June 15th 2017
Today I took the ‘How many of Empire’s 100 greatest movies have you seen?’ quiz. Unsurprisingly, it’s a quiz that lists Empire’s 100 greatest movies and you have to tick the ones that you’ve seen. (Spoiler alert: I got 42).
I watch quite a lot of movies, so I would’ve thought I’d’ve scored pretty well, but I didn’t. I think that’s partly down to the fact that I basically don’t watch any films that were made before 2005. I just find it really hard to relate to a universe where they have flip phones.
For me, that’s what I want from a film: to relate to it. I want to be able to draw parallels between the protagonist’s journey and my own. That’s why I find it very hard to relate to anything that predates 2005 (when I was 12). It was just a completely different world back then.
Of course, on Empire’s list are the really really old films like Casablanca, 12 Angry Men, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. I really have no desire to watch a film that’s in black and white. Maybe that’s wrong. Maybe that’s stupid. I just know what I like.
The films that I hadn’t seen from the top 20 were: Godfather, Godfather II, Goodfellas, Alien, Aliens and Pulp Fiction. Notice anything? They’re all old and action-y.
As well as a disinterest in films older than a decade, I’m really disinterested in films with glorified special effects, CGI and VFX. Again, because it’s not relatable.
I’d much rather watch an independent character-driven narrative then a VFX blockbuster. I’d classify one of the films that was on the top-100 as my personal favourite ever film: Whiplash. Because it’s all about character, and it’s insanely relatable even though I’ve never sat at a drum kit in my life.
That’s not to say that Godfather, Godfather II, Goodfellas, Alien, Aliens and Pulp Fiction aren’t full of character-driven narrative, because they probably have to be to have made it into the top 20 films of all time, I’m just not fond of the medium.
In some ways I feel like I’m supposed to have watched The Godfather, because it’s so iconic and almost synonymous with the movie genre, but I just don’t really want to. Similarly, I’m supposed to have seen Pulp Fiction because it’s Tarantino. And any wannabe writer should indulge in Tarantino. It just… doesn’t really interest me.
I think that’s okay though.
I mean, I love film. I love watching films. I love the art of filmmaking. One day I’d like to write a film, so more than anything it’s that feeling that I’m supposed to have seen them. A few Christmases ago I asked for all of the great American classic novels. I read Catcher in the Rye and loved it, and Lord of the Flies and Gatsby and Farenheit 451. But, To Kill A Mockingbird was the first ever book that I started but didn’t finish. I just couldn’t relate to it, and I didn’t like the dialect.
That kind of feeling translates to movies as well, it seems.
If you’re interested, the link to the quiz is here.
Until tomorrow, leave the gun, take the cannoli.