Saturday, 16 July 2011

What The Hell Are You Looking At?

The film Bridesmaids is getting a lot of good press and several of my friends have recommended I see it. I very well might go to see it but I can't yet because I haven't seen Lawrence of Arabia and I really do think that if you want to truly enjoy Bridesmaids you really have to have seen Lawrence of Arabia first otherwise you'll just be sitting there thinking WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND CHOOSES BRIDESMAIDS OVER LAWRENCE OF ARABIA? I'm not saying Bridesmaids is bad, I'm just saying that Lawrence of Arabia is better. That said, I've seen neither film. That is the problem.

Yesterday I saw the best film I've seen in years. It's called Brazil and it came out in 1985. I was well aware of it when it came out and I know how lauded, celebrated and loved that film is but for some reason it took me more than 25 years to get round to seeing it. It is inventive, funny, creepy, horrible, bleak and it's immediately in my top ten films of all time. It has no CGI in it, it has a story and it has an incredible cast: Nigel Planer, Gordon Kaye, Robert De Niro. Don't those three names alone make is sound the most exciting thing you've ever heard even 25 years later? 25 years. 25 sodding years. That's how long it took me to see this masterpiece that I knew was there all along. Put it this way, I saw Teen Wolf 2 the day it came out.

I haven't seen Lawrence of Arabia, Blood Simple, Once Upon A Time In The West, The Battleship Potemkin, The Purple Rose of Cairo, On The Waterfront, Being There, Witchfinder General, Metropolis, Biutiful or any Bergman films. I've not seen one single Ingmar Bergman film so how can the producers of The Hangover expect me to watch The Hangover 2? I haven't even seen The Hangover and I have no intention of seeing it until I've seen City of God. How the fuck could I let myself see Sex Lives of The Potato Men knowing fully well I've not yet seen Chinatown? I've spent money and time watching The Green Lantern, Inception (shut up, it's crap. You know it is), Jersey Girl, Spider-Man 3 and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo. Guess how many times I've seen The Phantom Menace? ABOUT 18 TIMES. To be fair, it's a film that never gets worse.

All I'm saying is that film companies should really consider and protect the viewer when it comes to releasing a new film. How many people my age used to sneak into X's when they were young? That's right. EVERYONE MY AGE DID IT. So I'm sure it's the same these days with films rated 18. Any kid that wants to see any film will see it if they want to so the certification of films in that way doesn't work. Here's my new way: "Want to see a film? Fine, have you seen Amadeus? No. Then I'm afraid you really can't see Bad Teacher. Come back when you've seen more good films. Good day to you". Is that so wrong? Of course, I'm joking. Nothing that simple could work effectively. How about after every film you see you get a mandatory tattoo of the name of the film on your arm or leg or neck? Then me and the other Cinema Police will know you're not a liar. Another problem sorted out by Legge. You're welcome, world.

It hit me hard right after seeing Brazil that me wasting my time was nothing but a waste of time. I should be writing my Edinburgh show but instead I watched a film. Luckily that film is one of the greatest 2 hours 15 minutes I've ever spent. I just think, if you're wasting your time anyway why waste it not being completely amazed? And stop watching The Apprentice. Have you seen every episode of Arrested Development? No? THEN STOP WATCHING THE APPRENTICE.

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Rich said...

I saw Brazil the week it came out. No one I knew wanted to go, so I went on my own. I was the only person in the cinema. Great film.

Michael Legge said...

Rich, you rule. Completely.

Anonymous said...

You must see the studio cut "Love Conquers All" version . . . 40 minutes shorter with a happy ending . . . I kid you not . . .

benjamin said...

I have watched every episode of Arrested Development, and I still don't watch the apprentice... does this make me the greatest man ever to have lived?

Darren said...

Me too Benjamin! So you're only joint greatest at best :)

Cheers for the recommendation, Michael. I had heard of Brazil but I just went and read about it after reading your blog. It sounds every bit as great as you say, so it's straight on my LoveFilm list, high priority. What a cast!