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Joined: 6 May 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,835
Location: England

08 Oct 2021, 5:16 pm

I've noticed that in films where there's a big battle or war, I zone out. Whereas, if there's a fight between a small group or a one on one showdown then I'm fully invested and present.

An example of me zoning out is when I tried to watch the Lord of the rings trilogy. I know, I know, it's a classic and how dare I zone out? Listen, I didn't mean to. I went into the films with the full intention of paying full attention, but I got halfway through the second movie and there was a big battle and my mind decided that now would be the perfect time to think about a random list of chores that I should do the next day and before I knew it I was zoning out. I had to pull myself back to paying attention to the film, I did a headcount to see if I missed any major deaths and skimmed back a couple scenes to check I didn't miss any other developments.

There's something about war scenes that makes me switch off, perhaps it's the fact they're often dimly lit, they can last a while and usually don't contain much narrative back and forth. I am invested in war stories if they are split into smaller groups, such as group A going to assassinate the king, and group B going to fight off the guards. However, it's when there's one massive group fighting another mostly nameless massive group that my brain decides to blank screen.

It's the reason I avoid watching films like Dunkirk because I know that I would absolutely zone out through the majority of the film and not recall it. Sometimes I hover over the bar (if I'm watching a film on a computer and scenes are skippable) to see how long a war scene is and if I can afford to skip it. I do feel a little guilty for not enjoying the lord of the rings, it's beautifully filmed but I lack the attention span. Yet if the battle had been split into smaller groups and it panned to different groups depending on the most important development for the characters we know, then I would've had an easier time staying invested. I'm not blaming the director, but that's just how it is for me.

Same issue with Avatar (with the blue aliens, not the last airbender), loved most of the film but definitely checked out towards the end with the war scene.

Possibly B.A.P.

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 14 Oct 2021
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 1

14 Oct 2021, 11:21 pm

I agree with you on zoning out during battle scenes. As much as I’ve always enjoyed LOTR, and came around to really enjoying Dunkirk the 2ND time, I generally zone out during battle scenes. I think you nailed it with the narrative comment. As one who dissects movies into screenwriting segments while watching, battle scenes give me a chance to zone out or look something up. Haha