When you love movies, but can’t talk about it

The Golden Globes and the Oscars seem to loom before us – at least if you love film.  Maybe you’re a cinéphile, or a cinéaste, or you simply love to go to films and talk about them over coffee, or something.

It’s great fun…unless you don’t have or take the time to “indulge” in going; whether you want to see Jim Carrey or George Clooney.  It’s almost a shame.  And what if you want to write about your film passion?  You see the new Siskels and Eberts, you listen to film critics on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air,” or you read the best of lists at TheRoot.com, if not all of these.

That’s me, except for “Fresh Air’s” film criticism.  It’s too snobby.  I’m chomping at the bit to reflect, write, and take part in these conversations (albeit the haute culture ones) – the fall, serious dramas are my season.  The summer movies?  Nope.  Entertainment for me is what others see as work.  I’m a film snob.  Summer is when I’ll have to catch up on the DVDs of the independent and foreign films that I missed in the last…14 months.

I still haven’t seen “The Class.”  The French documentary about a teacher working with either typical or at-risk students.

The ensemble of "An Education"

I saw the English film, “An Education,” only two weeks ago. I got out of it what I’d wanted; it means something to me; it made me laugh, think, and ask myself questions during and after.  That’s almost always what I want.  I’m on the edges of movie watching though.

“(500) Days of Summer” engages me.  At least the title.  It’s charming.  I’d forgotten about Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies.”  I haven’t seen the film, bit I did talk to Melvin Purvis’ son, an East Coast arts instructor, for a great radio segment this summer.  Part of me wants to bear witness to the hype about “Precious.”  I know about abuse.  I’m curious about “Up in the Air.”  The writing.  The characters.  Its footing in the 2008-2009 realities.  All of these elements engage me.

A scene from the documentary "Good Hair"

I still want to watch “Good Hair.” The trailer sold me on it.  But TheRoot.com’s criticism cooled my jets; according to them, the movie looks like a long-form docu-comedy – should that be a genre option? – not a documentary that examines and pursues candid answers.  There are tough questions that the hilarious trailer opens and leave that way.

I have seen “The Hurt Locker.”  I still have no love for it; my mind boggles at audiences’ exuberance and adulation.  My expectations remain as high as when I criticized Roger Ebert’s fawning over it.

I have a faint and fading recall, other than these titles, of which films came out after last January.  I feel horrible.  I had to check a list of nominations to remember even that 10% or so of the titles.  I love film, but I sure don’t show it.  I feel culturally detached and unengaged.



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