Monday, February 20, 2012

Cinema & I

I can’t remember a single evening without watching a movie when I was a kid. Here again, my grandparents were the teachers. Western films were popular and my granddads loved them. War, Thrillers or suspense films too. They let me watch 20’s films like “Le Cuirassé Potemkine” which was fascinating. I saw French, American, British, German films from 20’s to 70’s. From 7 to 14, I was just influenced by my family tastes, my friends’ and classmates’ or the teenage magazines’ choices. One of my first love was Western (Ford, Hathaway, Fonda) and some musicals.

Two films changed my point of view on movies : Outsiders by Francis Ford Coppola (1983) & Salvador by Oliver Stone (1986).

“Outsiders” were a shock because I had never heard about that novel before and never been interested into American 60’s culture (I was 13 then). But the context, the story and the characters were extremely attractive. The way Coppola filmed it too. I remember going to the bookstore to get a copy of the novel and read it straight after. I think that I saw this movie about 4 times within the month ! So far, whenever I watch to it, the feelings pop up and I am still moved to tears immediately. And believe me, I am not an emotive person at movies !

The second shock was directed by American director Oliver Stone ; His film popped up in my cinema life and everything changed. His film : Salvador. I was not supposed to go and see this movie at the theater but my classmates I went to movies with, weren’t that keen on this film and I refused to go and see this “stupid teenage” film they wanted to. So, I went on my own and it was an astound. I’d heard about the Salvador political situation as I am into History but I was not prepared to such violence and images. Oliver Stone became my true favorite director and so far, even though some films weren’t that good, he’s still the most significant filmmaker for me.

I love a lot of movies and I am a good audience when it comes to films. The only category I don’t really like is romcom as American called it : Romantic Comedies. I am not that romantic and a very few romantic films fancy me. The last one I truly liked was “Bright Star” directed by Jane Campion, based upon John Keats’ life… you know, back to Literature and poetry !

In opposite, I like thrillers, Sci-Fi, Historic drama or social films. Apart from Oliver Stone, my favorite directors are Ken Loach, Terry Gilliam, David Fincher, and Kenneth Branagh. Of course, many others directed films I really loved and that I can watch many times, but those directors influenced the creative part of me.

For instance, I guess that Ken Loach still does a great job and “ae fond kiss “ and “The Wind that skakes the Barley” are two must-see.

I am used to go twice a week at movies, but sometimes I don’t have enough time to do so. TV is good alternative solution because you can watch at movies you missed and judge by yourself. I don’t like popular films because this effect of “you must like this film” irritates me. I’ve noticed that the most popular films the fewer enthusiasm I get. I have to be surprised, thrilled and speechless whatever the category of the film is. For Instance, among the latest films I adored, Fincher’s “Seven” is probably on the top of the list. Fincher is a genius ! Literally ! The audience was fascinated with Seven and Fincher made us realized that reality is probably worse than imaginary.

I could go on and on about movies I liked. I should do a list of my “true favorite films”, but it would be too ostentatious and too long to be done in this paper.

Just a few more words about movies ; I can’t talk about movies without mentioning actors. Here again, a few really got me. Some are dead now, some aren’t. But they will keep on mesmerizing me. I would just pay a tribute to one of those : River Phoenix.