How to be a movie buff

Table of contents:

How to be a movie buff
How to be a movie buff

If you're already a huge movie-watching fan, you might be wondering what it takes to become a movie buff. A movie buff is someone who has a passion for movies and knows a lot about them. Also, you should be a well-educated movie consumer and have a toolkit to distinguish average from outstanding movies. Look at becoming a movie buff as a form of education, and you'll be on your way to becoming an objective and accurate movie critic.


Part 1 of 3: Educate Yourself About Cinematography

Step 1. Set a goal of seeing 100 great movies in one year

One way to develop an appreciation for movies is to watch many different movies. For example, IMDB has compiled a list of movies that all moviegoers should see. Set up a weekly schedule to make sure you watch all of these movies in the next 12 months.

  • For example, you might have a goal of watching 2 movies a week.
  • You could follow the IMBD list or compile your own. The goal is to familiarize you with many different movies.

Step 2. Learn how to analyze movies

Learning to be a movie buff is one of the reasons you went to school. In most school courses, you learn to analyze texts, numbers, artwork, etc. What you need to do to become a movie buff is watch movies and analyze how they approach different topics.

  • Analyzing movies can be a very incisive activity, as can writing essays that analyze literature.
  • Decipher the theme of the film and analyze it.
  • Decipher how the film is related to reality by looking not at the discrepancies between them, but at how fiction and reality interact.
  • You may find it helpful to watch a movie multiple times and annotate different aspects as you watch it to familiarize yourself with movie analysis.
Be a Cinephile Step 3
Be a Cinephile Step 3

Step 3. Pick movies that you wouldn't normally see

Make sure to pick a few movies that you wouldn't normally see when making your list. This is similar to when you are in school and you must read books that you would never have chosen to read. This is an important part of being a complete movie buff.

  • For example, if you tend to only watch romantic comedies that everyone knows about, watch some foreign movies that only a few have heard.
  • Be sure to include movies from the past and present. Learning how cinematography has changed over the years also makes you a complete movie buff.
  • For example, a movie critic's job is not to like or dislike a movie, but to analyze how well it was executed by a number of standards. Watch a movie with a critical eye, rather than from your personal taste.

Step 4. Watch the important historical movies

Just as arts majors must study art history to understand modern art, moviegoers must study the history of cinematography to gain a comprehensive perspective on modern films. Watching the silent movie Train Robbery and Robbery can help you appreciate how much cinematography has changed.

  • Similarly, you should see great historical movies like Casablanca, Citizen Kane or Psycho.
  • Take a filmmaking class at college or community centers to learn what others consider to be important historical films.

Step 5. Understand the eras of filmmaking

There are as important eras for cinematography as there are for history. Understanding them can help you understand the social context of each film, which will deepen your appreciation. For example, the era of silent cinematography is important for its sound differences compared to modern films.

It is common to study movies for decades, like movies from the 1950s and 1960s

Step 6. Learn about genres

Understanding the concept of movie genres is essential. Just as there are genres of literature, there are also genres of movies. You could study action, adventure movies and so on.

Other genres are comedy, crime, horror, science fiction, and cowboy

Be a Cinephile Step 6
Be a Cinephile Step 6

Step 7. Attend film festivals

These are made all over the world and offer a variety of movies. You can watch movies in theaters during a festival and discuss them later with other critics and moviegoers like you. This is a way to increase your knowledge in just a few days.

The Sedona International Film Festival occurs in Sedona, Arizona and the Sundance Film Festival occurs in various cities around the world

Part 2 of 3: Gather What You Need

Be a Cinephile Step 4
Be a Cinephile Step 4

Step 1. Find movies to watch

Even though this is the age of instant video streaming and movies to watch are easy to find, this is not to say that all movies are worth your time. For example, there are around 3.8 million titles on IMDB (including movies, TV shows, etc.). Ask your friends for recommendations and look up lists of moviegoers online.

Step 2. Have a good computer and television

You should have a good screen and good sound, either on the computer or on the television. Since most of the movies you could watch will be found online, it is important to have a computer or device that is capable of playing streaming video without much buffering. You can test the video capabilities of the device by playing a YouTube video.

  • Most computers need an Intel or other computer processor and programs like Silverlight or Adobe Flash Player.
  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection in combination with a good player.

Step 3. Buy a DVD player

Although almost any movie is available online for instant viewing, this does not mean that you will be able to access it. Having a DVD player on hand is important to increase your availability because you never know where you might have to get a movie from.

  • You may have to purchase a DVD player as a stand-alone device that can be connected to your television or computer monitor. Similarly, you can buy portable DVD players.
  • Most laptops and desktop computers have built-in DVD players.
  • Some older movies might only be available on VHS, so having a VHS player would be helpful as well. Because this technology is out of date, VHS players are harder to find. You may have to look online or at thrift stores and yard sales, even classifieds like Craigslist.

Step 4. Pay for an online movie service

There are many online movie services that require a monthly fee to access unlimited movies. Each service has its limits, which is why you might consider subscribing to more than one.

  • Hulu offers a variety of movies and TV shows, though it's only available in the United States.
  • Amazon is a similar service and is available in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.
  • Netflix is one of the most popular streaming video shows, but its global reach is also limited.

Step 5. Get a library card

Many libraries have a DVD compilation (or VHS compilation). Get a library card if you don't already have one. You can search for available movies on the web pages of most libraries, then go ahead and pick them up.

Step 6. Rent movies in nearby areas

Similarly, you can rent movies for a small fee at local movie stores, although these types of stores have become rare as instant video streaming has become popular. Redbox, a red kiosk available at many convenience stores in the United States, is usually a reliable alternative, but it tends to retain new releases.

Part 3 of 3: Learning to Love Cinematography

Be a Cinephile Step 2
Be a Cinephile Step 2

Step 1. Find out that moviegoers love movies

By breaking the word down into two parts ("cinema" and "edge"), you can see that a cinephile is more than just a person who likes movies. A movie buff is passionate about movies. You generally choose to study movies regardless of whether you like them or not to develop a genuine appreciation for this industry.

  • The Greek language has four different words for love, and "edge" is love that focuses on camaraderie and pleasure derived from friends or objects (or hobbies).
  • Although "edge" is part of the word "moviegoers", this does not mean that a moviegoer loves all movies. Instead, he has a passion for understanding movies in general so that he can better criticize and discuss them.

Step 2. Understand that a movie buff is not a snob

When many people hear the term "cinephile", they immediately imagine a pretentious or arrogant person who bores everyone with his opinions and extensive knowledge. However, a movie buff is not a snob. Snobs are defined by what they don't like, while moviegoers are defined by what they like.

For example, a movie buff is willing to discuss all movies and does not discredit people for having different opinions

Be a Cinephile Step 7
Be a Cinephile Step 7

Step 3. Understand that movies help us communicate

Movies not only help us become balanced people and appreciate what we see, but they give us conversation starters. On the one hand, you have a great experience from which to take a topic to start short conversations with anyone. On the other hand, you can easily connect with other moviegoers.

This is true whether you like a movie or not

Step 4. Appreciate what you like best

Watching movies that you wouldn't normally see helps you appreciate more what you already like. Movies are often full of references to other movies. If you watch a lot of movies, you will notice these references and appreciate them more.

For example, in the 2003 film Finding Nemo, there is a scene that mimics the conglomeration of birds from Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film The Birds

Step 5. Familiarize yourself with the soundtracks (playlist) of the movies you like

In other words, try to have in your audio media the music of your favorite movies or one that you listened to and liked. Even some that you did not know was part of a movie and so you explore and learn more about the subject.


Avoid becoming a movie snob by keeping in mind that these are your passion and that your goal is to spread it, not dominate people with your knowledge. Notice the body language of the people you discuss movies with and see their level of interest


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