For anyone that has ever read my Cinematic Revival pieces and look forward to my continued coverage of these films I apologize for not writing a new piece since early January. It isn’t as if I haven’t been watching new films to up my film IQ, I just haven’t had the appropriate amount of time to cover them in the essay fashion I have in the past. However, if I didn’t finally cover these films I don’t think I ever would have gotten to them, and that wasn’t acceptable to me.
Unfortunately, I watched some of these flicks so long ago that a complete recap and opinion piece on each one won’t be possible. However, I can give a bit of a lowdown on the lot and make a few recommendations should you be so inclined to check a few of them out.
The flicks I will be covering this time around include Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal, the Coen brothers’ Fargo and Blood Simple, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Almost Famous and The Wolf Man (1949).
First off, let me initiate any of you new folks to the Cinematic Revival feature on RopeofSilicon. I started this as an effort to get myself to watch films I had never seen before. I bring this up because four days ago “San Francisco Chronicle” film critic Mick LaSalle wrote a piece discussing five classic films he had never seen (Blade Runner, To Kill a Mockingbird, Young Frankenstein, 2001: A Space Odyssey and An Affair to Remember). This prompted Jeffrey Wells to write an article calling it “brave” for “admitting he hadn’t seen five major films. Major critics are supposed to have covered the waterfront as thoroughly as possible before becoming major critics.”
It is for this very reason that I don’t consider myself a critic in as much as I consider myself to be a fan of movies, learning at every turn. Taking this into consideration I begin to wonder if people would rather hear/read my opinion or the opinion of a “major critic”, an individual Wells believes should “have 5,000 movies under their belt, know all the players past and present, know the language and the references, and pass along a certain perspective.”
Under Wells’ definition doesn’t this mean we are getting an opinion on a movie from an individual that doesn’t look at movies the same way we do? This is the reason I started the Cinematic Revival column. Notice to the right you can see my Netflix Queue, I do this so people can watch these films along with me if they have not seen them. I see this as a way for my reading audience and myself to grow up with these classic films together, hopefully making it so we can form some sort of a relationship in which we are on equal footing.
Let’s say you enjoy a specific film and I hate it, at least we experienced it together and you can understand where I am coming from much more than say some “major critic” who watched his/her 5,000 films and only shares their lofty opinion when passing down judgment on films that don’t match up to Citizen Kane or Lawrence of Arabia or their unknown perspective of what a film “should” be. At least through this process you will understand where I am coming from when it comes to these films.
Strangely enough, in the world of film criticism, if you have seen 5,000 films you are somehow considered more capable to review movies than someone that hasn’t. I will admit the more movies I see the more my perspective changes, but it doesn’t make my opinion anymore correct than someone that hasn’t seen these movies. Does it?
So, with all that said let’s move on…