Little to say for myself

Thursday, March 20, 2003  

Never read reviews

OK, so that's a sweeping generalisation - oops - tautology alert. I mean - that's a generalisation. Get on with it. OK.

A few years back I was working on my own in Madrid, and hadn't been there long enough to learn the language (ahora puedo hablar un poco - y mucho más cuando estoy borracho). Besides books, and the handful of Irish bars, the other English-speaking outlet I had in the evenings was the half-dozen or so cinemas that showed the subtitled (rather than the more common dubbed) version of foreign films. The Madrileño equivalent of Time Out (or, more closely, Pariscope) was the Guía del Ocio, which provided the normal listings and reviews of the latest movies.

I could work out where a film was showing, who the director and stars were and, from the scoring system, whether they thought it worth seeing. The thing I couldn't do was read the review, so if it was a movie I'd never heard of I had limited clues as to what genre it was, and no idea of the plot.

This made a huge difference to my involvement and enjoyment. It's difficult to explain the excitement of watching it unfold when you don't know whether it's going to be a comedy, a thriller, a morality tale or whatever. For this reason, one of the best cinema experiences I've had in recent years was when I saw Pleasantville there. I deliberately haven't linked to any sites about it, and won't say anything further in case you don't know the film - but I recommend that you try it some time. If you already know that film, try seeing something else that you've heard is good, but don't know ANY details about. Make sure you avoid any plot synopses, movie trailers or critiques (beyond simple marks out of ten).

I'm a big movie fan, and I used to be an avid consumer of preview shows like Film 2003, but I've realised that all they do is give you a sneak peek under the gift-wrapping, and that ruins the surprise.

posted by Plig | 11:37 |

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Remember that no nation's power is without limits, and hence that its policies must respect the power and interests of others.
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