When I brought this home, my girlfriend asked me why I got a book about watching movies. I should be well acquainted with how to watch movies since I do it so often. I explained, “No, you big dummy, it’s about OTHER people watching movies.” She acquiesced with a quizzical look on her face. After reading the book, I wonder why I thought it would be interesting in the first place.
It is neither criticism nor analysis, it is purely celebrities gushing over their favorite films. Sometimes it’s not even their favorite, it’s just something they felt like watching that day. At best, it’s interesting to see what other people consider nostalgic. Even in those cases the article could really have ANYONE as its subject. Not Julianne Moore, not Barry Sonnenfeld. Quentin Tarantino has eclectic enough taste to offer up something new – an obscure Roy Rogers movie, but everyone else goes fairly mainstream and unfortunately says very little of any value in their discussions.
I was hoping to get some sort of insight into the creative process through these filmmakers discussing other films. The most useful was Nicole Kidman watching The Shining because she had worked with Kubrick and could, through firsthand experience!, describe his method of directing. What it usually boils down to is this: ‘Wow, that was a great cut!’, ‘Did you just see what that actor did there?’, ‘I love a lot of color in movies, and this has color, but I think it has too much color, I would never be caught dead putting that much color in a movie. But I like it.’ This series of articles was initially written for the Culture section of the New York Times. And there it should have remained, merely a marketing tool for those directors and actors with a new movie to sell…
At least now my educated assumption that Michael Bay is an infantile thinker is reinforced. I give the book three out of ten Michael bay headshots.