Saturday, July 28, 2012

Indecent Exposure

I sat down recently to have a talk with some filmmaker friends. We spoke about the importance to have enough exposure, the right exposure and gossip about idiots who have not watched enough movies.

I am one of those. I have never watched The Godfather trilogy - not a single film - Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany's or even Titanic. I have never watched Titanic. Nothing against James Cameron - I watched Avatar 7 times, 6 times in 3D. I like the story and the execution of the story.

I'll tell you movies I watch more than five times:

Babe, Amelie, Hamlet 2, The Legend of 1900, Sukiyaki Western Django, Thank You for Smoking, Up in the Air, Juno, Black Dynamite, Up, The Incredibles, Shaolin Soccer, The Shawshank Redemption, Dr Strangelove or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Avatar, American Pie, Princess Mononoke, Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Wall-E, The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'oole, Chungking Express, Sin City, Sweeney Todd and many more.

South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut currently holds the record (I stopped counting after watching it 21 times for three straight weeks).

Surprise, surprise, ONE Michael Bay movie made the list - Armageddon. I like Armageddon.

And for some reason, I watched one of the worst movies of ALL TIME - The Adventures of Pluto Nash more than five times. Simply because that movie and Superman 2 were the movies they played in Thai hotels in 2007-2008. If you were there while I was there, you might have watched the bloody things.

I watched a lot. This is why when some people, sometimes, come to me with stories they want made, but are actually blatant rip-offs of certain flicks, I can usually tell them to fuck off.

I mean, sure, Bollywood rips off a lot of movies, but the sheer size of their industry - they make like a bajillion movies a year - means they can have the odd Mohabbatein amongst the Mere Naam Jokers.

Mere Naam Joker was a great movie. It's overly melodramatic - this is Bollywood - but I liked it so much, I wanted to do an homage of sorts with a recent project. Failed, of course, because not many remember that movie.

Mere Naam Joker was about one man sharing his love stories. He fell for three women - his teacher, a Russian chick, and a dancer. I found that the themes of trinity as prevalent in that movie as it does in The Matrix.

The three women can be the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone, reflecting on the life stages of the main character as well.

Another Bollywood movie I like is Amar, Akbar, Anthony. That one is pretty straightforward, though it ran for over 3 hours, I think. It tells the story of three brothers separated during childhood, becoming a Hindu police officer (Amar), a Muslim singer (Akbar) and a Christian delinquent (Anthony).  The message was nationalistic and of unity.

I have watched ALL of Stephen Chow's movies. I once found a collection of over 40 of his work, but some guy borrowed it and never returned the bloody thing to me.

I'm a big fan. Chow's 'mou lei tau' style is genre-defining and a worthy successor to the kind of goofball comedies Sam Hui used to do (Aces Go Places, Water Margin, etc).

I am not fond of so-called 'art films'. I once had a horrible realisation that some people here thought that 'art films' only meant movies with a tangible story, and that there are only two types - summer blockbusters, and 'art films'. Well, he might have a point there.

To me, an 'art film' is one of those wanking bullshit shit they show sometimes. I think without the simulated underaged sex, Harmonie Korrine's movies all suck. Ken Park sucked dick. Kids was disgusting.

The worst type of 'art films', I find, are ones with simple concepts, but act as if it's the first and most revolutionary idea ever. I believe, those filmmakers and their elitist fanboys are stupid and condescending at the same time.

I go watch movies to enjoy myself, and bitch about idiots who talk in cinemas. I sure as hell don't want to be part of an all-dancing, all-singing shit-choir who talk about mise-en-scene and try to out-culture each other by faking everything.

But that's just me - the guy who never saw The Godfather. Who gives a shit? Fuck you, Marlon Brando. Brando was in that movie, right? I dunno. Fuck The Godfather.