The Life Vs. Film Manifesto

Hello everyone, I’m back from a short hiatus of blogging. I’ve spent some time sorting some stuff out, predominantly in my head, and am now ready and able to watch films and write about them, hopefully in a slightly more concise and coherent way than I used to.
I’ve also given a bit of thought as to the nature of this here blog, as I’ve found myself regularly writing about things I don’t necessarily want to write about, mainly because they’re on the 1001 List. Now, in order to stop myself from needing to take a break again soon, I’m planning to continue watching the films from the lit, but I’m eschewing the 5 year deadline I’d previously assigned myself. It’s still going to be done as soon as possible, hell maybe even within the 5 years, but this is no longer something I’m going to try and do. Hopefully I’ll stop stressing about it quite so much.
To make up the place of the reduced pace, I’ll be watching and reviewing more films that I actually want to see (a novel concept, I know), and I’ll soon be starting a new feature called Guaranteed Happiness, in which I look at a film that never fails to make me smile, starting in the coming week with Wall-E. This is a film I’ve reviewed before, however I’ve recently had a look at some of my earlier posts, and found them both embarrassing, and almost disrespectful of the films they were for. My review of Sideways, for example, is 2 lines long, yet I really liked that film. My excuse is that it was near the start of my blogging escapades, and before this site I’d never written anything about film before, apart from a university essay on why Blu-Ray defeated HD. So, you can also expect to see some re-visits to formerly reviewed films in the future.
There’s also some film makers that I like more than others, so I intend to celebrate these people by watching every film they’ve been involved with. I’ve decided to initially start with a classic director, contemporary director, leading actor, character actor and a choice by my girlfriend, as it’s a bit unfair on her that we only seem to watch ‘my’ films. The initial line-up is as follows:
Classic director: Alfred Hitchcock
Contemporary director: Coen Brothers
Classic actor: Steve McQueen
Contemporary actor: George Clooney
Aisha’s choice: Kate Winslet
There’s nothing shocking about the selections, but they’re all film-makers that I admire, and some of the them have some gaping holes in my viewing history. Again, these have no deadlines, and though I’ll try to work through their resumes in chronological order, there may be some skipping around. If I’ve already reviewed a film they’ve done to a degree that I consider good enough, then I’ll consider that film crossed off. You can check my progress on the ‘Film-Makers’ tab up the top there. The quest will begin tomorrow, with George Clooney’s latest starring role in The Descendants. (Oh, and Aisha doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to make her sit through Kenneth Branagh’s 4-hour version of Hamlet that Kate Winslet appears in. She brought it on herself for making me see The Holiday again.)
Does anyone have any other ideas for directions I could take this blog in? I was considering looking at every film ever nominated for any Oscar, but I think those might get mopped up with the Lists and actors/directors anyway. Also, please feel free to make any suggestions for actors/directors/writers etc. that I can complete in the future, although I’ve already got a pretty extensive list to go through!

12 thoughts on “The Life Vs. Film Manifesto

  1. Good luck on this angle.Since I am an oldie guy I would suggest you do some Cary Grant. Almost every movie with him are surefire hits. The sole exception being "She done him wrong".

  2. I do like me some Grant, especially The Philadelphia Story and North By Northwest. I'm looking forward to going through his Hitchcock films that I haven't seen yet. He's on my list of potential actors to go through eventually (but it's a pretty long list!).

  3. Great choices. And TSorensen is right about She Done Him Wrong in my opinion. Fortunately, it's pretty short. This is an interesting direction to take–and one for endless continuation when you knock out these five. Lots of great directors and actors for each category.

  4. I'm slightly concerned about Aisha's future choices. Whilst they're sure to eventually contain some of her favourite actors that I'm OK with – Ryan Gosling, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks – they may also include some terrible picks. Still, it may open be up to some hidden gems.

  5. Oh, I love Alexander Payne movies. So. Much. I met him once at a Q&A session. Got him to sign my DVD of Election. Yeah, I'm still giddy about that.Sounds like removing your deadline is a good idea.I like the idea about going through the entire catalogue for certain people. I would love to see all of Hitchcock's stuff too (although he certainly made some stinkers).There's actually a substantial number of films nominated for Best Picture Oscar that ARE NOT on The List, so that would easily be another direction you could take your movie watching.Can I just say that I'm the goober who totally saw Branagh's Hamlet TWICE in theaters? Oh yeah, I was 16 at the time. I never pretend to be cool; I am decidedly uncool.

  6. You want to talk about uncool? I went and saw Speed Racer at the cinema. On my own. Aged 20. If you haven't seen it, its a pretty terrible children's film. Personally, I'm looking forward to Hamlet, I haven't seen it before and the cast looks fantastic.Hopefully most of the Best Picture nominees will get picked up during my actor/director catalogues, and I'll expect to see you bright and early tomorrow to read my Descendants review if you're such a huge Payne fan (quite rightly so, I'm very jealous you've met him).

  7. While it's great to have a "project" in mind when doing one of these blogs – it helps to give you focus. But when it becomes more of a chore than a joy, then it's time to rethink things. It only took me a few months before I expanded my initial narrow scope to include many more movies. And try not to stress about things too much, just remember why you started this blog in the first place and do whatever it takes so that you continue to enjoy it.

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