.
So a toast to movie 270, that one blank line in a sea of ink. Emptiness among the completed tasks. Proof that something may or may not have existed. To movie 270, the perfect fail.