Please like me! An Introduction

free cinemaHello.

This is my blog about films.

It will be multi-faceted.

And the like.

I write occasional reviews for a local student rag and since I started reading it last year and writing for it this year, I am kind of frustrated at the lack of variety in their choices of film for the Cult and Classic movies section and by that, I mean, it pisses me right off. The chosen movies seem to fall into three categories:

Issue 1. Must be no earlier than 1980the great white silence

Issue 2. Must be American

Issue 3. Must be a film that everyone has already seen.

Gripe 1. Now! The Eighties-retro-nostalgia thing has gotten really fucking tedious now and I’m pretty sick of everyone telling me how all those movies from that decade were the be all and end all. I hope to Christ that in the future I don’t bang on at the younger generation about how timeless and unimpeachably classic all the movies from the noughties were when we were teenagers and how nothing “these days” la grande illusioncan quite capture that magic and all that shite. Also, this will not be a blog about how old movies are all great and there are no great movies made anymore – clearly that’s bullshit. Y’know what’s a great movie? Seven Samurai. Y’know what’s also a great movie? Inception. Besides which, those are just my opinion. No more, no less.

Gripe 2. This won’t be an anti-Hollywood, anti-American blog that just plonks all American filmmaking under the same banner as Michael Bay and Zack Snyder’s output – and even taking those two into account – Michael Bay made The Rock, which is fucking brilliant. At the time of publishing, Zack Snyder is still crap. Nevertheless, there’s still Jeff Nichols, the Coens, Kathryn Bigelow, Errol Morris, Alex Gibney, Paul Thomas Anderson, Oliver Stone (fuck off – I like him!), David Fincher and so on. That brief list gives us Shotgun Stories, A Serious Man, Near Dark (80s movie! You fascist hypocrite!), Tabloid, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, There Will Be Blood, Nixon and Se7en. Speaks for itself.

Gripe 3. Finally, my biggest gripe with the magazine: it’s a University this happy breedpublication! Surely, of all places, a University is a hive of all different people with all different tastes who are at a stage in their lives where they want to expand their horizons and see new things and we can cater to that in our own small way. Surely? No – apparently not. A brief selection of recent reviews includes Hook, Flight of the Navigator, Dazed and Confused, From Dusk Till Dawn, Aladdin… all of a particular period, ashes and diamondsall well known, all American. Dazed and Confused, From Dusk Till Dawn – love ’em – but doesn’t everyone, or at the very least, an awful lot of people already know these films. Surely cult films should be Santa Sangre or Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses or Detour. Films that a real select number of people know that you can flag up to others and say ; “Hey – give this a go. It’s a bit out there but you might really love it!” In fact, the whole notion of “classic” film is a bit of a misnomer because that is up to the individual, really (that should be a separate blog).

Tarmy of shadowshis blog will be for me to write about any and all films I come across; the only discriminations will be whether I’ve seen it or not. I will attempt to treat every film fairly, even if it’s a genre that I don’t generally like or a by a director I normally can’t be bothered with (See Bay). I hate when people say something is “not art”. Everything is art (Are they Movies? Are they Films? No distinction as far as I’m concerned), it’s just a question of whether it’s good art or not. How up your own arse do you have to be to think that you have the right to say whether something qualifies as art or not. That’s total bollocks!

the taking of pelham one two threeWith that in mind, I will also give equal footing to documentaries because, as far as I can see, they are still viewed as a sort of sub-genre rather than as feature films standing side by side with the dramas. Proof of this can be found in the Oscars and most of the major film festivals and how the documentaries are either ghettoised into one category or just non-existent.

bad tasteOn a similar note, this will also hopefully be a chance for me to make up for my lack of knowledge of women filmmakers, black filmmakers, Indian filmmakers, African filmmakers and so on and so forth. That said, it’s a waste of time trying to see every movie and people can tell you of all the canonical films that you should be taking in. More often than not, I would say go for it but bear in mind, no one ever told me I absolutely have to see the works of Ken Loach natural born killersand now I’m a huge fan and have seen almost everything he’s done. So now on to conquering those shortcomings by finally catching up with the works of Kelly Reichardt, Mahamat Saleh Haroun and Satyajit Ray and onward from there. Come on fatty – get your arse out of gear and watch some more movies!

memories of murderMost of these blogs will be written to 500 words, some longer if need be. The ones already posted are ones I have written for the mag that haven’t been published which are 350 words. I’ll keep the word counts here relatively short because it’s good practice but I do want to elaborate a bit more than is allowed by the editor so 500 is a good number I think. With obvious exception of the rare blogs like this, I will refrain from talking about myself throughout because that’s a slightly wanky trend that’s getting old and besides which, these are reviews which are all about my opinion anyway so no need to make it explicit.

That the long and short of it. Let’s see how it goes…

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