Friday, June 15, 2012

101 Film Facts About Me

I’ve seen these 100 Films Facts About Me posts circling the web for the past few weeks, so I decided to jump on and tell everyone a few things about myself. I wrote the first 101 things that came to mind, and reading back over them, I guess I was in a pretty nostalgic mood. But if this helps give any insight as to why movies are such an integral part of my life, then I’ve done what I set out to do.

This list was a blast to write-up, and I hope you enjoy reading it. If you haven’t drafted one of these lists, then you should definitely consider it.  I, for one, love knowing why people love movies.

1. There’s a Christmas home video of me receiving my first film. It was Cinderella. I was three years old.
2. In the same video, right after I open Cinderella, my brother opens his gift to see that it’s E.T. I take E.T. from him and say, “I want to read the back.”
3. By the time I was 10 years old, my parents let me watch whatever I wanted.
4. From ages 10-16, my parents took me to the movies every weekend. This is not an exaggeration.
5. My parents are responsible for my film fanaticism, for which I can never thank them enough.
6. I once had an intellectual conversation with my dad about how bad Showgirls was. I was 11.
7. Most of what I’ve learned, I learned from movies.
8. I didn’t know two men could have sex until I watched Pulp Fiction.
9. I got kicked out of my sixth grade American history class for asking “too detailed” questions about gentrification. The topic of the class was the Effects of Slavery, and I had just watched Boyz n the Hood.
10. To this day, if I see something in a movie that I find intriguing (or new), I will go home and research it to death.
11. In more ways than I am able to explain, film has acted as my savior.
12. My iTunes playlist has more than 6,000 songs, 65 percent of which are film scores.
13. Since December, I have not written a single thing without playing Harry Escott’s score from Shame in the background.
14. Only three movies have literally changed the way in which I live my life. The most significant one being Denzel Washington’s Antwone Fisher.
15. Next is Georges Franju’s Blood of the Beasts.
16. And, finally, The Seventh Seal.
17. The first time I watched The Seventh Seal remains the most significant film-viewing experience I’ve ever had. The date was June 21, 2008. It was my first Bergman. My life was forever altered.
18. I shot my first movie in the summer of 2008. It is called Full Circle and does not contain one word of dialogue. Bergman is, in part, to thank for this.
19. Writing something you know you’re going to be filming completely changes the way in which you write.
20. I write scripts the way method actors act – I force myself to mentally get into the mindset of my characters.
21. A song or piece of music used perfectly in a movie can bring tears to my eyes.
22. As can a perfect camera movement or shot.
23. Tracking the baby running through the dinning room in The Tree of Life is one of the most sensational shots ever put on film.
24. My favorite shot in film history is the pan-up that discovers Travis Bickle’s Mohawk.
25. My favorite film of all time is Taxi Driver.
26. The first time I saw Persona, I assumed I could fit it in before work, seeing as it’s only 80 minutes. I ended up calling out sick. I was that shaken.
27. I watched Persona three times that day.
28. The best compliment I can give an actor is that they’ve “Got it.”
29. Catherine Warner’s got it.
30. I watch every movie with a clean slate. No preconceived notions. No judgments about who made it, who’s in it, or what it’s about.
31. Movies used to make me cry very easily. Then, for several years, they didn’t. Now I’m back to crying.
32. Whether it is in English or not, if the option is available, I watch all movies with the subtitles on.
33. The best acting performance I’ve ever seen is Marlon Brando’s work in A Streetcar Named Desire.
34. Followed closely by Robert De Niro in Raging Bull.
35. The best female acting performance I’ve ever seen is Gena Rowland’s in A Woman Under the Influence.
36. When I was in college, I had an Iranian friend who loved movies, but hadn’t seen many of them. I loaned him films by the dozen, which he would watch in two or three days, then return for more. After he watched Babel, we talked and cried for an hour about the torture and beauty of that film. It was one of the best film-related conversations I’ve ever had.
37. Every Friday, my phone is inundated with e-mails, text messages, tweets and Facebook posts, all requests from friends and family members asking me what movie they should watch this weekend. I fucking love it.
38. For the past several months, my answer to most of those requests has been Shame.
39. If they like Shame, I usually tell them to check out Hunger the following weekend.
40. More people like Shame than Hunger.
41. One of the best compliments I can give a film is that I am unable to speak directly after watching it. 
42. A few random examples of this include The Seventh Continent, The Thin Red Line, Jarhead, and Another Woman.
43. The main reason Jarhead rocked me was because of its flawless use of Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks.”
44. Every script I write, in some way, mirrors exactly how I felt (or acted) at a specific time in my life.
45. Notions of my short film Earrings are extremely autobiographical.
46. (Writing that made me realize, after people see Earrings, they may think I’m a nutcase. But really, I’m cool.)
47. Great movies get better as you get older.
48. I’ve seen every Best Picture winner, every film on every AFI list and every movie that has won the Foreign Language Oscar.
49. The majority of popular foreign films are better than the majority of popular American films.
50. The opening to Drive is, arguably, my favorite film opening. Ever. Well, second to GoodFellas, of course.
51. As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a screenwriter.
52. As a filmmaker, my favorite parts of the process are the writing and the editing.
53. As a film watcher, I have no favorite part. I love it all.
54. Everything I know about film is completely self-taught. I studied film history in college, but my mechanics for filmmaking were learned from watching movies, reading books, and playing with film equipment.
55. Books can teach you the how, but the why has to be in you.
56. If a film has a good story, then I can forgive most everything else.
57. I can name 50 great films that have excellent stories but look like crap.
58. I can name 50 awful films that have crap stories but look great.
59. The three best performances of Denzel Washington’s career are all contained in Malcolm X.
60. I’ve always preferred Denzel’s work in Man on Fire to Training Day.
61. I’m always wondering which actor will be the first to win three Best Actor Oscars.
62. No, sadly, I don’t think Daniel Day-Lewis will do it for Lincoln.
63. The older I get, the more political I find the Oscars.
64. Despite this, I love the Oscars.
65. My favorite Oscar is Adrien Brody winning for The Pianist.
66. The last time my favorite film of the year won Best Picture was when Million Dollar Baby nabbed it.
67. Marion Cotillard is my favorite contemporary actress.
68. Naomi Watts is a close second.
69. Michael Fassbender is my favorite contemporary actor.
70. Daniel Day-Lewis is a close second.
71. I can watch Se7en on repeat.
72. And Casino.
73. And Pulp Fiction.
74. I'd kill to know what The Gimp looks like.
75. I think Rooney Mara will soon deservedly be hailed as the best actress of her generation.
76. I love reciting lines from Closer back and forth.
77. Despite names like Fellini, Antonioni, Bertolucci, De Sica, and Pasolini, I don’t think Italian cinema is talked about enough.
78. One of the most overlooked films in both David Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes’ careers is Spider.
79. My favorite period of filmmaking used to be the American ‘70s. Then it was the European ‘60s. Now it’s both.
80. Slow motion is the reason I hate most sports films.
81. Edward Burns’ Newlyweds is one of the most creatively inspiring films I’ve ever seen.
82. I love loving the work of a polarizing director. Contemporaries include Michael Haneke and Lars von Trier.
83. I haven’t seen a Steven Soderbergh film I didn’t appreciate.
84. The line, “And we’re here to listen,” as written by Steven Gaghan, as said by Michael Douglas, is the best line of the 2000s.
85. I absolutely cannot wait to see the Bret Easton Ellis-penned, Paul Schrader-directed micro budget thriller The Canyons.
86. If I’m ever lacking in inspiration, I watch the trailer for The Tree of Life. And/or Shame. And/or Little Children.
87. Science fiction is my least favorite genre.
88. Conundrum: 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of my top five films of all time.
89. Going to film festivals is fucking awesome.
90. Anthony Gonzalez, the front man for my favorite band, M83, recently said he moved to LA so he could start scoring movies. I’ve been holding my breath ever since.
91. I think United 93 should’ve gotten more acclaim, respect, and attention than it did.
92. I never ever read a book before I see the movie.
93. I wish someone would turn George Pelecanos’ The Night Gardner into a movie. It is a perfect crime thriller that could make for an excellent film.
94. I have never once been depressed by a film. I thrive on the darkness of human nature. I love watching it unfold cinematically.
95. My favorite part about being a movie buff is having a person tell me they like a film, then recommending three others I think they’d like equally, if not more.
96. There is no end to my admiration for Heath Ledger.
97. The thing I love most about movies: they occasionally speak to me. The first time I saw Antwone Fisher, Derek Luke saying “I don’t know what to do,” perfectly mirrored how I felt at that exact moment in my life.
98. Another example: my original script for Earrings had a segment which depicts the main character’s downfall in graphic, candid detailed. When I saw that Shame did the exact same thing, it was as if Steve McQueen was saying, “It’s okay… I get it too.”
99. I once broke up with a girl because she said I watched too many movies.
100. I love the fact that Twitter has allowed me to find, and become friends with, complete strangers who love movies just as much as I do.
101. If Ingmar Bergman were alive and I had the chance to say one thing to him, I would say thank you.


  1. You can only imagine how inappropriate my slight laugh was from your #8. Great list, and I think I got a good idea for my eventual 1000th post.

    1. haha for sure! Most people I tell that to laugh their ass off. And when I tell them I was nine, they're like... "Oh"

  2. Absolutely great list. Much better than my measly 50. I love how personal some of these choices are; you make me want to re-do my own list! Well done mate. Full Circle looks awesome too, let me be the first to say.

    1. Ha thanks man! I have a love-hate relationship with Full Circle. I'm happy with the story and more than happy with the acting, but it looks awful. I've been tempted to give it a sort of Criterion treatment and re-edit, remaster and re-color correct the film using the skills I have now. Maybe someday...

    2. Well, you have new production equipment... probably wouldn't be hard to just remake it when we're in LA. It'd be like Michael Mann's L.A. Takedown --> Heat. xD

    3. I've actually considered that haha. Shit would be epic nowadays.

  3. A friend recommended your blog to me, and your reviews (and posts like these) are really fun and informative to read. Have you seen C.R.A.Z.Y.? It's one of my favorite foreign films and I didn't see any mention of it in your previous posts. If so, please suggest three others I'd enjoy equally :)

    1. I've never even HEARD of C.R.A.Z.Y., but I see that it is available on Netflix Instant, so I will watch it soon and report back with a few suggestions! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  4. ADRIEN BRODY FOR THE PIANIST *flails her hands and dies*
    That's my favourite male performance of all time, and the joy that Oscar win brings me- gahhh!!

    Great list. Very different.

    1. Thanks! His Oscar win for that movie was just epic. He had no shot in hell of winning that thing, it was Day-Lewis or Nicholson, 50/50. Fantastic upset. I wish more of those happened during those awards.

  5. "More people like Shame than Hunger." I haven't seen Shame yet, gahhhhhhhh! I'm going to buy it very soon (Hunger was amazing)!
    No such thing as too many movies, how could anyone say that? haha
    Books before movies...hmm...depends what movie it is, but I will usually read the book first. Less and less nowadays however. Okay, I'm going to use Lord of the Rings as an example (I know you don't like it, but bear with me, haha) when I saw the first film, I didn't realise there were books. I was about ten. Got home, told my Mum, she told me about the books, I read them through as quick as I could. I was completely, madly in love with the whole concept of Middle-Earth, and I love the detail Tolkien put into it. These days, I'm usually content with seeing a film first (I read more than I watched films when I was younger, maybe that's why...).

    Woah, I did not mean for that to be that long. Great list, I loved it!! I think I'm going to do my own soon after reading everyone else's super duper lists!

    1. Haha I always enjoy your comments, so no worries about how long they are! I know you're SUPPOSED to read the book first, but I dunno, to me, the book is just one giant spoiler. Again, I know the book technically came first, but let me put it this way: I'd rather have a book spoiled than a movie.

  6. I've always been curious about The Gimp too. Wonder what the story is behind that character (as in, within the Pulp Fiction universe, not how he was conceived by Avary/Tarantino). I mean, he lives in a fucking cage.

    1. Seriously dude! Everyone harps on the briefcase - fuck that, tell me where the hell The Gimp came from.

    2. Stephen Hibbert aka "The Gimp"

  7. I love your list, I got to learn so much more about you- I had no idea you watched so many movies, I don't think I have ever heard of someone like you (I don't know, maybe Tyler from Southern Vision is close by). As for your facts:
    13.That score made the film and especially, the trailer, unforgettable to me. I love it!
    23. That Tree of Life is visually perfect, I love that, too!
    31. I've been crying a lot to movies, too, recently, I don't know why!
    32. English subtitles on- I like to know every word to it, sometimes I miss things because of sound or accents
    33. That Brando performance and, actually, that movie, made me start a blog and watch more movies. It kind of changed my life
    46. :) You are cool!
    48. WOW
    85. Hmm, I heard Lohan and an interesting porn actor are starring in it, I should Google more about it soon
    90. Maybe Anthony Gonzalez will score your movies someday
    95. That's interesting, I should give you some titles, so you can recommend me some movies to watch :) I trust you completely
    99. Really? I mean, she said that?
    100. Hello there! (I hope I am included in that category:P )

    1. Thanks Diana, happy to share a little about myself with people!

      31. For me, this has to do with age and a newfound respect for most every thing. I meant it as a very very good thing.
      46. Thanks ;)
      48. A few years ago, I became really angry that I hadn't seen some of America's "best" films, so I spent the summer watching every flick on those lists. Discovered some real classics, and some real overrated duds too.
      85. Yup, that's the early buzz. Can't wait.
      90. Ha, shit... I should be so lucky.
      95. Anytime!
      99. Yes, multiple times. It actually lasted for a year. Audios!
      100. Damn right!

  8. Great List Alex !! Love that photo of you - 3 years old you say ?? Haha

    I would love to go open minded into a movie but I can never do that, especially if it is based on book I read and I usually end up disappointed.

    I’ve seen every Best Picture winner, every film on every AFI list and every movie that has won the Foreign Language Oscar. - Respect !! :)

    My favorite decade will be 70s as well. This month I am trying to see as many European 60s movies as I can get hold of. We will see if that changes things.

    1. Yup that's me... rockin' Cinderella.

      It can definitely be hard to go into a movie open minded, but, for me, it is very very important to do so.

      Euro '60s are AWESOME! Have fun with them.

  9. Fantastic read! I could watch Pulp Fiction and Casino over and over again. I really love Michael Douglas's work in Traffic, his story was my favorite one of all of those in the movie. I think slow motion is overused in sports movies too, but I loved it in Moneyball, it was just a perfect way to ilustrate certain moments especially because of delicate music in the background. I listen to movie scores when I write too, Shame score puts me in particularly focused mood.

    1. The slow-mo in Moneyball did work really well, but I think that is partly because they didn't overdo it, you know? I am totally game for a little slow motion here and there, but every damn sports scene? Ugh.

  10. What a great list. Just LOVE the fact that your parents took you to the cinema every weekend when you were 10-16 years.
    Think might try to make my own list too.

    Hind Mezaina (one of your 'Twitter friends' @hindmezaina)

    1. You should DEFINITELY make your own list. And yeah, I am very fortunate to have the parents that I do.

      Thanks for reading/commenting!!

  11. This is a great list. I definitely agree with you on Spider... severely underrated.

    1. Thanks man. Yeah... more people need to see that one.

  12. Among all the film fact posts I read,including the one I did a couple of days ago,I think you nailed the concept,Alex,some I envy and some absolutely resonate with me,I will pick some to comment:

    7.Movies teach me life lessons all the time,I also need to add,most I have learned,I learned from Criterion dvds

    15.If I remember correctly,this doc in included in the Eyes Without a Face Criterion dvd,I'm glad I checked it out

    37.I wish my friends would ask me that

    41.I enjoy the overwhelming feeling after watching a great film,I wish I could tell the world I've watched something phenomenal right away

    47.Can't agree more,I always regret watching some films too early without understanding it

    61.I think Sean Penn would be the man

    77.We can talk about Italian cinema,I love it

    99.I think you did the right thing

    1. Thanks Dave, that was really kind of you to say.

      7. Your Criterion comment is really interesting. Those are some damn insightful films.

      15. Yes, it certainly is. Fair warning: it is, uh, intense. Longest 20 minutes of my life.

      37.Best feeling in the world. Love it!

      61. I'm thinking (hoping) that too. But for what...

      77. Nice! Good to know.

      99. Thanks :)

  13. Oh gosh, I love what you've done with this list. The best thing about these lists is that you find out so much more about people, and everyone seems so goddamn awesome!

    Spider is a REALLY underrated film. I'm gonna write about it tonight. I loved it.
    Also, for inspiration I always turn to the trailers for The Tree of Life and Shame. Only nine days until I can finally see Shame.
    And yeah, by age 11 my parents let me watch whatever I wanted (because my Mum forced me to watch Psycho and that was an R16, and I just watched whatever since them. One of the reasons I love my mum so much is because she introduced me to Hitchcock, therefore I was introduced to film).

    1. I can't WAIT until you get so see Shame... really curious what you'll think of it.

      Gotta love those moms, don't you? Yours sounds as special as mine.

  14. Like you, I had parents that got me into films, too, and let me watch whatever I'd like at a very, very young age. They were a MASSIVE part of me loving art as a whole the way I do, and I can't thank them enough either.

    Though I LOVED Shame, I am not a fan of the trailer. I don't think it captures the slowness and odd beauty of the film. But, saying that, if the trailer makes people want to see the film, I can't complain!

    Wow, a previous girlfriend said you watch too many films? I hope I don't encounter that anytime soon!

    1. I really love hearing how many other film fanatics got into this game because of their parents. It's so... inspiring.

      Yeah, that GF, was, well... we didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things haha.

  15. Envy your upbringing, my parents didn't really watch movies and I barely saw any growing up!

    That score from Shame is fantastic. How relaxing.

    32. Wow. I might consider doing this.
    49. Agree 100%, I find this to be the case nearly all the time amazingly.
    50. Hells yeah. Love this opening.
    72. I must see Casino soon. Maybe Tuesday night.
    88. Another I must see.
    99. Love it!
    100. Love it too.

    Awesome 101 film facts Alex.

    1. I'm glad you like that score, but man, I don't think it's relaxing at all haha. Whenever I hear it, I think of Brandon's downfall, which, to me, is one of the most hauntingly beautiful things I've ever see. Endlessly inspiring.

      32. You have no idea how many little words or phrases I've picked up on from doing this. I highly recommend it.
      72. It is so so good.
      88. Blows me away, everytime. Different, but it changed the game.
      99. Bitch.
      100. Rock n roll!

  16. Alex, you should publish a list (similar to the one you wrote me up awhile ago) of "must see films" broken down by decade and post it with more elaborated reasons. =]

    1. Ahh I've thought about that, but picking the top MUST SEES is always the hardest part. I'm better at drafting more specific lists, because man, those generic ones just fly off the rails. I'd probably put 200 films on there. But who knows... maybe.

  17. Perhaps then top 10 or 15 lists focusing on topics such as "social," "historic," "cinematic," "acting," etc.. with the reasons why.

    1. Shit man, no you're on to something. Sho-Nuff.

  18. Alex, great job on this list. I loved the great transition between 50 and 51. I like what you did there with Goodfellas and the quote. I can't say enough good things about Malcolm X. When people say they don't like it, I get really disappointed.

    1. Thanks Dan! I like to be sneaky with my transitions haha. The only real arguments I've heard against Malcolm X is that 1.) It is racist toward white people, and 2.) It is too long.

      To which I reply, 1.) No, it really isn't, and 2.) No, it really isn't. Sigh. Oh well!

  19. 3-5 make me wanna meet your parents! What awesome people!

    8 LOL

    47 YES!

    91 Couldn't agree more. Why is that film still not being talked about?

    99 is a very wise choice. I'm right with you on 100 and dammit I need to get on those Bergmans!

    1. 3-5 That they are!
      8. True. Story.
      91. No clue. But as years go on, it will be remembered more and more. That was one hell of an achievement.

      No rush on the Bergman flicks... they will always be there for you, waiting to be discovered!

  20. Great list!

    3. Best. Parents. Ever.
    32. "There's no shame in subtitles," I like to say.
    50. Love the opening to Drive.
    99. Hilarious.

    1. 3. No. Doubt. Homie.
      32. Most of my friends think that is so annoying of me. I'm glad you movie peeps see otherwise!
      99. This one seems to be a hit, for which I couldn't be happier.

  21. Love it man. That was a terrific list and it just makes me appreciate movies even more. I love how you broke up with a girl for film, that's heroic. Thank you :)

    1. Thank YOU for reading! Girl tried to get between me and my movies... she had another thing comin'.

  22. Catching up on some older posts... I hate being behind! But dammit, this was a good read. I feel like I just enjoyed a beer with you, man.

    Well done.

    1. Ha, thanks man. You should try one of these if you get a chance... it was a blast to write up. Beers someday man... someday.

  23. I LOVE that you're taking part in this Alex. There are a few I'm agreeing w/ you, especially your love for film scores! That's my favorite music genre after classical.

    "99. I once broke up with a girl because she said I watched too many movies." Ahah, well that's wise I think. I mean if she can't appreciate your love for movies then she's not worth keeping :D

    1. Thanks Ruth! Ahh, a good film score can be endlessly inspirational to me. Love them. Couldn't agree more with your reasoning behind 99!!

  24. Awesome list, man. Really insightful. I had no idea Anthony Gonzalez was looking to score movies. That just seems like a no-brainer when you think about it. Can't wait for that.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Eric. And man, when I read that interview with Gonzalez, I about flipped. He actually said he sees his music cinematically, which, yeah, makes perfect sense when you listen to it. Can't wait til he starts scoring flicks.

  25. This was very interesting. A fascinating read. I don't know where to begin to comment, but I'll raise one point...Jesus Walks in Jarhead = perfection!

    1. Thanks man! Glad you dig the way that song is used in that flick as much as I do. Very very effective.

  26. Fantastic and very interesting list. It just proves how much film can be a big influence on a person.

    1. Oh you said it right there. Film has been THE influence on my life. I am inseparable from it.

  27. Very entertaining reading your list, Alex. You were born to be a cinephile it would seem, like Uncle Joey in Back to the Future was behind bars in the playpen as a child, and in jail as an adult, if you catch my drift...

    Thanks for the tips along the way and film

    Yeah, the parent thing works both ways, the joy of introducing us to film, and we get the joy of first time watches. When we have our own kids, it starts all over again ( :

    subtitles on, I do that too, I find it easier to read than listen. Also because music score can make the dialogue tricky to hear sometimes.

    77: I'd also add Luchino Visconti ( ;

    How funny, 2 seconds ago you commented on my 100 film facts , ha-ha

    1. Wow that IS too funny. Right I as published a comment on your blog, I saw this one pop up on mine. Cool stuff.

      Glad you liked my list Chris, I really enjoyed yours too. Ahh, Visconti indeed.

  28. Hi there, just visit your site. Love reading your list. Think I'll like it to be the kind of parent like yours (taking my child to a movie every week). And #99 wow, such a deal breaker.
    Nice to know you.

    1. Hey there, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. I think I'll be like my parents too, when I have kids :)

      You've got a new follower on Inspired Ground, thanks for commenting!

  29. This is a terrific post. It sounds like your parents helped you tremendously by trusting you with your movie choices and having mature, thoughtful discussions with you from an early age. Too many parents underestimate their kids when it comes to having honest, thought-provoking conversations.

    #37 is a huge compliment to you. I really, really liked Hunger, but I had mixed feelings about Shame. Both movies had an understated kind of storytelling, with many important details left unsaid. For some reason, I appreciated that in Hunger, but it bothered me in Shame. I'm seriously considering giving it a second viewing.

    I am right there with you on #41! I also love what you said in #54. I am all for higher education, but nothing replaces rolling up your sleeves and *doing* what you love.

    I am laughing out loud over #74. I never thought about that.

    I completely agree on #78!

    #99 -- I completely understand!

    I'm a new follower. BTW, my daughter wrote a post like this at our site, in case you want to check it out.

    1. Thanks so much for such a kind comment. Really glad you stopped by, I'll definitely be checking out BoMo Eclectic Reviews in the future!

      37 - Shame had an enormous impact on me, to the point that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to fully articulate. It is one of the very finest films I've ever seen, but something that I can definitely accept as off putting. I really hope you give it another go soon.

      54 - Yeah don't get me wrong, college is a good thing, but I've just always learned more from life experience than from books. I'd much rather play with a camera than read about how to play with a camera, you know?

      74 - Forget the briefcase, bring out The Gimp!

      99 - Audios!

      Thanks again for stopping by.

  30. Hi Alex! I am in complete awe of your cinematic knowledge. I've been told I'm a film fanatic but I have nothing on you man. I have always wanted to watch Shame and I'm about to start it in 5 minutes thanks to you. I have also wondered if you have ever watched the film "The Poker House". It is one of my favourite movies and if you haven't seen it I highly recommend it!

    1. Hi Jane! Thanks so much for leaving such a kind of thoughtful comment. It really means a lot to me. I've never even heard of The Poker House but wow... it sounds so intense. I'll get to watching it right away - thanks for the recommendation!

      What'd you think of Shame?

    2. No worries Alex. Yes it is a rather intense and truthful film - shot over only 20 days! I would love to hear what you think of it once you've seen it.

      Shame was the most powerful film I've seen in a long time. Of course Michael Fassbender never disappoints and I was delighted to see Carey Mulligan in role which exemplifies her previously disguised diversity (at least to me)! I did also particularly notice the score - I will definitely be downloading that. Have you heard the score for Atonement? One of my very favourites I'd have to say :)

    3. I LOVE the score from Atonement. Harry Escott's Shame score is magnificent, so haunting. Here's a list of my favorite film scores if you're interested :)

      Will be giving The Poker House a watch this weekend. I'll report back here to let you know what I think!

    4. It's great to hear someone else who appreciates that amazing score! What a comprehensive list you have there.

      Have you by any chance seen the Poker house yet?

    5. Watched it last night. Very intense stuff. The first time I was really shaken up was when Selma Blair told Jennifer Lawrence she has to lose her virginity sooner rather than later, to bring a little income into the house. That's heavy. And from there, obviously, the movie just got heavier.

      I always appreciate when female filmmakers tell really bold female-driven stories. There aren't enough films like The Poker House being made, which is a shame. So, really, the film was a commendable effort on all fronts. Thanks so much for recommending it... not sure I would've noticed it were it not for you.

  31. I don't get it! why sci-fi is you least favorite genre? (A few motives)

    My least favorite is horror. But I have a point. In 2014 there was just one good horror movie: Willow Creek (and I'm not so sure if it's such a good film); but (!!!) there were 6! good sci-fi films in 2014: Interstellar (which is my 5th all-time favorite), Under the Skin (which was brilliant), Snowpiercer (which was very good), Edge of Tomorrow (where Tom Cruise is really good and really funny), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (which is a good movie in my opinion and really cool one) and Guardians of the Galaxy (maybe the funniest film of the year).
    And my other point is that I can't enjoy a film so much if its horror: Beetlejuice is masterful, but I enjoy just the funny parts; Shaun of the Dead could be my favorite of its trilogy but it's horror. So horror it's a problem for me and that's why I'm thinking to make found footage horror films.
    (Note: I didn't saw The Babadook but probably I will see it.)

    1. As a whole, sci-fi just doesn't do it for me. Musicals usually don't either. I mean, I'll see anything with an open mind, but those two genres rarely work for me. Though I do like a lot of those movies you mentioned.

  32. I can't imagine what complex relationship you'll have with Macbeth (2015).

    80. Slow motion is one of the reasons I love Scorsese.

    1. Scorsese (and many others) use slow motion to great effect, but sports films abuse it to no end. SO overused in sports films.

      And I can't WAIT for Macbeth.

  33. Just curious for your thoughts on this:

    When I was first sucked in by movies and started watching them all the time on my own, I almost always turned on subtitles. Then I realized I was missing a lot of things that were happening onscreen because I was reading every line instead of just when I didn't quite catch the dialogue -- I couldn't help myself, it's just the way my brain works, I guess. So I started trying to watch without subtitles, and ended up rewinding a handful of times each film to turn on subtitles briefly to see what was said. But to me, rewinding diminishes the experience, too. So for the past year or so I've been trying to go without subtitles OR rewinding, and just letting myself experience the film as if I were in a theater without the option to do those things. I don't know which watching technique I like better, but I was kind of surprised to see you say you watch with subtitles.

    I guess I just see how much respect you have for the director's craft, and I just can't see a director picturing their scenes with subtitles over them, if that makes sense.

    1. Very interesting thought. For me, it's partly about finding things I've missed, but always having subs on (even for English-speaking films), trains my eyes, which makes watching foreign films easier. At this point, about 70% of the movies I watch at home are foreign, so keeping the subs on for EVERY movie just helps me stay in practice, you know?