Tag Archives: the idea of what a movie is
I am quite pleased to announce that this is the 100th Smug Film post! Woo! We began on January 7th, 2013 and we’ve been cranking ‘em out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since then—never missing a single day. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also been an absolute blast, and we couldn’t be prouder of our output thus far.
Chances are, you haven’t read every single one of our posts, and that’s fine; with so many, it’s certainly not expected. But any self-respecting fan of our work should have read the following posts. And if you’re completely new here, this list is a great place start:
A Rebuttal to a Rebuttal: Favorite Equals Best, or, Why Back To The Future is Better Than The Godfather
I’ve been interested in movies for as long as I can remember. The story I tell is that Jurassic Park started it all. It certainly didn’t hurt, but movies had definitely been on my mind for way longer than that. And my parents and grandparents were both movie buffs, so when the AFI released their ill-conceived 100 Best Movies of the First 100 Years of Movies, it was the talk of our family for an entire Thanksgiving dinner. I was ten or twelve at the time. By the time I was fifteen, I had seen 92 of the movies listed.
There’s a film writer I like named Marya Gates who once tackled the idea that “old movies” aren’t worthwhile. In a short video overview of film history from inception to the present day, she concluded that “if you don’t love all of it, I don’t understand how you can watch any of it.”
This, to me, is the only valid way of viewing movies. Dismissive negativity is the cheapest commodity in the world and the culture of holding yourself in smug superiority over what you’re viewing seems only to grow in the echo chamber of the internet, full as it is of teenagers and self-proclaimed cynics who cling to their assumptions and prejudices as an essential and valuable part of themselves, not recognizing that those qualities are our greatest failings. So, I’m baffled by your piece “The Idea of What a Movie Is.”
Security camera footage is not a movie, but screened at a film festival with a name like ‘Big Brother’s Kung Fu Grip’ (or some artsy crap) it is. Andy Warhol filming the Empire State Building for nine hours is a movie—the video the real estate agent showed you of the interior of the house on Maple is not. It’s all about context and intention.