I have a love affair with cinema.
It’s hard to pinpoint when it began, but I know there was inklings of it by my last year in high school, when I took an introductory Film Studies class (but to be honest, the only thing I remember watching is Metropolis). Before that, the majority of films on my radar were Disney and a selection of films that made me feel grown up, which my best friend and I watched late at night in her basement room-most notable among them, Thirteen (*cringe*).
Around the time I was 19, I moved on to the stage of film viewing where I had a general idea of the film “canon,” and frantically made lists of films I felt I HAD to watch.
But I didn’t really get the cinephile bug until I moved to Dundee, Scotland in my third year of University. I lived up the road from a beautiful, modern arthouse cinema called Dundee Contemporary Arts and when I wasn’t studying (read:most of the time), I’d be down at DCA exploring the world of film. The first film I remember seeing there is Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg (2010). Tsangari is often hailed as part of the Greek New Wave (or “Greek Weird Wave”) alongside Giorgos Lanthimos (of The Lobster and Dogtooth fame), and this film was definitely WEIRD. I had never seen anything like it. So I kept going back.
The film that ultimately converted me into a fully fledged, card carrying cinephile came soon after. I still have the pamphlet advertising it that I picked up at the theatre. I had never read anything about or watched anything by Lars Von Trier, so I had no idea what to expect. I was just blown away. It was visually stunning, emotionally resonant, exquisitely acted. It made me commit to seeking out movies that made me feel like this for life (in hindsight, I am also glad this was my entry point into von Trier; imagine if it had been Antichrist. Yikes).
I like to think that film and I are still in the newlywed stage. There’s still a lot we don’t know about each other and I still get excited every time I see a new film or discover a new director.
So here’s a place for me to celebrate all things celluloid! In the symbolic sense, of course; the films I discuss, barring some stroke of great fortune, will be digital, but my photos will be shot on film.
My main focus will be on new films I see at the theatre here in Edmonton, but I hope to include some of my thoughts on films I screen at home, including marathons of particular directors or region-specific films.
Meanwhile, I’ll be posting as I try to master my Pentax K1000. This will be a slower process, as I have to get my photographs physically developed (I’m definitely not at the stage where I’m managing my own darkroom (yet!!!)), but I’m excited to see how I progress.