Well, well… I’ve been asked to do the “TFS Meet the Writers” column and dreading it for weeks. So here we go, I’ll attempt to talk about myself. Just a little heads up though, remember those days back in elementary/high-school when the teachers asked us to introduce ourselves in class, and everyone would have some great story about how they came to love Victorian literature, neoclassical painting, knitting, or how they once saved a dolphin; well I was the kid that got up and said “My favourite colour is green and I like rabbits.” For the 12 years of my mandatory education: “My favourite colour is green and I like rabbits.”
Actually not that much has changed by way of tastes. I do still love most green things (trees, leaves, leprechauns) and rabbits, but that’s all irrelevant. I’ll try and tell you about how I got into film.
I don’t remember the first movie that really “did it” for me in terms of stirring my love for film. My dad is a film buff and I started watching films at an early age, particularly foreign films with subtitles, which in turn got me into reading/writing. I remember loving The Lion King but I’m told that my obsession was The Little Mermaid and I have to admit, I still know all the words to most of the songs.
In high school, I came across Japanese rock music and joined Anime club (I also wore glasses (still do) and braces, WHATEVER), which in turn got me into East Asian (particularly Japanese) culture and film. To this day many of my absolute favourites, that have managed to stay favourites, are East Asian films.
I don’t have any particular set of “rules” for watching movies, nor do I have an aim in my writing, or desire an aim in films, if that makes any sense. What I’m trying to say is, for the most part, I watch films with an open mind, and write reviews based on the experience I had watching, which in turn is based on a lot of things like mood (mine) and atmosphere. Some films I love for a specific reason (such as their message, acting, cinematography etc.) while others I love for a reason I can’t quite pin-point, a kind of emotion they stir within me.
I love most genres, but I won’t lie, horror is not my thing. At all. Even though I’m the person that looks under the bed and opens the creepy closet door super quickly, don’t be fooled; it’s merely curiosity. If there had actually been a bog monster under the bed or a gremlin in the closet, I probably would scream like mandrake and run for the hills, arms flailing. I also can’t watch films where animals get hurt. Yes, I know it’s fake but I still cry like a baby. I cried watching the War Horse trailer, the TRAILER, I’m not even joking. Other than that though, I don’t have any particular preferred genre.
Despite my indifference towards genre, I have noticed that the films that appeal to me more so than others are often unique in style and message, quite unlike typical mainstream movies. I like underdog stories, funky mixed genres, and beautiful costumes and sets. That aside, I also have a deep love for mainstream, and possibly deeper love for mainstream moonlighting as intellectual indie, and of course, cheesy movies. There’s a scene in Once Upon a Time in China where the bad guy gets his ponytail cut off by Jet Li (it’s one of those olden-days ponytails that were a big deal) and when he realizes it he jumps on a platform, makes fists with his hands and swings his head around while the sound of lions roaring is heard in the background… EPIC. Anyway here’s a list of some of my favourite movies in no particular order, if you want to get to know me better.
- Amelie (2001) – Love the sepia light, the music and the story. But most of all I love that one of the most understated and introverted film characters is also one of the most imaginative, inspiring and interesting.
- Ghost World (2001) – A quirky film with great dialogue.
- 3-Iron (2004) – I love almost all of Kim Kidduks films, but this one in particular is beautiful. A gorgeous atmospheric film.
- All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001) – The film that really got me into Shunji Iwai’s works. Disturbing but beautifully acted and filmed.
- Chungking Express (1994) – This one I just love the colours and cinematography, lovely and unique.
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