Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Film Is Like Food

Film is like food. Surprise surprise right? Let me explain what I mean by breaking up the different kinds of film into different kinds of categories based on different food categories. Let us begin.

1. Junk Food

Junk food is something that is a lot of fun and while it might not have any real nutritional value it does briefly put your hunger pains to rest. When you're young you think junk food is amazing. You'd rather have a bag of Doritos than a steak. However, as you grow older junk food begins to lose its hold on you. Slowly but surely you desire something better, something with a bit more substance. This is the category where a lot of action films, such as the entire filmography of Michael Bay and McG. While the works of these men aren't great or even good by any stretch of the imagination they are something that can be watched and enjoyed. They usually involve a lot of explosions and attractive females. The stories will be basic and usually are nothing more than an overblown McGuffin quest. These films will not even attempt to challenge any of the viewers ideals or beliefs however they will try to shove some sort of moral about the film that is usually at the most preachy and at worst totally counter to what we've seen in the rest of the film (in the end the hero learns the value of human life after blasting his way through hundreds of "baddies" to make it to his end goal). After junk Food what's next?

2. Hors D'Oeuvres

Hors D'Oeuvres are basically classy snacks. These delicious treats have a bit of depth and aren't very easy to prepare but they still leave you wanting more.Many times they're simply something to wet your appetite for the main course. These are just like high end action films such as The Terminator. These films closely resemble the Snack Food category but they have a little something more. Usually you can't quite describe it but they're always just a step above most action films you watch. I also put good short films (such as the famous Pixar Shorts) in this category. They're good but you just need something a bit more to truly satisfy your appetite.

3. The Entree

Finally! Something you can really sink your teeth into! Entree's (if you've ordered the right one) are a filling and delicious meal. There's plenty on your plate to chow down on to satisfy all but the biggest of appetites. There is usually a good amount of skill involved in making these great dishes and, if you're a true connoisseur, you'll try as many different varieties as possible. If you're truly brave, you'll eventually move on to foreign cuisine. It may take you awhile to get used to the strange flavors and different textures but in time you'll learn to love the variety. Good/great films with a lot of depth are just like this. Whether it's classics such as The Godfather, Casablanca, and Gone With the Wind or modern great films such as Fight Club, Up In The Air, and Fargo these films are worth trying. Many times you will have to expand your film pallet before attempting to consume and fully appreciate these films. However, the more films you watch the more you begin to understand and appreciate what these films have accomplished. Eventually you can move on to the great foreign cinema masterpieces. Most will start with the spaghetti westerns of the 1960s or the Monty Python films. From there they will flow into mainstream Italian and French cinema. Slowly but surely you will begin to understand and appreciate the subtle difference between our own film style and those of our European cousins. Eventually you will flow out even further to encompass the entire world's cinematic experiences then finally you will be ready for the fourth type of film food.

4. The Delicacy

Not many are ready to brave these strange waters of culinary consumption. Here you will find some of the oddest things imaginable. Things like live squid, fish eyeballs, and raw intestines. You will usually only eat these things initially because a friend of yours loves them and insists you try it. You'll fake a smile as you try your best to eat what is put before so as to not seem rude. At first you will absolutely hate it. You will think it's garbage, it's crap, it's absolutely not worth putting into your mouth. However, if you're given the food enough you'll begin to understand it. Slowly but surely you'll start to comprehend the intricate flavors and complexities of these rare food finds. What are commonly referred to as "Art House Films" are much the same. You will absolutely hate them at first. You'll think "This is a stupid film, why the heck am I watching this!?" However, given time you'll begin to truly understand these films. Films like 400 Blows, Brazil, or Diary of a Country Priest. Soon you'll love these kinds of films and they'll be one of your favorite types of films to consume if for no other reason then their uniqueness.

Now, you're probably thinking "Isaac, you sure seemed to cover every kind of film there is!" Well, imaginary question asker, you are almost right. There is one last category that is truly unique and that only the real film fanatic can appreciate. That type of film is...

5. Garbage

Garbage is absolutely gross. There is no redeeming qualities to it at all. It stinks, it tastes bad, and the only reason you've ever gone near it is to fulfill a dare of some kind or to have a good laugh with your friends. To the commoner trash has no real value but to someone who truly understands trash it can be a recipe for some of the greatest comedies ever made. Film trash is, once again, exactly the same. Almost no one watches these terrible movies such as Quest For The Mighty Sword, or Troll 2 except those who just can't get enough of horrible movies. The dialog is terrible, the acting sucks, the (what I laughingly call) cinematography is beyond bad, and the production values are less than that of a single coffee break of Lost. So why watch these? Why consume these terrible pieces of media at all? Simple. They're absolutely hysterical! Trashy films will produce amounts of laughter on par with the best comedies ever made.

So that's all of it! All five categories of film (in my personal opinion).

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