As the title suggests, all content on this site will be film-related: mostly capsule reviews and the occasional exposition or expostulation. Originally had a (now defunct) site dedicated to all things media, but that quickly became more difficult to manage and there was less motivation to update non-film related material; hence, the change.

Title of the blog comes from the fact that while I unreservedly love film or cinema or whatever you want to call it, I’m extremely green, having only seen under a thousand films as of this writing (if my Letterboxd profile is to be trusted) and only recently began watching films seriously. Only really caught the cinephile bug about two to three years ago, when a friend referred to me once as “the film guy” even though I had never previously thought of myself that way (that quickly changed, of course). Unlike many, I don’t actually have that much childhood nostalgia when it comes to movies, largely because I just didn’t watch that many growing up. Apart from old animated Disney films, Matilda (1996), and the first Terminator (1984), which I watched with my grandfather, there isn’t much that I can point to as being touchstones of my formative years. I didn’t watch the original Star Wars until well into my teen years, and I have yet to see such classics as The Wizard of Oz.

Being this ignorant about film obviously has its downsides, the most obvious being I just haven’t seen as much as I’d like. But aside from the upshot of being able to go into beloved classics entirely cold (something that I often wish I could do with new releases), the reality is that no one really ever sees as much as they’d like, and as the years go by of course, this isn’t likely to diminish, as film as an art form is only getting more fragmented in terms of what is out there. The thought that struck me though, is that unlike other activities, such as learning to code, or forms of artistic engagement, such as reading a book, one can’t exactly watch film any faster than someone else. Whether it’s twenty-one minutes spent on Un Chien Andalou or over seven hours on Sátántangó, it’s the same amount of time for literally anyone and everyone; but what happens within that time is what fascinates me, and why I continue to love film. All this is really just a long-winded way of saying that this blog is simply dedicated to my quest to “finish” film, which of course is impossible (though part of me feels that I unconsciously “chose” film as an art form to pursue because it seemed relatively more manageable, than something like literature). But after all, anyone who loves film is just forever playing catch-up.

—Lawrence Garcia

Quick note on the rating system, a 100-point scale stolen from the great film critic Mike D’Angelo (a formative influence on my tastes in film):

  • 100 – 91: Masterpiece; all-time favorite
  • 81 – 90: Event / near-great
  • 71 – 80: Must-see; definitely something special (cut-off for year-by-year lists)
  • 61 – 70: Highly recommended; (honorable mentions on upper end of this tier)
  • 51 – 60: Recommended with reservations; mixed reaction
  • 41 – 50: More bad than good; mixed to negative
  • 21 – 40: Disliked; actively discouraged from viewing (may still have its moments though)
  • 0 – 20: Unwatchable and/or just offensive on some personal level

It’s obvious, but should still be stated that the ratings are simply shorthand for how much I liked or didn’t like a film, not at all a case for its presumed greatness or canonicity. Discussions on the distinction between “great” films and “personal favorites” led me to adopt this system, especially once I recognized the futility of gauging a film on anything other than my own personal response without feeling at least partially disingenuous. Also, I once thought a 100-point scale somewhat ridiculous, that is, until I started watching more (i.e. over 300 films a year)—again, a relatively recent occurrence, but still. Have been using the system for a little under a year, so there’s still some fine-tuning to do, though I find it’s easier on the upper part of the scale (>50), simply because I tend to seek out films I think I will like, and avoid the truly terrible ones, which means that the lower part of the scale is simply less calibrated (for now at least). Weekly capsule reviews of new films seen will include ratings, while year-by-year top tens may or may not, pending revisiting of course. That’s enough of an introduction for the moment.

Now… where was I?


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