Unknown Films

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

When Shaun and I went to see Unknown the other day, it sparked off a bit of a discussion between the two of us.  Naturally the film was appearing on all the listings information as Unknown (that is of course the films name) but this lead us to consider a new way of going to the cinema – an Unknown film.

For the Unknown Film you go to the cinema, purchase a ticket, but the only information you’d know about the film would be the length and the rating (we discussed limiting the rating to 12A/15 to try and keep the options open the majority of cinema goers).  The film itself would be chosen by the cinema and could be anything for a classic film, through a minor art-house film or a subtitled foreign film to a recent blockbuster.  Some people may have seen it before, to others it may be a genre that they have never considered watching before – and that’s the idea, to challenge to get you watching something that you may never have considered watching in the past.  I know that there’s been several times that I’ve been sat down in front a film I didn’t think I’d enjoy and been very pleasantly surprised – True Grit being a more recent example.   Of course on the flip side there’s likely to be some films that aren’t enjoyed by everyone as everyone’s tastes are different – part of the fun is that you are paying for a the gamble, that you’ll get a film that you’ll enjoy, though it may be an idea for cinema’s to charge a lower rate for an Unknown film, or be prepared to pay out refunds for people who aren’t willing to sit through a film.  Still as two film fans this struck as a fun idea for expanding our cinema knowledge.

“Behold the turtle.  He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.” –  James Bryant Conant

The other idea we had was how to bring this into a smaller setting – say you get a bunch of friends over for a film night.  Everyone brings a DVD, all the DVD names go into the hat and you draw one out –t hat’s the one that gets watched.  I could easily see this becoming a regular occurrence by throwing in the suggestion that you’re not allowed to bring the same film two times in a row should generate variety and a good mix of films.

“Take risks:  if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” – Author Unknown

For me part of the joy of film is discovering films that I would’ve never watched if I’d seen them in the listings or at the DVD shop, and then discovering that I’ve been missing a wonderful film for all these years.  Hopefully by using some of the ideas mentioned above this will open up whole new worlds of film and story telling.

“You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” – Paulo Coelho


One thought on “Unknown Films

  1. Interesting idea. Especially given that paying for a film you actually want to see is a bit of a gamble to start with. I don’t know though, I think it’s a tough one to expect people to go and see a film at the cinema which really could be *anything*. If it was something I’d already seen (even had on DVD), for example, I think I’d resent paying the money. I don’t think it would catch on.

    That said, I like your idea of the “bring random DVDs, put them into a hat” idea. 🙂

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