I first saw Elephant in 2008. It was perhaps the most I’ve ever been moved by a film. To this day I would say it is one of the best films I’ve seen.
I’ve never seen the movie again.
At first I didn’t watch it again because I didn’t want to go through that journey again. To watch a movie like this again, at the time, seemed like a sort of masochistic excercise and I didn’t want to subject myself to the pain again.
Now, four years later, I find that the main reason I don’t want to watch this again is that I’m afraid a repeat viewing may diminish the impact the work has had on my life. Basically, I’m afraid that I might be admiring something not worth admiring.
So to start out this thread I have two questions for you:
1. Is there a film that you consider great that you don’t want to watch again?
2. Do your opinions of repeat viewings of films invalidate the immediate response you gave the film?
1. Yes there is, my fifth favourite film is Raging Bull but I do not know if I will ever watch it again, it just doesn’t have that re-watch factor for me. Also Rear Window which I think is amazing but I don’’t know if I will find myself watching it again. The final one is ‘The Birth of a Nation’ which is very long (and very good) but it is just so racist, so so racist that I could not watch it again.
2. No they do not. Take Taxi Driver which is my second favourite film of all time and is also a film I have seen many, many times. Now Taxi Driver has had a huge impression on me each time but in different ways. The first time it was all about De Niro’s performance which I did then and I still do consider the best performance of all time. But I originally did not see the masterful supporting performances as such an important role, although I still saw De Niro’s great performance.
May be a good idea, I saw it twice and it is even more difficult the second time around.
Gone with the wind i would say. I love Scarlett tho.
Many films are not REWATCHABLE. Some are made to only be viewed once. For instance, once you know what the twist in the film is it does NO GOOD to watch it again. Or, you enjoyed it so much the first time that you don’t want to ruin your experience of it. I have rewatched movies and found that I NOW do not like that film anymore. But there are movies that are simply too long also. Or just too hard to get through without a pot of coffee. Dune, by David Lynch, was a great watch the first time. But I could never get back through it again. Some films just get dated. In other words, they lose touch with modern day whether it be in style or some other reason. I remember trying to rewatch Hellraiser and it was so revoltingly 80’s that it was a huge distraction to the rewatch. I notice that over the years as quality of films gets better and better through high definition and blu-rays and even 3D, that older movies just have gotten lost in the dust.
Elephant is one of my favorite films. I have rewatched it several times. I admit, though, I understand your difficulty in rewatching it. It is not a fun thing to watch. But Gus Van Sant has created an ambient piece that slowly boils into chaos.
@Daniel: Are you saying you would only watch films like Memento or Eternal Sunshine only once? I feel movies well executed twists demand at least two viewings.
I do plan on watching Elephant again later this month, if only as an self-administered experiment to see my reaction.
I own Memento and Eternal Sunshine…i watch them again when enough time has passed and I need to refresh my memory on just what happened in those films. I agree that some twists require two viewings. But to be honest, I think all of us given enough time forget moments in films we’ve seen to where upon watching them later in life we can take joy in viewing them again.
I didn’t care for Elephant.
Movies I liked but would never watch again, probably documentaries. Or very long slow ones, for me to want to rewatch a slow depressing seven hour film it’d have to be as good as Satantango.
I’ve only seen The Devil Probably 5 times but for some reason on the last viewing it all felt like there was not a word or shot that I didn’t anticipate. I obviously knew the film well, but I was ahead of almost everything. I need to wait a long time to rewatch. The power has lessened of course!
I’ll go with Raging Bull too… the first time I watched it I was blown away. The next time I didn’t make it through the first hour. Still don’t know why!
The Elephant Man
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
I agree with Daniel that some films are mostly un-rewatchable (new word!) because they become dated. There’s a lot of movies I have watched and really liked that I don’t think I’ll see again, for example recently The Piano, Few of Us, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Germany Year Zero, and Biutiful. Especially Biutiful. The atmosphere and acting is top notch, however it is very draining and I don’t think it has any rewatch value whatsoever.
Irreversible is an incredible film I would never watch again. Anyone who has seen the film will no doubt understand why.
In regards to the second point, watching another Gaspar Noe film, Enter the Void, in the cinema was an almost life changing experience, but I’ve tried to watch it at home a couple of times and it just leaves me cold. So, yes, sometimes you realise a film isnt as good as you thought it was, or perhaps needs to be seen under special circumstances. I think you can only really know if you love a film after youve seen it a few times.
In regards to Elephant, it more or less blew me away the first time I watched it, but after watching it recently I liked it slightly less. I still think its a compelling work, probably Gus Van Sant’s best.
I had to watch Martyrs and Irreversible each twice just to be sure I experienced what I thought I remembered. And the second viewing was always rewarding.
A film I’ll never watch again is Cannibal Holocaust.
this happened with melancholia. i absolutely loved it first time round but didnt want to see it a 2nd in case it didnt match up to the first viewing. and it didnt.
The Seventh Continent
A film I’ll never watch again is Cannibal Holocaust
Jesus, I read a couple of reviews about that movie, and it was enough to disgust the hell out of me.
I think I might have watched Cannibal Holocaust twice. Or maybe it just stuck in my head so vividly as if I’d rewatched it.
For me, Under the Sun of Satan. Saw it twice, but I don’t understand it and it loses my interest too quickly.
Come and See and United 93.
Btw, this is the little known Alan Clarke film that Van Sant pays homage to in Elephant.
I probably won’t be stoked to watch Come and See again. It’s a great film overall, but I got everything out of it that it had to offer, and I don’t feel like I’d want to stomach all that once more.
Heremias. It was well made but damn it was long.
Dogville is a great example. Synedoche, NY. The Passion of the Christ. All are way too emotionally draining – Synedoche was completely brilliant, I thought, but it made me want to die. While I would never consider any of these films in my top-tier (for me, a favorite film has to have rewatchability), they are all still great works with something to say. In other words, OP, I totally get where you’re coming from.
ETA: Whoops, posted twice, can’t see how to delete. :)
I agree. Elephant was a good film but once is enough.