CATEGORIES Fandom, Cinematical


The notion of a collective conscience has been in my head ever since Ethan Hawke's Jesse and Julie Delpy's Celine discussed life and death in Waking Life. Jesse referred to innovative leaps, getting the answers, and solving an old crossword puzzle: "It's like once the answers are out there, people can pick up on 'em. It's like we're all telepathically sharing our experiences."

But what about media and moviegoing? I've been in the middle of reading one book, happen to pick up another at the store, and then turned the page of my current read to see mention of the new book I just purchased. With moviegoing it seems to be even more prevalent. Within days of watching Synecdoche, New York, I watched Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III. I'd seen neither before, and both had Tom Noonan. Just the other day, in the middle of my Soap marathon, I threw in Janeanne Garofalo's Matchmaker for a little romcom fluff. Robert Mandan, who played Chester Tate in the former, played McGlory Senior in the latter. I'd had no idea.

These aren't cases of watching two new movies and seeing the same actors in them (like Anton Yelchin in Star Trek and Terminator Salvation), but moments when quite random actors pop up as if the subconscience had planned a double feature. It happens so often that I wonder: Do we all have a photographic memory that we just don't have the ability to access? Is there a collective conscience? How many times does it have to happen before it stops being coincidence?

I turn the question over to you, movie fans: Does this sort of thing happen with your movie watching, and why do you think it is?