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Reddit has given the world some silly games and ideas, but this might be the silliest one that we've completely loved. Over at this thread, which was picked up and Buzzfeed-ified here, user sixdoublefive321 starts the conversation: "If you watch the movie Jaws backwards, it's a movie about a shark that keeps throwing up people until they have to open a beach." From there, in the way of any Reddit thread, the other users run wild with it. The thread is actually four years old, but Buzzfeed recently picked it up, and because the Internet is a snake endlessly eating its own tail, we're picking it up too. Because it's August, and playing with your movies is as fun as playing with your food.
Is there any artistic purpose to this kind of game? For the most part, not really. Reading Black Swan as a story about curing insanity by sleeping with Mila Kunis pretty much negates the huge psychological impact of the story, and the Titanic spin-- "It's a heartwarming tale about a boat that comes out of the ocean and saves a bunch of drowning people"-- basically makes an already thin story even thinner. But imagine a version of this game which is a little less funny, and more poignant, about the changes that take place over the course of a movie. The Harry Potter example, while silly, really helps demonstrate the impact that Hogwarts has on a character who we come to see as a hero:
He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this:
When we see movies and love them, we have the ability to imagine them in whatever order we like-- it's the magic that makes Pulp Fiction so great, the power that makes the ending of Back to the Future so tempting. This is a silly Reddit game, yes. But done right, it evokes those movies that live most powerfully in your brain, begging to be reshuffled and played with, allowing you to tamper with history and make it better, more ridiculous, sadder, or all three. Most of these examples are ridiculous. But we welcome your more powerful ones in the comments.