Friday, December 11, 2009


As I added the 1168th film to my IMDB viewing list today, it occurred to me that it might be a useful exercise to start a film diary. It's simultaneously sobering and hilarious to think back to my reactions to movie experiences past. Examining my viewing history, I had myself a giggle at the realization that ten years ago, I thought The Shawshank Redemption was the pinnacle of cinematic art and that movies could never get any better. And that eight years ago, I was so frustrated by Mulholland Drive that I recall pegging it mentally as one of the worst movies ever. Things change. I now think that Mulholland Drive is one of the best films of the oughties (it still frustrates the hell out of me, though). The Shawshank Redemption remains a watchable film but a solidly middle-of-the-road and sentimental one, prison through a sparkly golden filter, sort of like Oz written by Forrest Gump.

On the other hand, some things remain the same. I still believe the first Terminator film to be one of the most efficient, engaging and thoughtful bits of sci fi cinema ever. I remain as much of a Point Break fan as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. I can still recite all of Kurtwood Smith's lines from Robocop. And my continuing assertion that The Apu Trilogy remains unbeaten in Indian cinema still lays me open to accusations of being a Bollywood-basher (a badge I wear proudly).

I watch movies regularly enough that keeping a simultaneous and sustained record might reveal certain patterns - evolutionary/devolutionary. It would also point me to holes in my movie-watching, leading me to revisit periods/filmmakers/countries I'd dismissed in some burst of misguided reflexiveness. I also find that since my 'movies watched' count increases at a rate inversely proportionate to my brain cell count, some of the images and sensations are starting to fade. I'll watch some little movie that I had strong feelings about. Then, two years down the line, I'd have a vague recollection of the title but trying to call it up, fail to remember anything more. Hopefully, keeping this diary will help on all those fronts. Not to mention further indulge the obsessive compulsive tendencies that the IMDB voting already indicates.

Given that I plan to write my entries here within a day or two of watching the film in question, they're not going to be proper 'reviews' per se. Just random thoughts and opinions. Given that I write 'proper reviews' in other places, I'll probably have expended all my writing energy elsewhere and will end up saying 'this movie is awesome' under half the entries here. So be it.

Let's see how long I keep doing this.

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