Archive for December 28th, 2010

Quo Vadis, cinema?

by Allan Fish

At this time of year, with the “bah humbugs” behind us, time to reflect…and I find Scrooge is alive and well…

It’s strange to be putting fingers to keyboard again.  There’s an old joke about making plans being the surest way to make the almighty laugh.  My plans had been to do a lot of rewatching and reviewing through December to meet a deadline.  I’d been looking forward to the period since the summer, but like Alex après Ludovico Technique, “as quick as a shot came the sickness, like a detective that had been watching around the corner and now followed to make his arrest.”  The flu stuck around for two weeks, like a party guest at a mansion so inebriated that he woke up in the west wing a fortnight after the event not knowing where the hell he was.  The resultant coughing fits were enough to put Derek and Clive to shame and resulted in the pay-dirt of laryngitis and the sort of inability to sleep worthy of Edward Norton’s protagonist in Fight Club.  After quercetin, perotin, pholcodine, paracetamol, covonia, ibuprofen, amoxycillin and the ghastly Kilkof (I’m sure it does, it nearly killed me) I thought I’d put digits to plastic while I could. 

In my absence I’ve missed the usual wrangling over 10 Best Lists and frantic last minute watching of films that, nine times out of ten, probably weren’t good enough, and even then, the list changes by the hour as something else comes to mind that you forgot.  I deplore year end lists simply because I don’t follow the rules of US critics of having to be shown in their country at that time.  I remember the laughable state of affairs of some critics who should know better including Melville’s The Army of Shadows in their 2005 poll because it hadn’t been seen in New York prior to then.  For me, the year is the year it was first seen, pure and simple.  But that’s another story, for it’s rather the deliberation process itself that brings me circuitously to my point.  (more…)

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