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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

what he said: ‘Guardian’ film critic Peter Bradshaw…

…on one of the supreme pleasures of being a film critic:

Some people hate watching films in the daytime, and some love it for the bunking-off-school feeling of naughtiness. I am in the second category. And there’s an extra-special thrill for the film reviewer: going to see a film in the morning. At 10.30, or even earlier. It feels illegal, immoral and absolutely brilliant. Short of actually drinking a pint of absinthe and smoking one of Lord Henry Wootton’s opium-flavoured cigarettes in the cinema foyer, it couldn’t be more decadent. I feel sure this less‑than‑innocent pleasure will never pall.

Yes.



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  • doa766

    I get that feeling but it ends once I get inside the theater, there I forget the time of the day

  • Funwithheadlines

    I would love to be a film critic except for one thing: I’d feel obligated to see all the films, even the ones I would despise and know it before I set foot in the theatre. So I watch my 100-150 films a year for the sheer joy of amateur criticism that no one reads because its in my head.

    Note: A good chunk of that number is on TCM. I buy tickets for 30-40 movies a year.

  • markyd

    I totally agree with this. There is something wonderful about being in a theater during the day, when right proper folks are working or in school. Sadly, the opportunity to do this rarely presents itself.

  • MaryAnn

    I’d feel obligated to see all the films, even the ones I would despise and know it before I set foot in the theatre.

    Then you’re not a true movie lover. :->

    I want to see every movie ever made. Even the bad ones.

  • Funwithheadlines

    I can understand feeling obligated to watch the bad ones, but wanting to see them? I’d get bored and start deconstructing the three act structure of the screenplay or something.

  • MaryAnn

    But *why* are bad movies bad? That’s as interesting as trying to figure out what makes good movies good!

  • Nate

    I want to see every movie ever made. Even the bad ones.

    Somehow I find this very hard to believe. You’ve stated in the past you planned on skipping certain films (Furry Vengeance and Old Dogs to name a few).

  • nyjm

    For me, MAJ’s willingness (one might even say fervor) to see the films I suspect are bad – that she suspects are bad – is one of the reasons I so appreciate her. She takes the bullet for us, and then turns a flesh-wound into a delightful bit of critical writing, à la her rip-roaringly funny critique of The Last Airbender. Keep on being a cinephile, MaryAnn, and we’ll work on getting you promoted to the NSA…

  • Boingo

    When I was a kid, my Dad who drove a cab, had a
    company located alongside a movie theater. There was
    a fellow cabbie named “Blackie,” who would frequently see movies in the middle of the day.I thought in my
    kid’s mind,” Gasp! Adults all should be working, not playing hookey!! In my immature perspective, I likened
    it to some kind of “sin.”

    Here I am: “Blackie Re-incarnated!”

    Blackie, you lucked out-no cell phones back then.

  • Lisa

    As opposed to me, who actually bunked off school to watch movies

    I’m glad MaryAnn takes the bullet for us – there’s just too much crap out there

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