Friday, 14 January 2011

The rationale

Throughout 2011, I’ll be going to see each and every film released at my local multiplex and reviewing them right here on this blog. That includes everything: kid’s films, rom-coms, dumb action movies, the lot.

To give you an idea of where I’m coming from in terms of taste, here are my ten favourite film films of all time (at the moment) in alphabetical order:

Amadeus
Blue Velvet
Chinatown
The Godfather: Part I
The Godfather: Part II
Mulholland Dr.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Paris, Texas
Three Colours: Blue
Underground

Nothing too shocking there, but an incomplete picture nonetheless: no Westerns, no Hitchcock, nothing from Japan, no Scorsese, no women, nothing pre-1970, no comedies, no Kubrick,  no SF/Fantasy, no Brits… what kind of a list is that?

Suffice to say, I love a film that makes the most of its medium – both aurally and visually – and I love a good story (though I’m also happy to be bewildered if the film is strong enough to cope – e.g. Mulholland Dr.). If it moves me, then so much the better.

‘Genre’ films are fine by me too. Some of the greatest films of all-time fall into the categories of broad comedy, horror, action, period drama and rom-com. Formula is fine with me, if it’s well executed.

What I can’t be doing with are the meandering, the mealy-mouthed and the inconsequential (Basically , Sofia Coppolla). Also, portentousness and cod-profundity irritate me (e.g. Sixth Sense, Away We Go).  More personally, I reserve a special dislike for those films in foreign countries where Anglophone actors speak English with a ludicrous Russian/German/etc. accent – a pet hate, but all the more ludicrous when ‘serious’ actors are involved (e.g. The Unbearable Lightness of Being).

Finally, as I’m going restricting myself to the multiplex, I’ll also talk about the cinema experience as a whole. For the record, I love a good arthouse cinema (props here to the Bradford’s Pictureville, Brixton’s Ritzy, Manchester’s Cornerhouse and the good old NFT) but most of my viewing is in the sticky bosom of A National Chain (let’s call it ‘Mundo del Cine’), mostly because it’s convenient and I can make the most of a pay-monthly deal that allows me to see as many films as I like.

More importantly, it’s how the great majority of us experience the cinema. So I’ll record all of the common irritations – poor projection, sticky seats, unruly youngsters, over-zealous security and so on, and converse examples of good behaviour. We’ll also get a good picture of the kind of films that get missed out by many multiplexes – often surprisingly mainstream films are omitted, and the odd arthouse flick might make it through.

Wish me luck.

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