The Levels of Movie Watchers
Level 1: Average Joe: Will watch pretty much any mainstream movie. Might be excited for the next Will Farrell movie, or the next Titanic. Doesn’t really make movies an event; just watches them when they’re bored or when their friends want to hang out and do something.
Level 2: The Film Fan. I’d say most of my friends fall into this category. They tend to love movies slightly outside of the mainstream, and usually American films. These are the Coen Brothers fans, the Tarantino fans, the Eternal Sunshine/Charlie Kaufman fans, the Nolan fans (beyond Batman). They usually love the Academy Awards, and try to watch as many films nominated as possible. They see merit to film, but don’t delve too deeply beyond the easily accessible.
Level 3: Criterion’s Bitch: Many know a lot of the more mainstream foreign films, and probably a bit more than that. They’re into the American indie movie scene, classic Hollywood cinema, foreign favorites, what goes on at Cannes and Sundance, and might read a film site or two (like Senses of Cinema/Reverse Shot/etc.). They usually like the Criterion Collection as well as the big classic directors, like Bergman, Tarkovsky, etc. Maybe Yang and Hou as well. They’re into film, they love film. They might attend a film festival or two, go to several screenings (maybe even 1-2 a week). I myself am probably on this level.
Level 4: Cinephilia Incarnate: For these, the Criterion Collection is just a jumping off point into the uncharted waters. Filipino cinema? Check? Bangladeshi cinema? Check. The world is vast and unexplored and uncovering the most obscure and rare gems are the key to having a well-rounded experience for this cinephile. They might scour Karagarga and Surreal Moviez for that rare print, attend screenings for little known film, and write entire essays on directors no one has heard of. They pride themselves on a catalog of film knowledge, one ever-expanding to include lost films and unearthed interesting pieces.