Monday, August 15, 2011

16 Days of Birthday, Day 9: "You like that movie?"

As many of you may know, I work at a video store. Working at a video store generally means that you often have to recommend movies a lot. Which just so happens to be the thing that I am worst at. Because, I'm pretty sure that nobody in Dannevirke has the same taste in movies as I do. And I'm not one of those old film snobs high on their pedestal...I'm just the teenager who is trying to avoid film snob status.

At the store we have these things called 'staff favourites'. We get a little square of paper and we stick a movie review on it because we really recommend it. Of course, me being me, I usually have the most of these. But I must say, many of the films I pick barely made it through a healthy cinema release, and aren't really considered 'mainstream' here. In fact, off the top of my head, the only 'mainstream' movies I can remember that I staff favourited are Inception, True Grit and The King's Speech.

Then again, Dannevirke being Dannevirke, 'mainstream' has a whole different meaning to what you think it is. The only films that fit into the mainstream category are pretty much just action flicks and gross out comedies. Meh, I like some of these movies, but not enough to staff favourite them. No, I'm more into picking the movies that everyone I know hates, but they were really well received by some of us film-lovers. I'm pretty sure that no one can really understand why a 15 year old girl would like such movies, but there you have it.

One of my proudest moments was when I staff picked Somewhere. You know the one - the really slow Sofia Coppola flick that really doesn't go anywhere. Okay, so maybe the staff pick was more of a warning. If I were to find another person within a 10 kilometre radius of my house that liked it, I would be more than surprised. But to me, while I notice the flaws in Somewhere and why most people hate it, the movie is a beautiful observation of Hollywood life. And guess what? It's done by someone who knows what they are talking about. Plus, Coppola's film-making style is so romantic...I couldn't help but love it. It probably did help that I watched Love and Other Drugs before slipping this in the player, and I was in quite an emotional state (that wasn't due to Love and Other Drugs...that movie was terrible).

A Single Man is another movie I picked. A lot of people I talked to said that it wasn't a very nice movie at all. Which is fair enough, because I'm sure that a movie that deals with death and depression and gay lovers isn't everyones cup of tea. But my goodness, I love this movie to bits. I think it's such a beautifully made and horribly sad movie which observes a day in the life of a fractured soul so well. Unfortunately, very few people I know have been able to see this. Maybe Tom Ford shoulda put some more bombs in it, eh?

The one movie people have a lot of trouble with me liking (though I wasn't around to staff pick it when it came out) is Brokeback Mountain. Now, I know a lot of you film-lovers really dig it, and it obviously should have won Best Picture back in 2006. But let me tell you a story of a customer who rented this movie out. She said she rented it out for a laugh. That's not all she said, though. She started going on about how "disgusting" the movie was and then embarked on a homophobic rant condemning the movie. I don't think I've ever been so angered by another human being in my presence ever in my life. First of all, Brokeback Mountain is one damn good movie with such brilliant performances and direction - plus, it's a moving love story, just as worthy as any other love story. And hey, if you don't like the choices that other people make, it doesn't mean you have the right to condemn it.

Anyway, while I tend not to like anything by Michael Bay or the latest Ashton Kutcher movie, I'm pretty happy with the movies I like. Because, to be honest, at least I'm getting the most out of my movie watching.

Any similar experiences to mine?


  1. A great post, Stevee. I, too, have movies I like that others dislike (although my movies are films few others have even heard of, like Dekalog or Dogville).

    I agree with everything in this post with the tiny exception of A Single Man. When I first saw it, I enjoyed it, but there were certain parts I thought were a bit overdone. This small thing soon grew into a big thing when I saw a French film from 1963 called The Fire Within, which has a VERY similar plot, and ever since then A Single Man just seemed like a rip off to me. But despite it's flaws, it's a hard movie to hate.

  2. Can I sing Happy Birthday yet?

    As Tyler will confirm I like anything shiney and fluffy. I probably am the worst person to be recommending films. LOL I may just shut down my website.......

    Hope you are well!!


  3. Many of my friends hate German films, just in general, while I don't like to generalize. I'd say: "I like that German film, I don't like that German film, though", while they just tell me "We're not watching that German film in the theatre, I hate German films - they're bad!".
    Now, that's something I hate. Same with Danish films - most of my friends don't like too many of them.

    PS: I can't believe what that woman said about Brokeback Mountain - ridiculous!

    PPS: I love Sofia Coppola films, sadly, the one friend of mine who did so to, has just gone to America for one year :(

  4. *sigh* I hate it when people hate on Brokeback Mountain. If you don't want to see it, don't see it. You're not being forced to.

  5. I had a moment the other day when I seemed to be the only one in my cinema class who like The Last Wave (seventies Peter Weir) :( Awkward, haha

  6. Tyler - Luckily, half the movies I watch are ones which everyone around me hasn't even heard of, so they don't seek them out.
    The Fire Within sounds interesting, I might have a look for it. I guess a lot of people find A Single Man a bit over-done, but it's the kind of film-making I love, for some reason.

    Custard - No, not for another 5 days (22nd is the big one) ;)
    I'm the worst person at recommending films! And no, you shouldn't shut down your site at all!
    I'm well!

    Lime(tte) - Gosh, that's like everyone around me hating foreign films. They're all too lazy to read subtitles, which sucks.
    That woman made me so angry...she was revolting.
    And that sucks! I'm yet to find a friend who loves Coppola like me!

    Anna - It sucks, right?

    Ruth - Haha, I know how that feels!

  7. Also, despite of my love for Coppola's previous work, I have almost nothing nice to say about her rich girl indulgences in Somewhere. Although Elle Fanning is good, better than she was in Super 8.

    In A Single Man, style was a bigger priority over substance. Christopher Isherwood's novel of the same title is better and grittier and is arguably about an immigrant's experience as much as it is a gay man's, as a British protagonist encounters Jews and Asians and black people while remembering his loss. Tom Ford's rendition is too clean and too whitewashed. I do admit that it gets slightly better in repeat viewings and that Firth should have won in 2009.

    have not seen Brokeback Mountain. I should probably give up my gay card for this gap.

    Hopefully I wasn't too mean.

  8. Paolo - Elle Fanning was really good in Somewhere. I still don't know why I liked that movie so much, but I did, so...
    Christopher Isherwood's novel is a lot better than the movie, I agree. But I have this huge interest in style and fashion that I completely fell in love with what Tom Ford did with the movie. And yes, Firth should have won in 09 (so glad that somebody finally agrees with me!)
    Nah, you weren't too you can see, I don't often have people agree with me.

  9. I get your point about Somewhere: although I really disliked it, I also thought that the depiction of a Hollywood star's life must be close to reality, and it was indeed very credible.

    I also love A Single Man to bits, it's just perfect. And as for Brokeback Mountain, I agree with you and Anna -- why spread all your negative emotions? Just don't see this movie.

  10. Yeah, I get why people don't like it too. I still don't know why I liked it so much!
    Gosh, I'm still fuming over that lady and what she said about Brokeback Mountain. If I ever see her again, I don't know what I'll say!


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


Related Posts with Thumbnails