My movie confessions
I have a confession to make.
After being away for vacation I’ve taken a few days extra off from blogging. I told myself I needed and deserved a little break, but to be honest I think it was more about being completely sucked into the Game of Thrones book series by George Martin.
Now I’m in the last volume and the harsh reality has started to whisper truths in my ear. When I’m finished I’m likely to have to wait for years to see the continuation of all those storylines. The sooner I’m through this book, the longer will my wait be. Hurrying gives me nothing but frustration and I’d better regain control over myself and get back to blogging.
Besides I’ve got a neat queue of films that I’ve watched during my vacations that I need to write about, the sooner the better, a queue which grows every day.
I feel a little bit out of shape though. It’s as if I’ve lost my memory of how to write a review. As a warm-up I thought I’d join Nostra’s insanely successful Movie Confessions Blogathon, an eon after everyone else. I’m not worried though. You can never get enough of confessions can you? There’s nothing as enjoyable as to watch other people airing their dirty laundry.
So with no further ado, here we go. It’s confession time!
Which classic movie don’t you like/can’t enjoy and why?
I suppose Synecdoche, New York can be considered a modern classic, at least among film buffs. And I’m usually a big fan of Charlie Kaufman’s writing. But to be completely honest I didn’t get a thing of this film. All I remember from it now is how hard I had to struggle not to fall asleep. But I swear that I’ll give it a new try one day. Maybe it was just the stars having a bad aligning.
Which ten classic movies haven’t you seen yet?
The question isn’t as much which ten classic movies I haven’t seen as which ten classic movies I have seen. Never having taken a film class and spending most of my film watching time watching films that come up in theatres now, my cinematic education is lacking.
I decided to use The 1,000 Greatest Films to pick my ten most embarrassing omissions, starting from the top and working myself down until I had reached ten.
- Citizen Kane
- The Rules of the Game
- 8 1/2
- The Searchers
- Tokyo Story
- Bicycle Thief
- L’Atalante (which I hadn’t even heard of before checking this list)
- Raging Bull
Have you ever sneaked into another movie at the cinema?
No! With the risk of sounding incredibly boring and selfrighteous: the idea has never crossed my mind, not even when I was young and poor. It might have to do with the fact that we’ve had a system where you book specific seats in Sweden for years. There’s a huge risk that you take the seat of someone else, which inevitably will be discovered.
Which actor/actress do you think is overrated?
It’s a close call between Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy but I think the win goes to Laurel and Hardy. That kind of slapstick comedy gives me nothing apart from rashes and the uncomfortable feeling of being a complete bore who doesn’t laugh at slapstick.
From which big director have you never seen any movie (and why)?
There are loads and loads of them, so it’s a bit hard to choose. Truffaut, Godard, Ozu, the list is endless. The reason is simple: too much too watch, too little time available. I decided to stick with Frank Borzage, since I’ve been recommended him so strongly by some people. Perhaps mentioning him in this shaming thread might give him a push up on my priority list.
Which movie do you love, but is generally hated?
Who am I to tell what’s generally hated? I decided to use IMDb’s rating as a measuring tool. Since people generally are very generous with their star rating at IMDb, anything that is under 6,0 must be considered a pretty bad rating. Honorable mentionings to Black Sheep (NZ, 2006), with a 5,9 rating and to 9 1/2 weeks at a 5,5 rating. Black Sheep is intentionally silly but quite fun in it’s absurdity. I don’t remember all that much of 9 1/2 weeks apart from that it was incredibly steamy and that it featured a still young and handsome Mickey Rourke. But it surely must have been worth more than 5,5.
The film I disagree most about is The Cars that Ate Paris at 5,0. It’s an early, charming and entirely creative story about a great-to-be director, Peter Weir. Catch it if you can!
Yes! Usually they dub movies intended for children in Sweden, but the Harry Potter series came with subtitles when they first opened in cinemas (they were dubbed for the DVD edition later on.) My youngest daughter wanted to see it but wasn’t a quick enough reader to catch the subtitles. So I remember whispering the entire movie in her ear. Very quiet of course, I doubt we made any more noise than the rattling from a popcorn eater. But still. It’s not an acceptable behavior.
I’m usually not enough of a fan to run my legs off to watch something just because of an actor. It is possible though Patrick Stewart’s appearance in X-men turned me a little more positive than I otherwise would have been. I’m very fond of him. Or of Captain Picard. I honestly can’t tell them from each other.
Did you ever not watch a specific movie because it had subtitles?
No! As a Swede I’m used to subtitles on just about anything. Dubbing on the other hand is a nuisance. If I lived in one of the countries where they have the bad habit of doing this, I doubt I’d see those films in a theatre. I’d probably stick to DVD copies where I could watch the films with subtitles instead.
Absolutely, even though my collection of films is too small to even deserve to be called a “collection”. Which I reckon makes it even more shameful that I haven’t watched all there is in it. Here’s just a sample: Blair Witch Project, The Omen, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Passion of Joan of Arc.
Which are the worst movies in your collection and why do you still own them?
OK, I know I’m probably just prejudiced, but there is one double DVD featuring Mean Girls starring Lindsay Lohan and Clueless with Alicia Silverstone. I reckon it’s something that either of my daughters brought to our home. It looks absolutely appalling and I can’t imagine that I’ll ever get to watch it unless some reader has seen it and comes up with a very good reason. The reason why I still own them? Well, I don’t rid myself of anything I have on DVD. There aren’t more of them than I can host them all. Video tapes on the other hand… their days are counted after our video recorder broke down a while ago. It’s not likely to be replaced by a new one.
Do you have any confessions about your movie watching setup at home?
I don’t have any Blue-Ray player, not even any surround audio system. Just a plain TV, fairly small with today’s expectations, and a DVD with a recording system that I’ve forgotten how to manage. I guess it’s one of the reasons why I love watching movies in cinemas so much.
I try to write about every film I’ve watched since I started blogging a year ago, but I’ve slipped a few of times. One of those few occasions was after watching Chinatown. I liked it quite a bit, but I had absolutely nothing to say about it. I think there’s something about revered classics that makes it more difficult to write about them. Yet it bugs me. I should be able to write about just any kind of movie.
And that was all of it. Wow, do I feel relieved!