Monday, 18 August 2014

Oh, look. Another film blog.

Films have always been a significant part of my life, but until this year they had uncomfortably played second fiddle to my love of reading. I was a casual viewer who fancied themselves pretty knowledgable about films: I was slowly working my way through Steven Jay Schneider's 1001 Movies You Should See Before You Die, crossing a new film off the list about once a month; I was not averse to subtitles, thought Black and White was (and is) beautiful, and thought myself pretty cool for having seen around 10 silent films (mostly Chaplin ones).

Then one day I stumbled upon a spreadsheet I had started when I was 16. It was a list of all the films I had seen, though I hadn't updated it for seven years. After adding the few hundred I had seen in the meantime I was suddenly struck by how small the number was: just over 600.

No, that couldn't be right. I mean, 600 is not a bad number, but I've spent hours watching films, there are several hundred DVDs in our house! Surely it's more than that!

That was the catalyst for a huge change in my life this year. I have how started pursuing films: I use my library card to borrow ten DVDs at a time (compared to two or three books), scour the TV guide for movies to record, and have joined the film club at my local art gallery. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, I rarely go to the cinema (in Australia you don't get much change from $20!).

Not only have I started watching a large number of films, I have begun exploring film history. Though my knowledge is still rudimentary, I can at least place a film into a vague genre, and think about the historical influences on its production. I am now far more interested in who is behind the camera than who is in front of it, and how the camera is even positioned and why.

I have started this blog in order to connect and discuss these things with like-minded people, as well as to put forward my own thoughts about these films. I am not entirely sure what approach I will take on this blog (just reviews? Analyses? Comparisons? Rants?), but expect a lot of talk about lists (the longer the better!). Also, I have not entirely abandoned reading, and have been interested in book-to-film adaptations since high school; therefore expect many musings on what makes a good movie adaptation.

It has taken me ages to get around to starting this blog. It is largely due to laziness, but also an uncertainty about the credibility of my ideas. But if I don't share them, I will never know.

Oh, and the number of films I have seen? Up to 780 in three months.


  1. Welcome! If you're going to do movie lists of some kind I would simply suggest starting with a shorter one - perhaps a Top 100 - and working on that. Trying to start out with a list of 1,000+ films on it can get discouraging when it feels like not much progress is made. And also, if you can, try to watch movies that sound interesting that happen to be on lists, rather than watching movies only because they are on a list. Take it from someone who has finished off his share of official lists.

    1. One of the things I stopped doing recently was just as you said, watching films that are only on lists. Now I just watch anything that takes my fancy.
      I've seen 250 from my edition of 1001, which isn't bad, and I have seen about 50 of those this year, so that is encouraging, but your point is a good one.