One of the regular features at Spectrum Culture is called “Film Dunce,” in which a writer makes a point of viewing and considering a film they haven’t previously watched that they feel everyone else has seen. I’ve used my past entries to review significant works that I considered blind spots in my broader knowledge of hefty, important cinema. This time out, I was challenged to instead watch something more broadly popular that I hadn’t seen. The editor was pushing a particular comedy, but I have my limits. In general, I’m enough of a completist about these things that most widely scene movies from the past several years that I haven’t gotten to yet, I’ve specifically, adamantly chosen to avoid, and I’m not going to alter that decision without greater motivation than the need to fill some digital column inches. Luckily, there was one film that loomed fairly large in my college years that I could look to this time out. It’s going to be hard to choose a flick next time out, though.
As for my contribution on the new movie review side of things, I took a crack at writing about a lush, languid festival favorite that is oh so very French. Maybe more than any other derivation of foreign film, sometimes I just want to cite the nationality of origin with French movies and expect that will convey everything that the reader needs to know. It’s also a great temptation to unpack the difference between the experience of a one-off showing and festival showing with certain films. I’ve spent enough time immersed in the festival experience that I think I can extrapolate how a film like this one would play differently in the midst of a full ragtag day of material of highly varying quality. It’s accomplished enough that it’s positives stand out more in that environment.
Finally, for our most recent List Inconsequential, I got yet another opportunity to write about Billy Joel. The fifteen-year-old version of me is proud as can be.