Growing up, I watched a lot of crappy films -- it was partially because I had no critical taste as a kid, and partially because that was what was available to me. And, well, my dad and I would rent every crappy movie out there -- after we saw C. Thomas Howell in Side Out(one of my favorite sports movies), we rented every crappy B movie he was in. It was a terrible, terrible addiction. But we also saw all the blockbusters. I was a kid of the '80s, so I was immersed in what Lewis Beale so perfectly calls: BSW (Before Star Wars). It's hard to imagine a time when blockbusters and box office weren't so important, but Beale does a great job reminiscing about those days over at The Reeler.

He talks of the great films from powerhouses like the recently passed-on Bergman and Antonioni, as well as other greats like Fellini, Godard and Kurosawa -- and the atmosphere that surrounded them. "The release of films... was not only written about with intelligence and passion, but talked about in numerous conversations at the end of screenings when the coffeehouses and bars of every hip neighborhood were filled with excited filmgoers grooving on the art of le cinéma." People used to discuss film? I thought that was only Bernardo Bertolucci's imagination and artistic license in The Dreamers. As Beale states, the new wave has created a different type of moviegoer -- one who craves big effects and has "a hatred of slow-moving, thoughtful, black-and-white films." And as for what that means for now and the future, he says: "There were giants in those days, and an audience that looked up to them for a sort of spiritual guidance. Now they're nearly all dead. And their replacements are nowhere in sight." Ah, say it ain't so!

The art of discussion and passion for cinema chatter are definitely hurting, but I like to think that in a world where the geeks are gaining control, there's some space in there to be inspired by film again. We'll overindulge in black coffee and spend hours discussing film, whether it's in IM or at a tiny, wobbling table in some coffee shop. Many old-school masters might be leaving this world, but there's still some art to both critique and squee over -- Guy Maddin, Guillermo del Toro, Julie Taymor and many, many others. What films and filmmakers are you itching to discuss?
categories Movies, Cinematical