Wednesday, April 02, 2008


It says here that I'm supposed to reveal the "Top-Five Critically-Lauded Movies I Simply Detest". Since one cannot say "no" to Hilary, I have to give this a shot.[NB: Since we have been obsessed by politics lately, it may be worthwhile to mention that this is the Good Hilary we are referring to, not the Bad Hillary. For future reference, the Bad Hillary uses two Ls and the Good Hilary the statutory one.]

It starts out easy. All the certified movie buffs -- although, I think we have to call them cinema critics or some such in this rarified atmosphere -- come over all faint at the very mention of Citizen Kane. A slam dunk for purposes of this meme: two hours of unrelieved tedium for me. I even saw it twice; maybe it was just a bad day the first time. Nope. Boring as hell the second time, too. And, no, I'm not related to the Hearst family. Although, I do kind of miss the old Herald Examiner -- the last evening paper in L.A.

After that I have to work at it. The problem is the failure to go to enough movies. There are whole warehouses full of films I don't like based on the reviews. But what have I actually seen? Uh. . . . .

Fortunately, Hilary reminds me of Gandhi. I was in the theatre for the whole of that movie. That should entitle me to list it even though I fell asleep for a largish chunk of it. (The only time I can recall ever having fallen asleep in a theatre. After all, it was about 8 or 9 hours long, wasn't it?) Magnificent colour photography didn't quite make up for all the exceedingly pious drivel being promoted.

Since I loathe spaghetti westerns, it occurs to me that I really could fill up the remaining three rather easily by just looking up Sergio Leone or Clint Eastwood. But let's not violate the spirit of the meme. We'll just choose one. Say, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. That'll do. Rubbish from first to last. Not a "tribute", whatever your Film Seminar Professor said. The word is "travesty". John Ford makes westerns. Leone just wastes celluloid.

From the other room, Someone reminds me how much I don't like Dr Zhivago. Leitmotiv morality. If the proper theme music is playing, you can do anything you want. And for heaven's sake, if you're supposed to be in freezing cold Russia, find a way to give the actors "steamy" breath. The "ice house" was a beautiful set, but obviously not cold.

Finally, a revelation from my childhood: I never could stand The Wizard of Oz. My mother loved it so I was sat down in front of it every time it came on television. I think she thought it was "improving" or something. Sorry, mom. It wasn't. I can't stand the sight or sound of Judy Garland to this day.