It’s true. Everyone likes movies (for the most part), but there’s a big difference between being a movie fan and being a film buff. It boils down to semantics, ultimately, but really, there are people who just watch a lot of films and then there are people who absorb film. Who revel in the language of the form. Who make the films they consume a part of their lives somehow.
And other hifalutin’ concepts.
But really, I did watch close to 300 movies last year. Some of my friends would consider that number small taters, other friends would say, “Damn girl, get a life.” Well, I have one, and a large part of it is spent watching movies. Deal with it.
Out of that near-300 films (297, to be precise, and I almost hate that it wasn’t a neat, round number), 207 of them were first time views. Just a small number in the grand scheme, but still: that’s a lot of movies! Some of them were old, some were newer, and some were ones I almost felt bad about not seeing before now. Almost!
In those films, some were really amazing, and some were pretty awful, but all were meaningful and worthwhile in one way or another. I learned that some films really do capture my interest because of the style over the content, even when the content is terrible. Film is a visual medium, first and foremost. That’s not to excuse horrible content, but sometimes I like the look of a film so much that I defend that aspect more than I should. I learned that some films are truly not what people make them to be, in that there are a lot of people who purport to like films that are actually awful, but have been shoddily disguised as “art.”
What a big load of art-house crap that movie was. Honestly. See also, Eraserhead.
But even the most pretentious bullshit is now a part of my own cinema language, along with the timeless classics and the trashy cult junk. Knowing what you don’t like helps you appreciate what you love even more. For anyone interested, below is a linked list (PDF format) of everything I watched in 2011, first time views marked as FTVs and films I especially found noteworthy are starred: 2011 Movie List.