The Things I Learned Along the Way
I’m still in the mode of trying to publish articles about my understanding of the films I’ve watched so far. Along the way, I’ve learned many things about the act of examining any film, and I have started to see several pitfalls.
Critical, and Non-Critical: critical reviews which are enlightening
One of the great delights for me is reading other opinions about films I like or dislike. The more prominent the critic the greater the delight and oftentimes the smaller the critic (not a major critic), the more delighted I am to find someone who is thinking about film, critically. The great thing about the IMDB is that great minds and enquiring minds can argue for a film that they rate a 1 or a 6 or an 8 or a 10. Many times I have watched a film the majority of “real” critics have dismissed, entirely based on the fact that someone on IMDB wrote an insightful review.
Writing a review requires context, ie. “research”
After I have written my initial reaction to a film, I have often searched for a broader context in which I can understand the films that claim they are based on real events or real-life or the culture surrounding their creation. In this process I have learned so much from putting a name into a search engine and seeing what pops up. Before I publish a historical fact in a review of films based on real events I more often than not waste too much time trying to verify the validity of the claim at the start or end of a film.
Along the way I have discovered
- Germany violated several agreements when they invaded the Rhineland in 1936
- Germany didn’t invade Austria in 1938 due to some (I begrudgingly call) clever pressure and bargaining by Hitler despite having sent troops across the border.
- France was occupied in the Northern sector by the Germans and suffered more than the south, the Vichy.
- The Austrians recalled their citizens, Austria was annexed and Austrians fought for the Germans, because they (Austrians and Germans) voted to be part of the union of Austria and Germany, under pressure.
- Britain put troops in Halifax (Nova Scotia – Canada), during the American Civil War (1861-1866).
- Adele Hugo was the youngest daughter of Victor Hugo and left a coded journal
- A fight-or-flight response to a situation can enable the human body to do superhuman feats which are impossible in any other situation (which science can probe through the body’s reaction to stress.) [I wonder if insane affections between people who are unwise to get together are based on these heightened feelings?]
- It’s okay to use the word extraordinary every time you see and talk about a film that is excellent or brilliant or wonderfully different or innovative. If a piece of art is above the ordinary, then it is extraordinary. The word is valid, no matter the number of times it is applicable to things which are beyond the ordinary. If I use it every single I write a blog.
I should write an article about four aspects of film critics: a. why (or how) a film critic gets to verbalise their opinion in a major publication over anyone else’s opinion. b. what about their credentials? They see a film once. That’s a major flaw in film criticism, seeing a film once (maybe twice – rarely – before the first review) and having to make a judgment on its value. d. critics who gave stupid review and critics who changed their opinions (quote them).
- I have learned to really search for the meaning in any film, particularly the one’s which alienate the viewer, such as mother! (2017).