So as you might have surmised, I am a great lover of film. I’ve hardly met a movie where I didn’t find at least something enjoyable or redeeming about it. Even the really terrible films might have a so-bad-it’s-good kind of quality, or there might have been one standout performance, or maybe one set piece that was very well done in all the awfulness. But then there are films that have a subject matter that, even though I found myself really connecting with the movie, I have an incredibly hard time recommending them to other people. These are films that are obviously going to be hard for other people to watch, usually because of the violence.
It’s really weird to say you’re a fan (because that isn’t even really the right word) of movies like:
— Cannibal Holocaust
—Last House on the Left
For the record, I don’t really make it a habit of seeking out the most disturbing films out there, and some of them walk a really fine line between having some bit of merit and being a hot load of crap. Of course this is all opinion-based. And these films that I “like,” I don’t enjoy them without leveling criticism against them. These films are not perfect (there are so few perfect films, and really I think Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure is the only one?), they are far from perfect in most cases. At a certain point it becomes hard to extricate the film’s craft from the subject matter, because the material is so harsh that it overshadows any style.
the Citizen Kane of stolen bike films. fuck you, Vittorio de Sica.
But anyway. My twitter pal Scott Madin, who is about to get his own goddamn category here, mentioned that he felt okay with not seeing Martyrs after reading about it. My usual response to comments like this is “but you should really see it! you know, to give it a fair shake, bleep bloop blort,” but anymore I don’t really feel comfortable saying that because it seems like a troll. Also, I often talk like a robut. One time, I took my copy of Last House on the Left to my friend’s house, and I said, “oh, we should probably not watch this, even though I think it’s a really interesting film” but my other friend was all like “let’s watch this!” and I was like “noooooooooookay” and we watched it and everyone hated me for months.
So really, I should not recommend movies at all.
* re: The Woman — I’m still kind of processing this movie. I get it. But I also feel like the men in it are SO EVIL and the “civilized” women are so cowed by them that it didn’t feel like a real story. I suppose it’s a modern Grimm fairy tale? It’s been over a year since I first saw it and I still feel really conflicted about it.