Friday, June 14, 2013

Question for the Week of June 10-16: My Filmic Aspirations

What are the gaps in your movie knowledge?
I may post here often, and I may have some very strong opinions, but I'm not the perfect film buff. The fact is, that either very few people are, or no one really is. Perfection is an impossible goal, often, but one should always aspire to be better tomorrow (or next month) than one was today. As such:

I have to watch a lot more of the arthouse films - both from the US and other countries - that were produced between the 1950's and 1970's. I've only experienced certain directors, like Resnais, Renoir, Bertolucci, once, if at all. That's a pretty big gap right there.

I haven't been watching many foreign films lately. In fact, over the last year, I've seen more hours of foreign TV like Luther, Line of Duty, and Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, than foreign films (7, that I recall). As such, I need to watch more Kurosawa, rewatch several of Ghibli's fine works (I have reviewed one or two per year to make them last), and catch up on some of the big hits of the last spell, like Holy Motors.

Speaking of big hits, I have missed most of the "big" movies of the last couple of years, even the ones that should definitely appeal to me, for one reason or another: Argo, The Hobbit (I simply have to), The Master, Shame, Zero Dark Thirty (which I must see because I trashed it without watching it first)... Hell, I still haven't seen Martha Marcy May Marlene, Moon, Let the Right One In, District 9, Black Swan, Winter's Bone, and The Social Network! Yes, I'm overdue to find the time and make good on my love of films. It can't always be indie movies, right?

Finally, I have to catch up on some of my favorite (and/or most exciting new) artists. I haven't seen Cronenberg's last two films - Cosmopolis and A Dangerous Method - and I feel bad about that. The man is an exceptional artist and filmmaker, and even if I didn't like one of his movies, I simply must see them. Alfred Hitchcock's CV has only been pecked at by this Half A Film Student; even watching a dozen of his movies is simply not enough.

And, it gets worse. I've only seen two or three Werner Herzog pictures, anything by Wes Anderson post The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (and I still skipped The Royal Tenenbaums), I missed Kevin Smith's Goon, I haven't seen a Soderbergh film since Ocean's Thirteen (shudder), any Danny Boyle film after 28 Days Later, as well as missing Shane Carruth's Upstream Color, and the magnificent Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom.

Obviously, I have a long way to go. I can write as if I were a bigtime film guru, but the truth of being an expert in any ongoing thing - being a Latin expert has fewer regular obligations than being a master of cinema. At some point, you can have all the deep thoughts, long conversations, and thoughtfully-written pieces in the world, but you have to think about the things you love as an opportunity to educate yourself. Not only does this sort of goal never really end or die, but I have major gaps that I need to fill.

The best part is that it won't even be just for this blog, or to improve my "film cred" - it'll be a labor of love, one which will surely be rewarding. These sorts of things - like any learning experience about which you're passionate - are gifts that you get to give to yourself. It will just have the added benefit of giving me more fuel for this blog (among other sites).

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