Is it hard to be a movie watcher?
So a person I follow on Facebook has an aptitude for two things: watching movies and writing. What a combination! Nowadays kids put whatever they want to make their CV sound erotic huh: I’m an excellent movie watcher aka I have watched 1000 movies in my life and when I have free time, I watch. But I’m telling you watching a movie is easy but being a movie watcher (aka movie geek) is not. The more you watch the more sensitive you become to recognise the old ‘clichés‘ and the smol tricks directors do to trap you in that feeling of agony, fear, extreme joy or whatever prepared for you (e.g. the sound of wooden door/flashing light bulbs in horror movies; the main characters running towards each other on the coastline lol). That was the thought I had when watching Psycho just yesterday, realising how funny the movie would be if it were made today; I mean, 50 years ago it was a indeed masterpiece but now nobody makes film like that. It was incomparably great because it was the first, and foreseeably these generation’s firsts like the single take Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) or like what, the superheroes gigs will eventually become old clichés, something our grandchildren of 50 years later would probably laugh at.
Anyway this long eulogy helps me to prove my point that (1) watching movies is not easy especially when the creators are trying to convey some uncommon (aka non cliché) messages, or a common message just in an unordinary way; (2) as you watch more movies you become a smarter movie watcher by getting fed up on the old clichés and bring your expectation over to something fresher, more creative and more brilliant; (3) somebody that appreciates last generation’s movies like Psycho must be looking at movies as something beyond a form of entertainment; and (4) that person I mentioned earlier is an excellent movie geek, whose review work never cease to awe me.
And what did that person do? Haha simple as fuck he created an album asking for everyone’s favourites – or to be exact – which movies they think would make it to the top 1000 worth-watching movies of all time. So far I have seen names like The GodFather, Fight Club, Schindler’s List, Pulp Fiction (of course nobody’s going to mention superheroes movies) and of course these movies should be mentioned. But what he asks more from the contributors is that each, apart from the title of their nominee, must include a 100-word essay about how the movie touches them, and how it should make it to the top 1000. That was a good call and I was asking myself which of the dozens of movies I’ve watched should I introduce here, which must be not only good but also erotic/hipster/un-mainstream (haha jk).
It’s not about the story, it’s about how the story is told
But that also strikes me somehow that there’re some movies I enjoy watching wholeheartedly, but I just simply don’t know how to explain my feelings, or worse, I simply had no idea what these movies were about. It’s either that I’m stupid, or that (5) stories are not always the point of a movie, but most of the time it is how the stories are told that count. I’ve always been thinking about it, like you know, Game of Thrones, it’s no more than a Chinese medieval series, kings fighting, kings dying, an opportunist being here, being there to get himself up the royal ladder and stuff. But the book/series is not like first there’s LittleFinger killing Jon Arryn, then framing Tyrion Lannister, and then killing Joffrey Lannister, then selling the Stark girl to the mad Bolton bastard, then rescuing the Stark again to get himself some army to overthrow some crazy blond… At first the author made us believe the Lannisters were bad, and the Stark were good, and there’s that unimportant LittleFinger who was always bickering with the unimportant eunuch blah bleh, and now see how they’re all doing now and it’s not even in its last form yet!
And any Quentin movies. Quentin anyone? Only Quentin can birth a masterpiece out of just pulp fiction. And Birdman (I’m not a fan I’m just quoting this as a typical case) if you’re going to watch it for mere entertainment just don’t because there’s nothing beyond expectation about it – typical story, cliché characters. Do watch it if you would appreciate the Inarritu single take style which he takes as his signature form of art. A casual movie watcher I am, I watched it because of Edward Norton.
Imaginary drink buddies
Anyway I’m happy that I live in the generation of Internet, with a Netflix subscription and a dearly husband to enjoy movies with. (6) Every time I finish a worth-watching (that I’d love to add to the 1000 list) movie no matter what type drama or comedy, old or new, there’s always a stream of happiness overflowing I has just lived something amazing!!. Some people spent millions on creating a movie and they should know that their money has been well-spent. I don’t know much about movie making ((7)I think people who make movies enjoy movies at a whole new level, like the difference between watching a movie with subtitles and watching it while you understand the language), but throughout the life of a movie watcher I always tried to comprehend the messages of the movie via clichés (you know not all clichés are bad and boring!). I enjoy looking between the scenes, and identifying myself with the characters, and guessing the nature of the people who created those. I love doing that in a sense, just how I can’t watch a movie without paying attention to it. I watch movies with a serious attitude, because I appreciate the brilliance, and because getting myself into the characters and living the story, AND befriending the creators in my mind (!) makes me strangely happy.
Paul Thomas Anderson – the great silent observant
There used to be a time I wasn’t that much into movies and seems that the only movie-movie I watched besides Kungfu Panda and stuff was Magnolia. Strangely I never watched that movie again until now but I still remember how I felt really suffocated watching that movie at the age of 12. When I grew up I watched some other Paul Thomas Anderson movies and more strangely I felt exactly the same. Does it mean that my mental maturity ceased to grow when I reached 12? I went on to watch Boogie Nights, and it was so beautifully written you wouldn’t believe the writer had barely reached his 30s. I love Paul Thomas Anderson so much I always want to write something about him but then again I wish I were a better writer/inspirer. I always thought that we (I mean I and Paul Thomas Anderson lol) would make great drink buddies if we ever met in real life. His characters all seem depressed but they refuse to show it, making me wonder if that reflects Paul himself. I’m always into that kind of characters no matter where they come from movies or reality. Out of all the movie makers that attempt depressed characters, undeniably he’s my ultimate favourite.
Quentin Tarantino – the unusual mainstream
There needs not another praise for Quentin Tarantino because his other 999999xxxxx fans already praise him enough. Back then when I was in high school my 16 and 17 year old friends were on a heated forum debate on saint Pink Floyd and then one of them came and ended the discussion by saying: ‘Pink Floyd is mainstream because millions of people listen to them’. I guess that made sense such a big time that all discussions of sorts died down (and to the point that the forum died down as a whole). Pink Floyd doesn’t have anything to do with Quentin in the beginning from their style to their philosophy and their forms of art or stuff, but I guess that’s a good reminder for those you hipsters who hate to be mainstream, hate to be majority and hate to love what is already loved. It’s cool enough to be part of the Quentin admirer squad despite how popular and ‘mainstream’ he is, and how everyone can love his movies. If you like Quentin, I assume that you have interest in and are normally impressed by the unusual, hard-to-predict, random kind of stuff, which follows no rule and never ceases to surprise people. The way Quentin Tarantino talks reminds me of one of my old friends who also talks a lot but/and he’s a real good talker/inspirer. They both look like they’re always having tons of energy in their brains which they can’t hide, and passion abysmal passion for anything that grabs their attention.
I personally like Christoph Waltz’ characters a lot. Both Dr. King Schultz and Colonel Hans Landa, even though they are protagonist and antagonist in their respective stories, are both brainers and attractive talkers. They choose their words well, prefer to make metaphoric sentences and choose a much indirect approach to their topics. They both put on a cheerful tone, a smiling face and weird small ‘innocent’ habits to not let known their cunning/twisted nature. They’re both Europeans like Waltz himself, and this is really important to me because I suppose that’d not make sense if an American is careful with words and beat around the bushes. Lol I don’t have anything against the North American people but that’s how vastly they differ. You will not find a Pink Floyd, or The Beatles, or Coldplay, or Radiohead singing about birds and sun and stuff in America, because they’re filled with Metallica and Green Day singing about war, and Guns N’ Roses or Avenged Sevenfold singing about love. King Schultz and Hans Landa are not only European but also German European (aka the better European), which means they both have that detail-ish personality and that leadership vibration (lol) or the charisma that all conquerors need. Everyone is great in Django Unchained, but King Schultz is beyond the limits. I don’t really remember Inglourious Basterds but I oddly like that movie for the appearance of Hans Landa. Need to watch it again babe.
However, I would not be drink buddy with Quentin Tarantino because he will go on forever with his interest while I’ll be sitting their laughing or thinking and drinking and doing anything but talking. He’s a person to be admired from afar, because he can do much more than impressing his close people. He impresses the world, doesn’t he?
There are straightforward movies that are great; they’re just not my favourites
I already ranted 2,000 words but since it’s weird to end this long essay here I’d resort to going on with my thought about great movies. If you kinda trust IMDb ratings then you may love Shawshank Redemption huh? I watched that movie once and it’s great but that’s it. The setting is great, the story is great, the acting is great and most importantly the message is great AND it’s delivered in a very neat and straightforward way. No one ever gets confused watching Shawshank Redemption, and no one denies it’s a great movie both in terms of entertainment and arts (and also politically). Those movies like the Shawshamk Redemption, American History X and most animated movies in the recent years like Zootopia are all well liked. I myself have no complaints and I agree they’re great movies, compared to another tens of thousands of movies out there that are not even decently good, but will I watch them again? That’s a solid no. They’re great but too bad they don’t give me that ‘thrill’ or ‘twisted feeling’ I enjoy.
Need more than a paragraph. See you later bb.
My top 10
So I have been thinking about my Top 10, but still unable to decide on my favourites. I’ll put it like this since nobody cares.
1-A Quentin Tarantino movie (Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds or The Hateful Eight)
2-A Paul Thomas Anderson movie (Magnolia, or Boogie Nights)
3-A Vietnam war movie (Apocalypse Now, Platoon or Full Metal Jacket)
4-A Holocaust movie (Schindler’s List, Life is Beautiful, or..)
5-A movie that was not made in Hollywood (Life is Beautiful?, but it can be categorised as a war movie so..)
6-A movie made by the previous generations (obviously Charles Chaplin’s works)
7-A Tom Hanks, or Clint Eastwood, or Leonardo DiCaprio movie (Leonardo is not my favourite, but I think he chooses his projects well)
8-An Oscar winning movie (American Beauty, which has not been named)
10-An animated movie (I actually enjoy some animation like Wall-E, or Mary and Max but if I have to put down some of them on this list, this should always be the last place.