Monday, January 25, 2010

the Lost Years of the Cineaste (1995-1997)

For two years, I didn't watch movies.

"Oh... come on! You? For two years?"

Yes. Two years.

It is a bit of a simplification, but it is essentially true.

For two and a half years, I was in a relationship with someone who did not like films.

We got along on most other levels, but she wasn't interested in this activity.

That meant no weekend trips to see first-runs, no snowbound rental marathons, no catching something odd on the television. Nothing.

To be fair, I was also busy being a full-time college student who worked two part-time jobs who was also in a full-time rock and roll band. But, still! The conveyor belt shut down and I was out of the loop, creating a gap in my filmic knowledge that makes it appear as if I was out of the country at that time.

Clearly, there is not a lot to say about this era. I present instead a list:


1. Se7en (1995)

Yes, one of my favorite contemporary directors made this apparently stunning film and I still haven't seen it. I tried once at a noisy college party. No dice. I rented it in anticipation of this list and ran out of time. Clearly, I need to see this thing. Some guy named Pitt is pretty good in it, I hear.

2. The City of Lost Children (1995)

It is insane that I haven't seen this film. It makes no sense considering how much I have enjoyed and/or felt obligated to see Caro and/or Jeunet's other works (Delicatessen, Amelie, A Long Engagement). Some day soon I will rent this and fill in this critical gap.

3. Apollo 13 (1995)

Epic space film starring Tom Hanks? C'mon, EVERYBODY saw that one! Not me...

4. Toy Story (1995)

Okay, this one I would have skipped initially, but considering its impact and influence, you figure I would have rented it or caught it at some holiday gathering. Not the case.

5. Independence Day (1996)

While everyone else was in line to catch this mega-blockbuster that July 4th weekend, I was in the studio recording an EP with my band. I caught part of it on cable recently and was amused by what a time capsule the film has become. Oh, to recall to time in America when we had no clear enemies and endless faith in computers!

6. The Apostle (1997)

With an acclaimed preformance by Robert Duvall, this is the kind of movie I will be all over very shorty. Not then and not yet.

7. Mission: Impossible (1996)

Tom Cruise on wires? Brian DePalma at the helm? Sounds like a guilty pleasure, but I have yet to indulge. This non-viewing has led me to not see the entire series as I assumed I would be unable to follow the storyline. This is silly.

8. Hackers (1995)

I guess I get a pass on this one considering my college-age at time of this "teen film", but some hold this (apparently) horrible and hysterically inaccurate film in high cult-esteem these days. Perhaps one day when I need to laugh, I will happen upon it on VHS at the thrift store.

9. Dead Man Walking (1995)

This is sort of acclaimed, serious drama I would have found gripping some rainy afternoon. Instead, I was off combing thrift store bins in search of rare records for a dollar (vinyl was cheap because it was SO DEAD at the time).

10. Amistad (1997)

Stephen Spielberg tackles slavery and I was either working at the school post office or the writing center when I wasn't desperately trying to suss out the lyrics I had warbled on my band's latest practice tape.

So, that is that. As I will explain in my next installment, this deprivation is extremely important, as without it there would be no true Birth of the Cineaste (1998- present). Before then, my handful of Films Viewed (January 2010).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Films Viewed (December 2009)

Fantastic Mister Fox
Kids + Money
The Devils
La Danse
La Belle Personne
Trouble in Paradise
Fanny and Alexander: The Television Version (Act One)
Red Cliff
Avatar (3-D)
La Haine
The Kid Stays in the Picture
Happy Endings
Near Dark
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Santa Claus (MST3K version)
Up in the Air
What's Opera, Doc?
A Night at the Opera
An Education
Casa de los Babys
The Maid
Me and Orson Welles
Flags of our Fathers
Fantastic Mister Fox

The Charles
The Rotunda
The Landmark Harbor East
Other (Video Americain, Projected Laptop, Wholphin)
Total: 24 films, 1 short film, 1 animated short (15 in theaters)

Notes: You know it has been a good movie month when the list begin and end with screenings of Fantastic Mister Fox.

The count has clearly been boosted by snow hibernation.

This month I will let the list speak for itself. Yes, go see it in 3-D. Yes, that movie is totally deserving all the critical acclaim. Yes, that movie is a work of pure twisted genius.