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

Another disappointing classic.

So I'm sitting in front of my monitor, looking at clips of our holiday and thinking - how on EARTH does one create art from that.

No, seriously. I've been landed with the job of editing it together, and the question is "Is it possible to make a well directed holiday video?" Surely the only person able to come close to the blinding insanity of holidaymaking is Terry Gilliam? I mean, troops of people spending hours on a beach at the other end of the world when there's a perfectly good beach down the road (I understand for many people this isn't the case, but I'm only five minutes away from stunning sands). It's like a people trade - for two weeks we send ours to America, America sends theirs here. Perhaps someone should remake Apocalypse Now about tourists...

...oh Hitchcock, I'm starting to sound like Art from the 8 1/2 episode of My Life in Film

By the by, today I watched Seven Samuri, but I don't really want to talk about it. Why? Oh, you know, after the whole Vertigo incident I'm having a distinct lack of faith in my critical powers. No amount of pleading that I loved The Seventh Seal is going to spare me from the wrath of the movie-snobs - I'll be cast out to a bleak, dark place where they all think The Da Vinci Code is the height of sophistication...

Surely deciding what you don't like is as important as what you do, right? I didn't dislike it, but I wasn't emotionally involved with the plot, there was no suspense whatsoever, and I didn't see a single memorable image or moment which would lead me to kneel at Akira Kurosawa's feet in awe. It was ok, but I'd definitely not say great. I obviously missed the point somewhere, because I don't think it deserves its place in howevermany best film lists at all Don't accuse me of being overly disappointed because I was looking forward to it, lest you forget the whole Godfather incident...Perhaps I'm just a Westernised bigot who is too shallow to understand the subtle poetry of Oriental cinema...

The thing is, at the end of the day film is an ART. It's a personal thing, and no two people are ever going to agree on it. Some people like violence in films, others don't. Some think a solid plot's far better than a decent character arc. Others think a great performance ranks higher over great music. Some people like to be thrilled, others to think. It all comes down to choice. Because we're all different people, and in any realm be it food, books, music, whatever nobody will ever agree. It'd be dull if we did, mind. I've never seen a single film I'd say everyone would like. I think you'd have to be a pretty mean cynic not to like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but there are going to be those who come and pick all kinds of holes in its (to me) perfect pacing and plot.

So if 9/10 of the Proper Film watching world think it's great, is it ok if I critically admit I didn't enjoy it? Probably not. Haven't dared to consult yet, the message board is probably a cabal of fans sharpening their metaphorical katanas to whallop anyone who dares breathe a word of disrespect.

And now for a bit of chat. I'm sorry I haven't written for a while (in actual fact, it was only a few days but it feels like a while) - I've been indexing everything (so far, it looks like I talk about the Godfather more than anything else) and as I've been at work...yes, work. I do know the meaning of the word. It's quite fun. My duties include cleaning brass pots, unlocking and locking up (I'm in prime heist position, although obviously I'd be the first suspect and there's nothing worth stealing anyway), watering flowers (not as easy as it sounds. Between getting totally soaked, it's my daily box speech* practice), dusting barns (I took a photo of me doing this, have a look) and selling tickets. My co-workers aren't so bad. One of them has seen LA Confidential and liked it, and thought the first half of Kill Bill was great (she brought those films up, not I. Though I must say, only seeing half...I can only think of three films I haven't sat through. The first is Heat and Dust, a tale about an Englishwoman and an Indian prince. It was obvious where it was headed, but the worst of it was it just dragged oooon and oooon. The second wasn't actually a film - it was a TV mini-thingy called Merlin's Apprentice, the sequel to Merlin. Now the latter was great, but I got sick of the former when they totally mucked up what logic had been established in the first one. Had they even watched the original?! Oh and the third one? Picnic at Hanging Rock. I confess, I chickened out. I managed the credits and the first few lines then bolted.) The other likes Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, commented that Robert Redford was a bit of a looker (I stayed silent at this point) and has offered to lend me The Maltese Falcon. So all in all, it could be a lot worse.

Oooooh, and speaking of all that I found LA Confidential on video for a pound in a second hand shop! This is great because I wasn't allowed the DVD as I've seen it twice already, and I wouldn't have the guts to lie about my age anywhere they were likely to ask (like, a proper dvd shop). I've a lot of affection for this film, as I'm pretty sure it's the first 18 I ever saw. I only started keeping track of such landmarks once I was long past them.

Update: I've now finished the index, it's here - all ordered in lovely, vaguely alphabetical lists.

Now, just for the record, some statistics which aren't going to surprise anyone.

The Godfather gets mentioned more than anything else - 19 in total. Though it was close - Butch Cassidy almost caught it up with, er, 9...
I think about Reservoir Dogs more than I do Fight Club...
...Brazil more than Twelve Monkeys...*
...Robert Redford more than Michael Caine...
...Terry Gilliam more than M Night Shyamalan...

*the significance of this is that I prefer Twelve Monkeys.

Final word: I remember someone commenting that Emilio Estevez was Charlie Sheen's brother, which struck me as odd because, well, their names were different. However now I learn that Charlie Sheen's real name is Carlos Irwin Estevez, and Martin Sheen is actually Ramon Estevez. So two of the three have changed their names, but just to confuse people they've changed to the same surnames and ooooh it's confusing. Were they trying to cut poor Emilio out of the family or something?

I'm sorry, I lied about the "final word" thing. A bit Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter is actually only the fourth in a series of 11. Once again I need a rant, and only you, my beloved readers, could possibly understand. The weird movie-dreams have started again. As in, the last four nights in a row. Which sucks. Especially when you dream that you finally get your hands on a video you want to see more than anything, and you put it on your bedside shelf so no one can possibly pinch your precious, and the first thing you see when you wake up (after gazing lovingly at the 90s poster) is an empty space where the non-existant film is no longer. I'm positive this is what going crazy feels like (actually, to paraphrase Simon from Firefly further, "No, this must be what going mad feels like". But don't try clicking on "this". I've just made it look like a link so you know what I was aiming at, it doesn't actually go anywhere. Because I might look back at these one day having forgotten the thing I was going to link to, click on it and remember. Real person crossover slash?! Believe me, it's possible and my head hurts...)

* The box speech, from R+G are D. I'll reproduce it here, but you cannot possibly understand the wuvness until you actually see him rattle it off.

ROS: Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with a lid onit?
ROS: Nor do I, really.... It's silly to be depressed by it. I mean one thinks of it like being alive in a box, one keeps forgetting to take into account the fact that one is dead ... which should make a difference ...shouldn't it? I mean, you'd never know you were in a box, would you? It would be just like being asleep in a box. Not that I'd like to sleep in a box, mind you, not without any air - you'd wake up dead, for a start and then where would you be? Apart from inside a box. That's the bit I don't like, frankly. That's why I don't think of it....
Because you'd be helpless, wouldn't you? Stuffed in a box like that, I mean you'd be in there for ever. Even taking into account the fact that you're dead, really ... ask yourself, if I asked you straight off - I'm going to stuff you in this box now, would you rather be alive or dead?Naturally, you'd prefer to be alive. Life in a box is better than no life at all. I expect. You'd have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking -well, at least I'm not dead! In a minute someone's going to bang on the lidand tell me to come out. (Banging on the box with his fists.) "Hey you, whatsyername! Come out of there!"
GUIL: (calmly) I think I'm going to kill you. (he wanders off)
ROS: Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one, a moment, in childhood when it first occurred to you that you don't go on for ever. It must have been shattering - stamped into one's memory. And yet I can't remember it. It never occurred to me at all. We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the words for it - before we know that there are words. Out we come, bloodied and squalling with the knowledge that for all the compasses in the world, there's only one direction, and time is its only measure... (he sighs, and makes a paper aeroplane.)

I know - I can remember ALL of it. I'm so proud...


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