"It would have been a pretty short game show, and every contestant would have had to watch the film, which would have been annoying. I don’t want anyone else having to go through what I’m going through!"
Dan Smith explains that the decision to watch the same film daily has nothing to do with the intrinsic merits of the movie involved – a romantic drama called Feast Of Love – and everything to do with his inability to turn down an idiosyncratic personal challenge. “The idea was just a stupid joke that I turned into a commitment. I didn't think [it] through, at the time. But now I'm 200 days in.” Feast Of Love is an unremarkable 2007 romantic drama featuring Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear and Selma Blair. Smith describes it as “a pretty fluffy story about different examples of love” and reckons it's a six out of ten.
It was picked on a whim at a DVD store. “I just picked up this movie,” he says, “I'd never seen it. I didn't have a great intention to see it, let alone 365 times… It's not a study of film kind of thing. Most of what I write about is actually my personal experience. I'll talk about something that happened to me and I'll say 'this also happened to someone in Feast Of Love, and that's how they dealt with it.” If anything can make you come over all touchy-feely, it's watching a romantic drama on repeat. Smith is pretty candid about his own life and feelings on his blog, Feast Of Dan, and he admits that it's not impossible the film is influencing him. “Who knows? At this stage it's probably somewhere deep in my psyche”.
Smith insists he really does watch the movie every day, although he says that there are evenings he has to force himself. “It's pretty hard to watch anything every day without wanting to kill someone,” he says. But the project has had its upsides too, including inspiring Smith – who previously hosted a late-night talk show on Channel 31 – to organise a themed event. “The idea for a movie trivia game show came about because I noticed that there was a lack of that on TV, or anywhere that I know of, so the idea was to make my own. And there was a good excuse to do a movie game show because I was watching the same movie every day.” The live event will feature special guests including former Vogue editor Kirstie Clements, TV presenter Em Rusciano, Herald Sun entertainment journo Cameron Adams and comedian Nath Valvo. It will also be taped and Smith hopes to televise it at some point. Smith is keen to point out that questions in the game show will be about movies in general, not Feast Of Love. “It would have been a pretty short game show, and every contestant would have had to watch the film, which would have been annoying. I don't want anyone else having to go through what I'm going through!”
Feast Of Dan is on tonight at the Revolver.