Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for... Movies

It had to be done, right? I run a movie theatre and write film reviews so it was pretty much inevitable that one of my posts would be about movies.

To me, movies are the ultimate art form. They encompass every other art, using visual images, music, acting and written scripts to create something that can be incredibly powerful. Unfortunately the finished product can also be incredibly...well... shit too. But let's not dwell on the bad films. There are so many wonderful movies, ranging from huge blockbusters to tiny documentaries with a niche audience of about five.

I have to admit, my taste leans more towards those niche movies, but that's not to say I can't watch a mega-budget blockbuster and get swept away by it. Occasionally, anyway.

I'm a huge fan of documentaries. These are films that have the power to change perceptions, ideals and open closed minds. They can also engineer huge change. Just look at what Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Paradise Lost documentaries did for the West Memphis Three. Or what Errol Morris's Thin Blue Line did. These documentaries got men off death row. That's the power of movie-making.

But those are extreme examples. Most movies are not going to change the world. Most movies offer a couple of hours escape into another world, or another life. Whether it's life on another planet, in the future, the past or just in another city, seeing lives played out on screen that differ to your own is an escape from the reality. Or it can be a new perspective on the reality you live in.

My favorite movies are always the character driven ones. I'm not that interested in films with a lot of CGI effects, explosions or car chases. My taste in movies is very similar to my taste in books. I like to see the way real people react to extraordinary circumstances. I love films like Winter's Bone, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Frozen River, The Edge of Heaven and The Sweet Hereafter.

What are your favorite movies? Why?


  1. I love movies too. I'd like to make even a short one some day. Maybe a 1 minutes stop action animation- that would take a couple of years! I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet blog is at

  2. I love movies as a visual storytelling format. I'm having a hard time pinpointing one (or even two or three) movies as favorites, though. Much easier to pick a few tv shows, for some reason...