1.22.2010

Lessons in Film Viewing Pt. IV

More lessons from the 750 films I watched in 2009...

36) I don't understand when people want to argue with me about my like or dislike of a film.  Debate?  Okay, maybe but it's probably easier for both of us if we agree to disagree.  I didn't like it and I don't have to just as the reverse is true for you.  I will say it again.  NO.  I did not like The Big Lebowski.  So. what.  Did you notice how everyone who's obsessively appalled by this is white and male?  Did you also notice I'm a black female?  I'm not saying that's (necessarily) why you liked it and I didn't...  But it likely plays a role.
37) Personal films are really boring.  It's hard for them to catch my attention, even harder to keep it.  They're not all bad but a lot of them are.  Can't you just keep that in your family?
38) I don't really like JohnC.Reilly but I'm not sure why.
39) I'm surprised by how much Toni Collette's acting delights me.  (Yes I am ALL OVER U.S. of Tara now that I can watch tv again!)
40) I write reviews "Britishly" after watching British films.  I use strangely British phrasing.
41) When I say long, that doesn't necessarily refer to the length.  It more refers to how it feels.  If your movie is 60 minutes and I'm doing the seat shuffle and looking at my watch, something's not right.  THE MILK'S GONE BAD!!
42) It's exasperating when people say, "OMG I can't believe you've never seen that before!"  Where have you been?  That's clearly the point of me watching 750 films this year.
43) I don't know what's worse: classic films without any black people or classic films where the only roles for black people are maids and wide-eyed chauffeurs.  I'm going with where the only roles for blacks are demeaning. 
44) Watching films makes me want to know more about the stars of those films... but just in the classic ones.  I know too much, more than I want to know, about current stars.
45) I like searching for familiar faces and names in classic films!  I love when I recognize a face from 30 or 40 years before I knew them and say, "Hey! That's Mr. Feeny!" or whoever it is.
46) I'm fascinated by some cool and unusual items I see in movies that you don't see like that today-- clocks, cigarette holders, hats, miniature cameras.  It makes me want these things very badly!!  I'm most amazed by the old school telephones that required operators and they used these giant switchboards and all these cords.  So cool!
47) I give the best reviews when I write them during or immediately after viewing.  Otherwise they start to run together a little.
48) People get incredibly pissed if your title doesn't allude to what's actually in the movie.  You should see the reviews for this film called "The Natural History of Chickens" which is not at all about that.  That title actually does a funny film a disservice because people feel betrayed about what they're going to get out of it and probably dissuades some people who would enjoy it from watching a film with so boring a title.
49) I feel really triumphant when people watch a movie they didn't think they were going to like and they like it!  Like HA!  I SHOWED YOU!!  And I didn't even make the film!  Lolol.  But I feel like, just give it a try!!  (Says the one who avoided LOTS of long movies last year...)
50) Some critics predispose themselves to like a film just because it's foreign.  Sigh.  That doesn't make you deep.  A bad script is bad whether in French, English, Dutch, Japanese or Spanish or or or!
51) I very frequently let Netflix talk me out of movies.  Did you say that's a 2.4 guess for me?  PASS.   Sometimes it's wrong on the comedies because Netflix really doesn't believe I have a sense of humor but most of the time if it's in the 2.7 and below I am giving that movie a big no thanks.  And sometimes when I'm somewhere looking at DVDs I wish I had Netflix around to tell me whether I should bother to check it out.  Lolol.  I know I know, I need a smartphone but I don't like smartphone bill prices so NOPE!

Finally (ish... because who knows how long these epiphanies will continue to come) I'm really excited about how much I learned and I hope I can apply some of these lessons and criticisms to my own films to put out continually quality work.  One of my professors said I'll make a bad film one day after I was particularly harsh.  Ew.  I'm going to work incredibly hard to skip that particular life lesson.

In case you missed the earlier installments:
Pt. I
Pt. II
Pt. III

9 comments:

Elle Willa said...

#43: my father (who loves classics) and I have this argument every single time I catch him watching the movies with the black people in the background holding tray for no apparent reason...I've never seen Gone With the Wind and prolly won't EVER. I respect the people that played those roles bc of the historical significance but I'd rather watch the classics when there are no black people at all. Because how is that any different than most movies today? You hit a nerve sista, you hit a nerve.

On the other hand: Sidney Poitier. Oh and the movie "Stormy Weather" has an all-black cast and the movie didn't suck. Lena Horne...and some other folk.

Momisodes said...

Can I PLEASE tell you how glad I am to hear that I'm not alone in getting the, "REally? You didn't like The Big Lebowski?" question?
I hated the movie. Yes, hate. I don't use the word lightly.

Los Angelista said...

I love your breakdown and reflection of your awesome 750 film endeavor. Yeah, I don't like the ones with the demeaning roles for black folks. Can't stand those. As for no black folks at all, you'd think in the 60 years since the golden age of Hollywood that would've changed. But noooo...

Rashan Jamal said...

36. I hated The Big Lebowski more than you. I had to think if I was the same way. Have I ever said that to you about how you couldn't like a movie?
37. Just write a blog, don't make your personal, personal movie with stuff that no one cares about. LOL
38. I crack up whenever he's on screen. Its something about how he always looks constipated and mentally challenged.
39. I can't say I know much of her work.
40. You should start talking British too. #britishblackgirl
41. It surprises me when short movies feel like infinity, but its true sometimes.
42 I can't beleive you've never seen any of the Star Wars! Not helpful, I know. But true.
43. I'd rather them not be in it, than be coonin' it up.
44. LOL - you can go all night when you find a classic actress you like and you always say "WOW!"
45. Yeah, that's fun
46. I wish people still wore suits and hats like back in the day. That would be fresh
47. never noticed. I noticed that they are getting better though. Your exasperation shows a lot less now and you're more objective with the writing.
48. What was that movie about?
49. You got any that you think I'll like? I think I'm way easier with movies, so you can't tell what I would or wouldn't like. Maybe a period piece or something with wiser than his years 8 year old.
50. Yeah, I hate when they say "they don't make stuff like this in America." And there are just as many bad international movies as America. I let the critics fool me on Takeshi Miike. He sucks.
51. i get upset when a movie is not on Netflix so I can't check the ratings. LOL

Sparkling Red said...

41. The average length of movies has increased from 1.5 hours to 2 hours since I was a kid. I don't know if the film-makers feel audiences want more movie because the prices have gone up, or if editors are just getting lazier, but I prefer films under 100 minutes, as a rule.

44. I love to pick a middle-aged actor and look up pictures of what they used to look like in their 20's. That's always fun.

Jameil said...

elle willa... long time no hear! WORD. when there aren't any black people it's like really?? but WAY worse when they're bug-eyed, scrapin and fetchin. ugh. i didn't love 'stormy weather.'

momisodes... YES!! rashan counts that as one of the worst if not THE worst movie he's ever seen and calls john goodman's character the most hated one EVER.

liz... thanks! clearly the lack of black people or inclusion in stereotypical roles is so irritating.

rj... 36) lol. i know. you may have said i can't believe you didn't like that but you weren't incredibly (irritatingly) indignant about it. 37) seriously. 38) LOL! MESS. 39) I usually really enjoy her. 40) Lololol!!! Marmite. 41) And that is the. worst. 42) Lol. whatever!! 43) Ditto. 44) Lol. That's funny! 45) That's what she said. 46) Yes!!! I LOVE the hats! We should bring that back. 47) Ooh! Thanks! 48) you'll have to check my review. lol. it's about chickens... and people who keep them as pets. 49) idk. i always tell you at the time. rotfl @8yos. why are they so prevalent? 50) *eye roll* 51) right??? and i find myself in the library like where is the little pop up on this dvd box?

red... WE ARE SO ***HERE*** on length. Please don't include all that crap you wouldn't have. You ruin a decent script by stretching it beyond sense. Seeing people in their 20s is cool!

Therapeutic Musings said...

36) My momma loves to argue with me about movies. My taste is horrible, she already knows this, why argue? I don't even know what The Big Lebowski is, let me go google...

48) I like random titles because I don't like knowing what movies are about. If I walk in knowing nothing, I don't try to write the story in my head.

Adei von K said...

The Big Lebowski. one of Drew's FAVORITE movies. he is soooo white.
Is it a Coen Brother film? I tried to watch "O Brother Where Art Thou?" (or something like that) and was so unimpressed. There was another Coen film I side-eyed...

John c Reily annoys me. I think he wants to be Will ferrel but is just his tagalong

I'd rather watch movies with no blacks than wack blacks. (lolol)

Jameil said...

tm... doesn't that drive you bananas???? i would be like moooom stooooop!! my mom has horrid movie taste. i don't argue with her. i just try to introduce her to some good stuff she might also like.

not that random! geez! it was NOTHING like the actual movie.