I never expected to get angry in response to something David Bordwell wrote, but his latest blog post infuriated me. As the kind of cinephile who tries his darnedest not to be a pretentious movie jerk, I'm always upset when people expect me to have seen every movie ever made -- or at least every movie presently out in theaters -- and treat me like a fool if I haven't seen this or that supposedly magnificent piece of cinema. Just to clarify, though, I'm not mad at Bordwell. I'm upset with the kind of know-it-all movie geeks who have to show off their cinephilia at every turn.
In the piece, Bordwell attempts to define cinephilia, and I found this part of the post interesting. His qualifications seem to indicate that I am technically a cinephile, despite the fact that I don't see nearly as many films as the people in the documentary Cinemania (those people, he notes, are not cinephiles; they're cinemaniacs). Then he proceeds to lay out conversational scenarios between cinephiles. And it's here that I became annoyed. I'm apparently the guy who has either just seen (random movie title) or has never seen the works of (random filmmaker) or didn't pay enough attention to (random shot) or (random dialogue). I'm slow, I have a bad memory and I do actually take part in other activities besides watching and studying films. So sue me.