This is quite a strange thing to admit, but I have always wanted to be a bit of a film geek. I love watching movies, talking about movies, collecting movies and now I am even trying (pretty unsuccessfully so far) to write about movies. So it would appear on the surface I may well have what it takes to be a film geek, however I am concerned that my movie knowledge is…..well, what is the best way of saying it…..simply not geeky enough; especially if I want to write a movie blog.
Total Recall (or lack of)
My main issues is lack of memory. I see a lot of films, I mean not a huge amount compared to some, but I can reckon to get at least 2 or 3 in an average week; last year I clocked up just under 150. I have always been envious of people who are able to watch a film and immediately quote the actors and director’s career to date etc, so helping put the film into its correct context. With the obvious A list exceptions, I tend to see ‘oh that Guy he was in that film from last year’ etc etc. Having the IMDB app on my phone as had an extraordinary affect on my life in this regard.
Eve of Understanding
But I think my major problem is fully understanding what a film is trying to say. As an example, whilst I generally understand most films, I am constantly amazed when I check the IMDB boards after watching and realise what was actually going on. I am not talking about plot twists etc, but I tend to miss the more subtle references and quite often the distinct themes the film is allegedly trying to address. It is only on the second or third watch (normally armed with more knowledge) that these issues become clear to me? Why is this? Am I am not paying proper attention, or I am simply not watching critically enough? Maybe I should takes notes? If so, how and what is the best way?
Or maybe these issues or themes that I missed weren’t there in the first place. I often think that people impose their own views and impressions onto a film as any story can be read in a number of different ways. Take Monsters for instance. In the commentary Director Gareth Edwards said that a lot of people asked him whether the film was a statement on the US led global war on terror. Edwards said he had never had this in mind when writing or shooting the film, but a lot of reviews state this point of view. If Edwards wasn’t trying to make this point, then surely the point is mute?
So to quote Ryan McNeil over at The Matinee, I have been thinking about what to use this little piece of cyberspace for. I think it is to help me improve my knowledge of film. I have been thinking about doing this for a while and since beginning the initial research I have come across a number of very impressive movie blog sites such as The Matinee, The Velvet Cafe and Front Room Cinema, to name a few, but certainly not all. What all these sites have in common is that they have a very deep knowledge base on cinema and are keen to discuss their passion with anyone who stops by. What I like most about these sites is their welcoming nature, they all true cinephiles and not elitist or arrogant in any way. I have learnt a huge amount already from reading these sites and especially listening to their podcasts.
Back to the Future
So this leads me to ponder what it is the point in this site? Beyond my own learning, to be honest I am not sure at the moment. I know that I do not wish to imitate current movie sites, as what would be the point, but I hope to learn from them to widen my own knowledge base on film and maybe learn how to write about film. If anyone happens to stop and read, then that would be nice, but not altogether essential.