one more round of queue de grâce is now history. everyone say so long to kate, our guest programmer for the past week.
kate knows all the best people.
before i began her list, kate intimated that, in keeping with the holiday theme, this week would be a half naughty/half nice proposition. she also hinted that i would win some sort of magnificent prize if i could correctly guess which on her list were which. so, here, for posterity and a shot at everlasting glory, is what i watched this week, the asterisks denoting my choices for the nice list:
edward scissorhands (1990)
giorgio moroder presents metropolis (1984)*
christmas cupid (2010)
emmet otter's jug-band christmas (1977)*
cooper's christmas (2008)
holiday in handcuffs (2007)
the sasquatch gang (2006)*
you again (2010)
dead men don't wear plaid (1982)*
meet pingu (2003)*
miracle on 34th street (1947)
the bells of st. mary's (1945)
peter and the wolf (2006)*
the last song (2010)
santa claus: the movie (1985)
batman returns (1992)
a smoky mountain christmas (1986)*
let me know where to pick up my prize. after this week, i deserve it even if i didn't guess right. i feel like i should explain a few things in the wake of this week's experiment. i know we all tend to project the way we do things onto others so there may be some of you, based upon how you do it, that haven't thought a lot about how i approach movies and, therefore, why weeks like this are so unpleasant for me. i often go all day long, sometimes days at a time, without having a significant, satisfying conversation. when the day is over and i come home, to my own space, i want to be be challenged, engaged. i don't want to just put something on and not think about it. this time i spend with movies is frequently the best time i spend all day. i am in conversation with herzog, fellini, akerman, bergman, countless others. i am getting to think about things, i am being surprised, i am being introduced to new ideas and having my old ones challenged. it is not just mindless entertainment or white noise for me. this is what makes me happy. i have never subscribed to the myth that thinking and fun are mutually exclusive. the thinking is the fun part for me. when i have weeks like this where, instead of the interesting and unconventional, i often have to invite - virtually - unimaginative morons and cretins into my home for hours on end, it is not exactly my idea of a good time. in addition to this, it takes up every spare minute of my time. subtract work and sleep and that leaves no time to do anything except watch, think about and write about these movies. i don't get to read. i don't get to go outside. i don't get to spend time with my friends. ask everyone who has tried to do even a miniature, tailored version of this. practically none of them have been able to even finish, and that's with a fraction of the films and a lot more flexibility on the timeline. it's a chore even if it was twenty films i was dying to see. the degree of difficulty increases geometrically when they're not.
i know that there are some of you that are going to file this under "film snob" but i don't think that is a fair assessment. i think of snobbery as trying to achieve and maintain some level of exclusivity. nothing could be further from what i try to do here. i want to share things that i am excited about and if you're a regular around here i hope that you can clearly see that in my editorial policy. barring queue weeks, i really only spend time talking about the things i love. i don't want to keep this information to myself. i want to share it and i want people to go out and see movies that have something extraordinary to offer them. i don't like to waste time on things that don't merit it. i know blood in the water sure raises the ol' hit count and i exaggerate those bits for comic effect (especially this week, since half of the choices were made explicitly to irritate me) but i would much rather be telling you about something that knocked my world off its axis than something that depresses me just by its very existence. i have seen a fair amount of movies in my life - not that i don't have a long way to go in my film education, i read people all the time that remind me that, in that regard, i am still in my infancy - so there are some things that just don't satisfy anymore. you can call it fluency, competency or just plain familiarity but i feel like it is a waste of time talking about the crude, insulting and elementary when there are so many more deserving things out there, things that aspire to greatness rather than just being a commercial enterprise. i prefer to tell you about something that might add something to your world. i am always digging, searching for new things that give me that feeling of discovery that i can then, in turn, pass along to someone else. i do it for no other reason than i feel it adds immeasurably to my life. it's not like you win cool prizes for sitting in your apartment at three in the morning reading essays about mehboob khan or max ophuls. i do it because i really love it. i write about it in hopes that you will really love it as well. you can call me a snob if you like, and i'm certainly not going to mince words if i think something is garbage, but, because of all these things, i prefer to think of myself as an enthusiast.
the queue will return in january to start a whole new trip around the sun. if you would like to be added to the list of participants just let me know. there's always room for one more. as always, thanks for following along and a special thanks to kate for taking the time to alternately torture and delight me this holiday season. since you split naughty and nice right down the middle, i'll leave your final judgment to santa claus.
oh no he didn't!