Random Factoid #505

15 12 2010

How much is shock value worth?  A friend and I discussed this today, particularly in regards to “Black Swan.”  Both of us have seen it twice (and there could be even more trips for me), and we couldn’t help but compare our experiences.

We compared what we each thought, but we also talked about how it held up on the second viewing.  Plenty of movies, particularly really shocking ones, are really only good for one watch.  I’m sure that given the massive amount of exposure the movie has gotten leading up to its wide release on Friday, plenty of people will flock to it, but I doubt many will return.

I think it’s different to hear about a movie from someone who has seen it once than hearing about it from someone’s who has seen it twice.  So consider this sentence my “second time around” review: “Black Swan” is every bit as enthralling the second time.

But that’s not what this factoid is about.  It’s about an observation both of us came to about the movie: it felt a whole lot shorter the second time.  Then, we came to the generalization that all movies that are heavy on shock value feel shorter on repeat viewings.

Perhaps it’s because we get so thrilled by the plot the first time that we totally lose ourselves, but I can’t put my finger on a specific reason why.  Does this phenomenon happen to anyone else, and if so, can you explain it?



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