Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

What really makes a great film is...

...certainly not great performances, direction, lighting or script. Yes, it's one of my weak arguments with very little evidence which will be screamed off the web, but let me have my 15 minutes please.

No, what makes a film great is epicness. I use great here in terms of most likely to be ranked #1 in a top 100 poll, or most likely to have gained a Shakespearian thou-shalt-not-dislike aura. Citizen Kane, for example, is a story about an empire. It's large, and my perception of it is being a very large film. It has something big and institutional about it. The Godfather (how did you guess that one would come up...) is another film on a large canvas, spanning years, again about an empire.

Now I know you can come up with 4million exceptions to the rule, but to put a broad generalisation film audiences reaction reflect film content. Which is why films about grand topics get grand rewards, while smaller but equally as good films tend towards a smaller reaction. 12 Angry Men is great, but just not 1# material...

There also seems to be a tendancy to revert to childhood morality tales, or things with a faint overtone of religion. For example, the Shawshank Redemption. Yeh, it's about people in prison, but that's not all. It also has something much larger, much more than entertainment at its heart.

You may sneer! You may sneer! The best film I have ever seen is Butch Cassidy and the Veery Long Title, a perfect film about which I can criticise nothing at all, with spot-on acting, script and the most beautiful shades of brown. However, it's never going to get the recognition it deserves because, at the end of the day, it's a light hearted movie about two bandits on the run. Its far too cheery, and to quote Phillip Pullman talking about something else entirely, "It adds nothing to the human condition".

So they've gotta be big and biblical. Don't try to prove me wrong. I know you could do it easily, but you've never commented before, so don't start now. Just admit I may be...slightly right.

(PS - who's watching the program on C4 about the mafia trying to ban the Godfather movies? And who saw the program about Goodfellas last night?)


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