Friday, January 05, 2007

rosebud . . .

that's from citizen kane, you know. not that i've seen it. but maybe i should.

with new-year ambitions, i decided recently that there are large gaps in my movie-seeing repertoire that i need to fill. i went about it in my usual fashion for doing pretty much anything: googling "best movies of all time" and attempting to make a list. but quickly i realized there had to be some limitations to my list, because i wanted to increase the likelihood that i would actually a) watch these movies and b) stay awake through at least half of them. seeing as i am an anti-cultured short-attention-spanned brat of the mtv generation (though sadly, i did not actually have cable to watch mtv as a child), my limitations included:

- nothing in black and white
- nothing with a war in it
- nothing i've already seen
- nothing that people describe as 'epic'.

movies in these categories tend to make me fall asleep (well, except the 'already seen' one -- i could watch bring it on at least 10 more times before mental fatigue sets in).

so. all excited about my new project, i started down the list. but, much to my dismay, my limitations left me with surprisingly little. and then i realized, that when i came upon movies that i HAD seen on this grand master "best of all time ever!!" list, i only actually LIKED a few of them (annie hall, one flew over the cuckoo's nest, and pulp fiction, for example). the problem with most of the movies on the list was that they were too BIG, about things so outside the scope of my life that for some reason, i fail to get sucked in. i'm not saying a movie's characters have to be LIKE ME in some way (though that can help) -- i have very little in common with, say, the characters in whale rider, but i thought it was awesome.

i think that for me to really enjoy a movie, the emotions and characters have to be more important than what actually happens or what it looks like. that's terribly vague and badly worded, and i would be a terrible critic -- i don't even know why i like what i like. but i'm not sure that the real critics know what i'm going to like either (or why!). i think what i probably need is a list by some female critic in her mid-twenties who thinks the same way i do, but this probably doesn't exist.

so, back to the drawing board. or to google.