I Care About What You Think!

Posted: February 22nd, 2018 | Author: | | No Comments »

F56905Everyone I met in line at SXSW was a journalist. I know it just seemed that way. I wanted to write about the films I was watching, but was intimidated by the “professional” writers around me. I could hear them bantering about storyline and acting depth and… well, you get the picture.

It stifled my enthusiasm. Just an amateur with a small blog with a couple of readers. Waiting for the screening of Spy, I could hear the reporters behind me lamenting that they were going to miss Deathgasm because they needed to write up this film. They were snotty and annoying. I was happy when a retired parks designer from Sacramento sat down next to me. He really liked Love and Mercy — he thought that I’d like it too.

I really valued his opinion. I went to see Love and Mercy and left thinking it could very well be the best movie of the festival. I don’t know what the professional reviewers thought about the film. I cared what the guy sitting next to me thought of the film. We weren’t professionals, but we knew what films we liked. It was fun talking with him.

It’s how you relate to a film that matters. I like films that convey complex emotions and ideas — either the characters, the story, or the cinematography. I like beauty. I don’t have hands-on experience making films or as a film critic. I do know what I like and that, it turns out, is important.

I really liked the film Manglehorn. Written by Paul Logan and David Gordon Green especially for Al Pacino. It starred Al Pacino and Holly Hunter. David Gordon Green directed a gentle movie about loss, acceptance, and moving on. Al Pacino gave a subtle and moving performance. Holly Hunter was vulnerable and bright, the film was a touching portrait of loss, acceptance, and moving on. I loved it.

The critics either loved or were indifferent about Manglehorn. If I had made my film viewing choice based upon Peter Debruge’s review in Variety rather than listening to the Austin couple standing next to me in line, I would have missed out on a subtle and beautiful film.

I’m the intended audience of the film. I’m the person who pays (or doesn’t) to see a movie. I love films with all their imperfections. There’s someone else like me, who might care about film the way I care about film. A person who wants to know if they should pay for this film or wait to stream it on Netflix. Someone like me.

“Everyone’s a critic”, the saying goes. I’d argue that the best thing is a “professional” film review is the historical and social context. I care about what you think

The only thing I care about in a “professional” film review is comparisons to other films and historical context. I love thinking about and comparing artists.
I care about what regular people think about films. In the end, the film is for you and your opinion is important. Go watch movies, write about movies, and talk about movies. They’re being made for you and the person standing in line next to you cares about what you think!

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