Snap judgments can be lifesaving, but they can also be unfair.
Lifesaving: Fight-or-flight, a basic survival instinct. When confronted with danger, we make a snap judgment and act on it. Our instinct to avoid danger has contributed much to the survival of our species.
Unfair: We judge someone by her hair, his suit, their handshake. “Geez, that hair!” and “Geez, that suit!” and “Geez, that handshake!” and dismiss them.
I don’t like it when people make snap judgments about me, but I, in turn, am guilty of making snap judgments.
Like when I was reading A Selective List of Upcoming Fall 2019 Film Releases in the entertainment section of my newspaper.
(Did you just snap judge me because I read the newspaper? “Geez, what a dinosaur”?)
I love movies, but not all genres of movies. Here’s a partial list:
Sci-Fi: Not unless Raiders of the Lost Ark is considered Sci-Fi?
Coming of Age: Teen angst is, like, so, like, totally boring.
Overweight Actress Who Body-Shames Self. No, no, no.
Historical: Yes, with reservations. If I’m familiar with the actual history and the movie turns out to be wildly inaccurate, I do get miffed.
Rom-Com: Yes, with qualifications. The eight-millennial-couples-all-sleeping-with-each-other plot? No.
Documentaries: Yes, with exceptions. If I’m not interested in the subject, I’ll skip it. But that still leaves me with lots of documentaries to enjoy and learn from.
(Did you just snap judge me, based on my semi-summary? “Geez, how narrow-minded”?)
Back to the Selective List of Upcoming Fall 2019 Film Releases.
The new movies were listed in order of the release date with the title, and a one-sentence summary that included the leads, and sometimes the director.
There were 40 movies listed.
Here’s an example of my movie snap judgment:
September 6, It: Chapter 2: A sequel to the 2017 horror
is where I stopped reading.
September 20, Rambo
October 11, Gemini Man: Ang Lee directs this 3-D science-fiction
November 8, Doctor Sleep: An adaptation of Stephen King’s
Out of the list of 40, I ended up with eight I wanted to check out further.
Perhaps there is something not quite right about snap judging a movie so quickly.
When I think of the time and money invested in movies, and the great hopes of the directors, producers, writers, actors, productions crews – all that for naught after I’ve read only a few words (or even just the title)?
But…life is short, and why waste time reading further about a movie I know I won’t see?
While I’m talking about that day’s newspaper’s entertainment section, here’s an observation:
On the front page, two-thirds was devoted to a lengthy article and color photos about the new movie Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix.
The remaining one-third of the front page was a list of movies newly available on DVD.
One of them was Mary Magdalene, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus.
I thought it was a nice juxtaposition:
Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus…and the Joker.
Joaquin Phoenix in Joker:
The catalyst for this post was the Selective List of Upcoming Fall 2019 Film Releases, yet not once have I used the word “film.”
I’ve often wondered why some people choose to say “film” or “movie,” and that left me with a vague sense of discomfort – as if one was somehow better than the other.
I went online to research that, and found opinion piece that seemed to agree:
A movie is more concerned with plot and easy answers. A film attempts to convey or explore something larger than itself. A movie is about giving the audience exactly what they want. A film forces the audience to grow in some way, to leave the theater slightly better humans than when they came in.
I read that far, and then…
(Did you just snap judge me? “Geez, you are so snap-judgmental”?)