Her

Directed by Spike Jonze

Several times throughout “Her”, I buried my face in my hands and just thought to myself, “HOLY SHIT THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL.” Spike Jonze has masterfully depicted love in the digital age in its purest, most heartbreaking form. I could myself living and breathing in this melancholic world, and I didn’t want it to end. It’s a film about love. AND I LOVE THIS FILM. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT.

A+

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12 Years A Slave

Directed by Steve McQueen

“12 Years a Slave” is an incredibly important film. Steve McQueen directed the film perfectly with a brutal yet delicate touch, to truthfully present the past horrors of humanity. It was exactly what I expected, which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing. But by god Chiwitel Ejiofor deserves the Oscar.

A

Frozen

Frozen

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

You can never really have a bad time with a Disney film, can you? They have a system with their films and it works every time. Great gags and beautiful animation. Although it’d be nice to see some more originality. I suppose that’s more in Pixar’s forte.

B+

Computer Chess

Computer Chess

Directed by Andrew Bujalski

A wonderfully bizarre insight into paranoia, intelligence and competition in 1984. This film begins and ends on two entirely different wavelengths of weird, but it never seems out of place. I’ve never seen anything like it.

A-

2014

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.

Just maybe.

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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.

RATINGS SYSTEM

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.