Aways learning…(and always listening to Wild Beasts)

February 12, 2010

Netflix, Netflix streaming, downloading movies, renting movies from Family Video, cable, and buying blu-rays have led to an awakening in my life as I head towards 30.  I call it an awakening and not a rebirth because my love of film goes back nearly as far as my life does.  I’ve let it lay dormant for far too long.  When I was 18 I would go to the movies four times a week and I always had something from the video store laying around.  Somewhere between that time and 20, I fell off the charts entirely.  This was, of course, in a time before the advent of Netflix or being able to download movies.

With this new technology at my fingertips, I am reminded of what I loved so much about the medium.  While I can love me some Hollywood movies, it’s what lays on the outskirts of that land that intrigues me the most.  In the years that I have drifted away from film, I’ve still picked up some of my still favorite directors.  Christopher Nolan, Darren Aronosky, and Shane Carruth all came into view during my ‘blackout’ period.  To be honest, a blackout period for me is probably like normal life for anyone else.  I probably sat down and watch 10 movies  a year, maybe going to the theater once or twice.

Netflix streaming has 150 of the Criterion Collections 500 films.  I made it a goal to watch them all this year.  I don’t think I’ll pull it off, but the harder I try, the more rewarding my quest will be.  Besides the enjoyment of the films themselves, I am really enjoying feeling new influence pour over me.

Wim Wenders – his diverse classics Wings of Desire and Paris, Texas are so

Jean Renoir – Called the greatest film maker ever by Stanley Kubrick, son of legendary painter Pierre Auguste Renoir, and director of La Bete Humaine, Le Grande Illusion, and Rules of the Game…he even acts in some of his movies and his performances are always the best on screen (Just watch him has Octave in Rules of the Game)

Jacques Tati – TATI!  Discovering his work is like discovering oxygen!  No  film maker ever has captured human existence on film as Tati did.  The first time I watched M. Hulot’s Holiday, it must have been years since I was so blown away by a film while I was still viewing it.  More than the first time I saw Primer even, moving it all the way back to Requiem for a Dream ten years ago.    His films are so unique that I remember thinking “When is the plot going to come in and ruin this movie?” while watching Holiday for the first time.  It never did.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – These New Wave Germans own my heart.  I’ve been a huge fan of  Herzog for a bout 5 strong years now (and I say strong because I own two boxed sets of his wok). Fassbinder died at the age of 37 and he made over 40 films.  His work ethic and consistency echo my literary hero (and life coach) Philip K. Dick.  I love having so many more of his films to view in front of me.  I have his 16 hour opus Berlin Alexanderplatz coming in the mail right now.

Sitting here and writing all of this only reminds me that I could me watching a film right now.


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