We all have different memories

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We all have different memories

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We all have movies that we loved as children. Thanks to on demand services such as Netflix, cable tv, Hulu, and others, we can often find these movies and relive our childhood. I’ve done this before with many movies.

Sometimes, when I watch the movie, I notice that some of the dialogue is slightly other than I remember, or that a scene has been added. The feeling of nostalgia is not completely lost, but when I want to show an old movie to a friend or family member, and I am unable to anticipate a scene or line, it doesn’t feel good. It’s like telling an old war story from your childhood, misremembering a part of it, and knowing that you misremembered it as you tell it. It’s still a good story, just a little different than what you actually experienced.

The bigger examples of this are the Star Wars movies, where die hard fans are mad that George Lucas modified Episode IV to make Greedo shoot first, or ET where the guns were digitally removed. Most movies, however, have much more subtle changes – a joke may last a bit longer than remembered, or some extra swear words might be used. I know that I feel silly when I tell a friend to pay particular attention to a part of a movie only to have something happen that is different from what I remember.

Of course, the producers of the movies can do what they want. My question is, why is it so difficult to find a certain version of a movie? Dictionaries have ‘editions’ and so do books. When books are changed, usually their cover or jacket makes such changes clear – not so with movies. I propose a Netflix-style service where I can watch any edition of any movies – where I can choose to watch the movie the way it existed prior to being “remastered”. Lots of times, we don’t watch movies so that we can see what the director thought, after several revisions, was close to perfect. We watch them to remember what it was like the first time that we saw them.


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