Zine Review: watches too much, it’s just not healthy

watches too much, it’s just not healthy
Fire (?)
fire.as.a.metaphor@gmail.com

watches too much, it’s just not healthy is an A5 black and white zine featuring Fire’s ponderings on #100-#91 of their 100 favourite movies.

“The rest of the movie is great enough. A brain-melting, gleeful in ways I never knew possible, exhausting tale of how everything would be better if people found their trash side.”

I think I’d watch the movie based on that sentence alone.

watches too much, it’s just not healthy opens with a very brief introduction about the idea that started this zine before launching right into the movie features. Each movie is given its own full title page with details like the title, director, run time, and more all set against a full A5 picture from the movie itself. Following the title page, Fire then examines each movie in a mix of synopsis, critique, mental wanderings, some nostalgia…

I called these spread movie features rather than reviews because this zine certainly made me realise just how many movie analysis and review videos I watch/listen to online. Without realising it, I’ve become quite used to a certain general structure for these things – a structure Fire more or less doesn’t follow, preferring to textually wander as the spirit takes them.

Fire explores their favourite movies in different ways. Some start more traditionally with a short opener, synopsis, and then thoughts. Others mix in different facets like facts about the actors and/or directors, personal memories associated with the movie, etc. I have to admit that this did throw me a bit. I had to reread certain sections and take my time with others to really keep up. I was expecting a bit of that simply because there are so very many movies out there and there were bound to be references that I didn’t understand.

(For example: “Desperate Living: AKA Punk Story. AKA the one without Divine”)

Fire definitely writes like someone who is familiar with movies inside and out. They also express this aesthetically as well in the layout. There’s a fun element with small pictures of movie scenes running alongside the text like a film strip. It’s the little things like that that really make me smile.

As you may have guessed from the question marks in the top details, there aren’t any socials within the zine other than an email address, from which I decided on a name to use. There could always be a reason when people limit what they share, though, so it’s only ever really a mention rather than a nitpick.

While I do enjoy recommendations and will be watching some of these movies (I haven’t watched any mentioned and have only heard of one), I think I personally prefer a bit more expected structure to these kinds of recommendations. That said, I can appreciate a refreshing take on things for what it is, and some of Fire’s thoughts had me smile and pondering quite a bit. I’d also still check out the next in this zine series, if it exists.

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