18 October, 2006

Movies and me


A man dreamt he couldn't unlock
his door, and turned, with shock
To find a knife in his back
You'll have to face such attack
If you sleep after watching Hitchcock!

OK, A bit of a clumsy limerick to start with. Anyway...

Well, I admit, I don't like reading fiction much. But I like movies. In fact, I love movies. Movies demand a lot less patience than books, but the good ones pay off in less time. I wasn't much of a movie fan 5 years ago, but my appreciation for movies has grown since. I used to like reading, and I still like reading nonfiction.

For most movies, the time limit for movies doesn't allow for as much depth as a book would. But I can name a movie to contradict that: The Godfather. Through the sheer power of acting, direction and structuring, the movie could compress the essense of Mario Puzo's book into 200 minutes. Aside from the plots which have been omitted (the Johnny Fontane story), you can get the essense of everything in the book, and more, in 3 and a half hours.

But personal tastes cannot be avoided when you name your favourite movies. I will admit, any day, that the Godfather is the best movie I've seen, but my favourite is Before Sunrise. Why is my favourite different from
the best? Because "Before Sunrise" clicks with me. It may not possess the plot depth of the Godfather, or the technical skill of Schindler's List, but this movie is just the type I like.


I loved Arnold action movies said she
And I glanced at her shockingly
For I was expecting
A bit of maturing
From my dear wife-to-be!

And, tastes differ. I wont recommend The Godfather to my Bollywood-liking friends, or Before Sunrise to my action-oriented friends. And no one has the "better" taste. It's just too personal. Like comparing (to use a cliche) apples and oranges.

This taste issue is very complicated, I'd just shove it aside if it weren't so important. But it is. Who has the better taste: someone who likes Adam Sandler comedies or someone who likes serious satire? (I'm pretty sure one can't like both, unless he/she is very open-minded.) The people who like the latter have some intelligent thing to ponder about, and can enjoy great acting, get a glimpse of reality, and be patient. These are things useful in the life... but who's to argue if I spend two hours laughing at dumb jokes, but enjoying myself?

Maybe we just shouldn't compare.

The plans for a series on movies

I admit that I don't know much about film-making. I don't think I have the ability to recognise truly great movies. And, as I've said above, calling some film "the best" is useless anyway, because people have different tastes.

Anyway, I do wish to talk about the movies I like: so, for a few days, every alternate post will be about one of my favourite movies. Note that it'll not be strictly criticism... it'll be more about what I like in that movie. There's nothing more that I can do. Of course, my taste will change as I see more movies, and also as I grow. But, for the present:

A bit of personal, a bit of technical, I'll start my "Favourite movies" series from the post after the next with, of course, Before Sunrise.


  1. Well I am sometimes by your tastes!
    Polish and Japanese directors, Satyajit Ray's Appu Trilogy, or even some of the Hindi movie chokers!
    I always have a good argument with this fellow on our tastes about movies. They never seem to match. But I have to give him the credit he deserves; ( " a man always admires another man for what he is , even if he hates him..." )
    I have been introduced to some terrific works of art through him. He has a great knowledge of movies. What scares me is the fact that he has knowledge of all the not-so-great movies too!
    OH and one more thing, and this is really sad for both of us. when my comp went on the blink; I lost "And Justice for All". It's killing me ever since.