Over the last four years, I’ve kept a film journal on my Facebook. I’ve come a long way in those four years, and I’ve decided my thoughts might finally be civil enough for public exposure.
2014 marks the fifth consecutive year of my film journal. My initial fascination with film has turned into a deep and matured obsession. On my journey to becoming a filmmaker, it’s become imperative that I absorb as much as I can to discover the vast possibilities of the constantly evolving medium.
So what is it about film and cinema that simply overwhelms me?
When you watch a great film, you enter another sort of consciousness. You become enraptured by beauty, wonder, characters: an entirely different world from your own. Great cinema employs two senses to stimulate all five simultaneously through nostalgic synesthesia. In the words of John Ruskin, “art is to be the praise of something you love.” When you’re watching a film, you’re looking back at a glimpse in time that you feel like you personally lived through, seeing it in the most cinematic way as possible.
Every now and then there comes along a film that, for one reason or another, you can identify with. There’ll be a moment in which your entire mind goes blank and you reach a beautiful, wordless catharsis. Cinema has the power to significantly shape and influence people. For a brief moment in time, you experience another reality which has the potential to change you forever.
It’s these films that I set myself the task to discover and experience. With each new and original film I watch, I allow myself to grow not only as a storyteller, but as a thinker. We gain insight into different perspectives – seeing a world through someone else’s eyes. It’s the closest thing we have to reading minds. It’s the most visceral education of the human condition one can wish for.
Of course this is just my opinion. For many, cinema might just be a brainless Friday night time-waster, or a back-up small-talk conversation topic.
Regardless, I’ve worked out a ratings system and will be posting short reviews on all the films I watch in cinemas this year. It’s an exciting new year. New Richard Linklater. Goodness.
A – Here’s a filmmaker with a strong, clear vision. He or she has created something inherently unique and special, which deserves to be preserved in cinema history forever.
B – A film which you could watch and find something to recommend to your friends and they won’t think you’re weird.
C – Pretty generic film, I’d probably watch it again if it was on TV, but I’d also probably be on Facebook at the same time.
D – This film irked me. The first thing I mention about it to people would probably be a complaint.
E – Just kill yourself.