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Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

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Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Old 11-04-18, 09:15 PM
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Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

For about 20 years, I have kept a list of the movies I have seen, including my evaluative rating. Sometimes I will come across a film that sounds interesting but vaguely familiar. I'll look over my list and, sure enough, there it is.
Other times I look back over my list and have no memory of many of the titles. Sometimes I even have difficulty remembering a movie after watching its trailer. The movies I forget are exclusively, as far as I can tell, somewhere between middling and awful, so I guess it's not very surprising.

Anyone else suffer from this affliction and find it peculiar?
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Old 11-04-18, 09:35 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

No, I don't find it peculiar.

I used to live around the corner from an art theatre, and for years would go every Sunday to see whatever was playing. I saw lots of foreign and small independent movies. I still have the calendars that listed all the movies shown. There's probably a dozen I know I went to see, but don't remember anything about.

Who knows what kind of mind-set I was in. Maybe I was tired that night and not paying attention. Maybe the movie sucked, so I sat there thinking about other things while waiting for it to be over.

Another reason I'm sure these movies have evaporated from my memory, is because they weren't something that caught on with the popular culture, and the constant references over the years fortify how well you remember the movie.
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Old 11-04-18, 09:38 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Sadly, it happens on occasion. I blame seeing so many films over the years. Getting older probably has something to do with it too.
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Old 11-04-18, 09:58 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

It just happened to me for the October Horror Challenge. I had My Little Eye (Unwatched) On the DVR and saved it late for the month. After I got done with it, I went to ICM and Letterboxd to log my rating for it...Only to discover that I had already seen it back in 2016.

Last edited by Mondo Kane; 11-04-18 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 11-04-18, 09:58 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

It happened to me this past month. I was trying to watch at least one horror movie a day, and it led to me realizing I’d seen Scream (4? Whichever the most recent is) and The Town That Dreaded Sundown. I had no memory of watching either one until I started them and kinda halfway started remembering stuff.
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Old 11-04-18, 10:11 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Yes, but it’s usually bland, generic stuff like Looper or c-list horror movies.
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Old 11-05-18, 04:30 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

For me a lot of times its the opposite. I'll remember I watched a movie but I couldn't tell you anything about it. I guess that means it was a forgettable movie.
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Old 11-05-18, 06:20 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Yes. When I was a teen, I worked at a theater. And I saw just about every movie that came out 2000-2002. Wish I logged them, so I could go back and see what stuck with me and what faded away.
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Old 11-05-18, 07:35 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

More often than not, something will come out on video, and I'll suddenly remember that I did actually pay money to see it in the theater. "Brainscan", for example. Though it's always films I didn't care for or didn't make a real impression on me. It's as hard to forget films you passionately hated as ones you loved. Sometimes I have trouble remembering if I saw a particular film in the theater or on home video.
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Old 11-05-18, 07:43 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Yep. One that comes to mind is the first Captain America. Probably watched the first 20-30 min before realizing I had already seen the whole movie. Getting old sucks!
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Old 11-05-18, 07:50 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

I've always watched and collected movies since VHS and Laserdisc starting in the late 80s. Back then, I could watch a movie, and quote lines from any movie that I saw months earlier, recall every actor, specific scenes, and nuanced plot points. Now, I'm just lucky to remember the title of the movie that I watched this past week.
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Old 11-05-18, 08:01 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

I was looking through a pile of my old movie ticket stubs. I had many questions like, “When did I see Celtic Pride?” And “What the hell is Celtic Pride?!”
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Old 11-05-18, 08:07 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

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Old 11-05-18, 08:24 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

^ I actually had to Google it to remember. After that, I vaguely remember seeing it in the theater but at the time I was looking at my old ticket stubs, the title didn’t ring a bell at all.

Of course, once I had some recollection, my first thought was “Why the hell would I see THAT in the theater?!”
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Old 11-05-18, 08:35 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

It used to be that I'd see a movie enough times that it seemed I knew the movie by heart. Starting around 2000 I would watch a new movie and not watch it again for maybe 10 years or more and forget just about everything that happens.
I've seen every X-Men movie as they were released and none a second time. Can't remember anything about the early ones. Looking forward to watching the BDs. It'll be like seeing brand new movies I've never seen even though I have.
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Old 11-05-18, 09:24 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Yeah, the older I get and the more movies Iíve seen make this happen more and more.

The only log that I keep of what movies Iíve watched are Challenge lists here, or by sometimes rating them at IMDb. Sometimes, Iíll start a movie that I think Iíve never seen it, but quickly realize that I have. But once in awhile Iíll watch a ďnewĒ movie in its entirety, go to IMDb to rate it, and see that I have seen it before.
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Old 11-05-18, 09:40 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

I forget quite often these days, which is a shame. But normally it's only on sick days where I've watched like six movies in a row.
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Old 11-05-18, 11:24 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

I'll often sit and watch an older film that I'm sure I've never seen before and then when I go to add it to my viewing log, it's listed as having already been seen. This happens with films I saw on broadcast TV, edited for time or content, pan-and-scan and interrupted frequently by commercials. So seeing them again 30-40 years later is like seeing them for the first time.

A more interesting case occurred this year after I did a blog post on the SHINOBI NO MONO ninja film series from the 1960s. Some months later, I was going through old files and found a notebook with this written on the first page:



These were notes from two visits to the Thalia, a once-famous repertory theater in Manhattan. I remembered a samurai film I'd seen in 1974 called BAND OF ASSASSINS, but it had no sequel and I'd only seen it once. I then read through my (surprisingly legible) notes on the first film in the notebook and the character names and plot matched the first SHINOBI NO MONO film. I looked it up on IMDB and was astounded to learn that SHINOBI NO MONO (1962) was also known as...A BAND OF ASSASSINS! So I'd seen the first two films in that series 35 years earlier and had completely forgotten.

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 11-05-18 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 11-05-18, 11:44 AM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Just this past week, I was looking at a few online recommendations for good but little-known horror movies, and came across a good review for the Michael Fassbender movie Eden Lake. So I watched it. I kept having feelings of deja vu throughout the entire movie, but then other scenes didn't seem familiar at all. Still am not certain whether I had seen the movie before or not.

For those who like their horror bleak, the entire movie is on youtube.
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Old 11-05-18, 03:04 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Very rarely. I actually remember seeing Snow White on a ship when my dad got stationed in Hawaii before I was 2. And I turn 59 next month. No kidding.
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Old 11-05-18, 03:44 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Only the mediocre and bad ones.
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Old 11-05-18, 05:23 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Glad I'm not alone with this (except Orbi-Wan Techno). We're a bunch of geezers, and we watch too much rubbish. Life is too short, so I try to obviate watching lousy films, but I find my ratio of unworthy-to-worthy films is pretty consistently about 6:1, the latter being films I would actually buy for my collection. Among the 6, many are fair or pretty good, or inferior to fairly bad, while very few are absolutely wretched.
Mr. Flix, I'm surprised you would forget Eden Lake. I would easily place it in the top-5-or-10 horror films since the turn of the century, though it does nominally fit into that post-2000 "gorn" category, and also into the Ils-like "killer chavs" subgenre. It's not original, but very tense and well-done.
Ash Ketchum, I love the old notebook you found! Speaking of Found, that's the most recent film on my list of which I had zero recollection based on the title. I just watched it within the last 6-8 weeks. I just IMDbed it and now recall it was some movie about a kid whose older brother is a serial killer. Too many banal or downright lousy thrillers and horror flicks are being churned out these days.
One-word, forgettable titles can also be a reason for not remembering.
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Old 11-05-18, 05:27 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Sometimes. Most recently it was Dragnet (1987). I know I saw that before way back in the late 80s or early 90s and recently watched and only started remembering around the PAGAN sacrifice sequence.
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Old 11-05-18, 06:00 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

Originally Posted by Norm de Plume View Post
For about 20 years, I have kept a list of the movies I have seen, including my evaluative rating. Sometimes I will come across a film that sounds interesting but vaguely familiar. I'll look over my list and, sure enough, there it is.
Yeah, I both keep a list and have forgotten seeing some films, mostly past few years. I think it's a combo of getting older and the fact the sheer volume of films watched keeps expanding.

Anyone else not retain film plots/details nearly as well as they used to?
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Old 11-05-18, 06:37 PM
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Re: Do you ever completely forget that you have seen a movie?

In the mid-late Ď90s when I was renting alot, I managed to rent Love & Human Remains at least 3 times, each time forgetting Iíd already seen it.
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