365 films, 365 days, a year of cinema.

The Prodigal Son Returns… August 11, 2011

Filed under: Misc Postings,Uncategorized — welch742 @ 10:39 pm

For all five of you who have checked this blog over the last two weeks or so you may have noticed that new content has all but disappeared.  First of all I would like to apologize for my extended absence, as a blog with daily content is worthless if it is not updated daily.  However, I had a good reason for my absence as I was tied up being the best man for my older brother’s nuptials last Saturday.  Obviously this entailed a few days of bachelor party activities, travel days/wedding set-up, along with the nervously trying to deliver a competent speech.  Along the way I caught up with pretty much my entire extended family, which was amazing, but also very tiring. After two days at home I have finally worked back into my normal routine and with that comes the re-activation of blog activity.

I’m sure that many of you are wondering how I will go about reconciling these lost days.  After all, the blog isn’t called 340cinema or 390withsomepausescinema, and I assure you I still plan on having post 365 done on June 24th of next year.  What that means is that the blog is going to be running on double and sometimes even triple speed for the next two weeks or so.  So prepare yourself because for the next 20 days, there will be posts flying everywhere at any time that I feel.  I’m sure I’ll be tired and over-caffeinated so expect more clips, pics, and grammatical errors.  So in honor of the return of the Prodigal Son of blogging I offer you the best comparison I can to how my best man speech went.





A note on Posts and Spoilers June 23, 2011

Filed under: Misc Postings — welch742 @ 4:05 pm

So after Tuesday’s soft opening for my 37 Twitter followers and general family, today June 23rd marks the official start date of 365cinema.  If you read my introductory post, I plan on posting my take on The Hudsucker Proxy later this afternoon.  Before that I just wanted to provide some quick notes on the posting schedule and spoilers.

Posts:  I have finally settled into my 40 hour a week work schedule, however the only constant seems to be that each week is 40 hours.  I was hoping to have a set time each day when I would post new content, but unfortunately for the first few weeks I can’t guarantee when posts will pop up.  I plan on alerting people of new posts everyday on Twitter (@RCDesto), with weekly updates on Facebook.  So for those of you out of touch with social media, it will be a shot in the dark as to when I post.  Also I’m very open to suggestions for films s0 feel free to comment on any post with film ideas.  I’ll do my best to work them into my monthly film schedules.

Spoilers: It seems nowadays that every piece of writing on TV or Film needs to include some mention of how they deal with spoilers.  Due to the free-flowing format of the posts, I cannot for certain say how I will deal with them, but I will tell you this.  Any true discussion of a film has to take into account the entirety of the movie.  This means that I will almost certainly be discussing the endings of each film I watch, although it will probably be in more general terms and not a full plot synopsis.  So if I write about a film that you have not seen and don’t want to ruin, I would suggest waiting until you have seen the film to read the post.  Also if a film has an important plot twist that is not already widely known (For example: If I wrote about Se7en I would expect people to already know the ending since it is ingrained in movie culture), I will do my best to provide a spoiler alert before discussing it.  The only exception to these general spoiler rules would be the movies that I watch in theaters.  Since these films are current it would be a disservice if I ruined them for anybody.  For these films I plan on doing a more traditional spoiler-free film review.


An Introduction June 22, 2011

Filed under: Misc Postings — welch742 @ 12:30 pm

“Great ideas sprout from total boredom,” I recently told someone.  Even at the time I did not believe it to be true, but it made me feel better to imagine that Thomas Edison thought of the light bulb after he too got tired of playing Lego Harry Potter on his iPhone.  However, since my college education provided me with limited practical skills, I chose to follow in the footsteps of most of my generation and start a blog.

If you couldn’t tell by the name of this blog, I intend to write solely on the cinema, or movies if you prefer a less pretentious term.  So unfortunately if you have no interest in reading about the movies, 365cinema does not have much to offer you, except maybe the occasional stale joke, personal anecdote or grammatical error.  For the rest of you 365cinema will be exactly as it sounds.  I plan on watching a never before seen movie everyday for a year and chronicling my journey for readers to enjoy. However,  I do not want this site to end up being simply 365 different film reviews or recommendations.  In my time studying film I have come to the conclusion that every movie, yes even Manos Hands of Fate, provides at least one interesting talking point.  So instead of providing you solely with my personal opinion on the films I’m watching, I plan on focusing on one aspect of the chosen film (acting, cinematography, editing, etc.) that intrigued me.

In case you were worried, I do not plan on just watching the next 365 movies in my Netflix queue, as I figure people would get bored with watching what Netflix recommends to me (French Crime Films, Critically Acclaimed 1940s Dramas, and Cerebral Mind-Bending Comedies in case you were wondering).  This means that while I will still watch a lot of  classic and foreign films, I also plan to watch 2 films a week that I would normally avoid like the plague (bad romantic comedies, horror, sci-fi thrillers, generic action films).

On top of including variety, there are two more features I am pleased to include in the blog.  The first will be an examination of the famous American director Billy Wilder who directed films from 1940-1981.  I plan on watching as many of his 27 films that I can get my hands on, in chronological order, and analyze trends and patterns within an historical and auteur perspective.  The other feature is that once a week I will watch a movie currently in theaters, and give a more traditional review.  I’ve named them respectively “Billy Wilder Films” and “In Theaters”, so as to make sure no one could possibly get confused (and to show off how creative I am).

Now that the boring and formal part is out of the way I wanted to share the main reason why I want to spend one full year focusing a lot of time on watching movies.  The digital age has had a profound impact on the way that anyone under the age of 50 lives their life.  This is true for everyone over 50 as well, but the technological lag means that they are not as equipped to comprehend the full capacity of their smart phones, computers, or tablets as we youngsters are.  I would provide an example, but I’m sure almost everyone has a story of trying to set up their grandparents’ or parents’ e-mail or smart phone.   However, the flip side of this is that most anyone under the age of 25 has an attention span shorter than a Goldfish.   Movies aimed towards teenagers nowadays run around 100 minutes, the only exception being movies with enough explosions or Megan Fox lookalikes (or in the case of the Transformers films both!) to keep people entertained for a long period of time.    This may sound like a cynical view on the modern blockbuster, but it is my belief that popular films are created solely for us to digest them as quickly as possible and as many times as possible.  There are exceptions, but overall it seems like people do not watch films critically anymore, but instead they absorb them and add them to their mental list of films they have seen.  This is compounded by the increase in use of Netflix streaming and torrent files, where we watch big-screen films on 17 inch  computer screens instead of the 100 foot screens they are intended for.  Note: My qualm is a little hypocritical because I also will have to watch many movies on my computer screen, however this is more out of financial constraints than general convenience.  However, one of the goals of including movies in theaters is that I will be able to get the full experience as many times as possible.

However, the big point I wanted to make is that all films are in some shape or form a work of art, and instead of merely digesting them and removing them for my list of movies to see, I want to have the opportunity to think about and process every film I watch.  This may be more than some of them deserve (From Justin to Kelly I’m looking at you), but its the least I can do to treat each and every film in the way the filmmaker intended me to.  So if you share a similar enthusiasm for all types of cinema as I do, I urge you to check in everyday and take a look at the films I’m viewing.

Up Next: Day 1 6/23 The blog begins with a look at the Coen Brothers’ 1994 comedy The Hudsucker Proxy.