Day 118: Mick LaSalle – Film critic sees classics for the first time

“Mick LaSalle – Film critic sees classics for the first time”

I read a brilliant and honest article from The San Francisco Chronicle from February 24, 2008. [Don’t know how I got there, but one click leads to another.]

It’s about how sometimes films just elude people, and even though you think film critics have seen most things, maybe they haven’t. I mean, how could they? After all, not every film critics is aged seventy to eighty years old and not every film critic goes to film school. Some are even in their twenties!

I’ve read Mick LaSalle’s reviews online for years (before SFGate required a subscription), along with Ebert when he was alive (if you know what I mean), and Anthony Lane. And Rex Reed and Crowther and Canby and Crist and Kael.

In 2008 LaSalle wrote about setting himself the task of seeing To Kill a Mockingbird (1961, Young Frankenstein (1974), 2001 (1968) and two other films – for the first time. It’s fascinating, and it has something in common with what I’m doing.

There are some films people haven’t seen which they have to see if they want to understand what makes great films, well – great!

And I don’t know if there’s anyone out there reading this blog, but it inspires me to tell you – by all means, go and see the latest Transformers film, and the recent Wonder Woman (2017), and most recent Jason Bourne, James Bond, Kingsman and Coen Bros film – go online and find one of the so-called great films, every month. And watch it twice, maybe even three times. Okay, don’t watch it three times like me – just watch it once.

Take a risk and pick a film like Sans Soleil (1983) or Citizen Kane (1942), or Persona (1966). If you haven’t seen Casablanca (1941), then pick Casablanca. If you can’t find a copy of Man with a Movie Camera (1929) – watch it online at the BFI – it will blow you away – just for its visual and historical significance.