My Name Is Legion wrote:
Do we really want to know that Norman's dressing up as Mother the first time we see Psycho, though? Probably not, but knowing doesn't stop people from enjoying the movie over, and over, and in many ways more on repeated viewings. Nor has it stopped generations of people from enjoying it despite knowing for many years before they see classic films that Mother is a corpse, Rosebud is a sled and Darth Vader is that kid's daddy.
I totally agree that repeat viewings allow for the appreciation of various elements we don't necessarily appreciate the first time around but I also very much enjoy "the reveal" without the spoilers. Psycho works on many levels on repeat viewings but I am also very happy I first saw it without knowing "the reveal". The same applies to the Wrath of Khan (to keep it in the Trek world, not to suggest they are qualitatively equivalent). Obviously I knew Khan was the villain but I did not know Spock died at the end. I would have been very disappointed to know that before I saw it the first time.
I totally agree.
and (to Dennis's
other point) Kane
are both cinematic masterpieces. The plot twists may have initially sold the tickets, but both films have since become better served as objects of intellectual study for hobbyists and academics. In that realm, the twists (or their direct dramatic impact on the viewer) are irrelevant.
, as you say, provides a great juxtaposition. In the end, it's a flawed film with a poignantly dramatic ending. Remove the initial impact of the ending, and all that's left is the flawed film.
Had the interwebz existed back then and the Kobayashi Maru
ruse had failed to abate the rumor mill, I have no doubt that the (if the current fan base is any indicator) Trekkies would have out-lashed and completely ruined the experience.
"OMG, Spock is dead!" Would have become: "WTF? They killed Spock!" And I think it's easy to fill in the blanks as to what would've happened next. Suffice it to say, Khan
would not be the Trek film to which all others are judged.
Luckily, Nicky & Harvey's trick worked. Now people just look back on the film fondly and enjoy it for its own sake. And it's since become a part of pop culture lore. People see it now fulling knowing about the "KHAAAAAAAAN!" or Spock's death, but it's part of the experience now. It's what i like to call the nostalgia goggles.
I like the Vader example better demonstrates this. Most fans have retroactively labeled Empire
better than Star Wars
. When you see docs and other interviews about this, everybody pretty unanimously attributes the whole "I am your father!" thing as the reason why. It was the ultimate "Oh my God!" moment.
But like the Khan thing, the initial awesomeness of people's reactions have rippled through the pop ether and become an entity of its own out of a need to fill some nostalgic void. People who where there the first time get to relive that feeling over and over again. Others can borrow those goggles and see the movie for the first time--the whole time knowing the out come--and still get the same rush as if a residual effect from catching the awesome ball.
And we can also ask what if it too had been spoiled by the interwebz? People would have been livid. There would be "What is this shit? This ain't no Star Wars!" Tweets abound.
In turn, people wouldn't look back at "I am your father!" with fondness, but with loathing hatred.
I think there's also a psychological effect at play too. Part of that initial "experience" has to do with when, where, and with whom you saw something for the first time. The friend who lent you the nostalgia goggles, for example, he may have spoiled the movie for you years ahead of time, but the experience of watching it with him for the first time more than made up for it.
There's also those emotional bonds we form with film, shows, and literature. We read a certain book or watch a show at a certain (right) time in our lives, and an element speaks to us on a personal level. And it becomes a security blanket--something to read/watch over and over again in order to recreate that feeling. Usually, though, those connections are formed out of the discovery of the story and its elements. A theme or idea just doesn't speak as strongly if you can't discover it on your own, which wouldn't happen if everything was spoiled.