I love this definition of connoisseur: an expert able to appreciate a field.
“Connoisseur” is commonly used when referring to wine experts. They’re knowledgeable on the variety of wines available, which ones are good and which ones to avoid, and even the types of glasses that you should use to maximize your drinking experience.
But they don’t just “know” things; if this were true we’d simply call them “experts.” It’s for this reason that you’d never see a connoisseur down a cabernet sauvignon in a shot glass like it’s cheap whisky. Being a connoisseur is about appreciation, and appreciation is about savoring. It’s about knowing how something was intended to be experienced and attempting to recreate that experience—that way the quality of the item in question is judged accurately and not based upon the environment or other controllable conditions in which it was experienced.
I am a film and television connoisseur. I’m knowledgeable about a variety of films and television series, I know which ones you might like based on what you already like and which ones you should avoid, and I even know how to best recreate the intended viewing experience (blackout curtains, anyone?)
But I don’t just know things. It’s for this reason that you’ll never see me fast forward through parts of a movie like it’s an episode of Cheaters. Again, it’s about appreciation.
Studies show that multitasking doesn’t work. So put away your iPhone, close your laptop, pause if you’re going to the bathroom or to stir the pasta, and please, stop talking unless the words coming out of your mouth are “OH MY GOD JACK BAUER CAN’T BE STOPPED!”
One reason why I like the movie theater is because it’s one of the only places that the customs involved in savoring the ideal viewing experience are somewhat enforced. I’d watch my favorite TV shows in a theater if they showed them.
When I see other people carelessly ignore these customs, I take it personally. Why? Because I want to be an editor. I want to put images together that evoke emotion in people. And when you’re taking a dump on the toilet while Lost continues un-paused, there’s really only a set range of emotion that you can experience.
But I’m slowly becoming jaded. I don’t care nearly as much as I used to. I’m understanding that not everyone’s a connoisseur. And really, that’s okay. But I really enjoy being one. And as long as you don’t interrupt my viewing experience, we’re cool.