Friday, 22 January 2010

My big important opinions

I must admit I'm a little self conscious writing this: my first transmission into the blogosphere (surprisingly spell check agrees that it’s a word). This is mostly because having a blog in the first place sounds like I’m shouting “come and read my big important opinions”. I feel a bit arrogant and a little presumptuous to be writing my thoughts on here. So why am I doing it? That’s a question I’ve just asked myself.

There are many reasons why I am writing this blog. Partly it’s because I see this as something to keep me thinking and writing (since graduating from University it has been easy to do little of either). Partly it’s because I usually feel at odds with what I read in film journalism. I love to read Sight and Sound every month and I listen to my fair share of film podcasts, so I’m not against hearing other people’s point of view on film at all, but I disagree so often with so much of it that this blog is hopefully going to be a healthy outlet for some (until now) impotent rage. Mostly though I need this forum because I almost take it personally when I hear someone dislike a film I am really attached to. For instance I could scarcely contain my bewilderment when a film tutor told me she had walked out of Paul Thomas Anderson’s 'Punch-Drunk Love' in the cinema. It is this indignation which is to be the driving force behind much of what I write on this blog. Well, that and my sincere love of the art of cinema.

It is with this in mind that I humbly, scratch that, egotistically invite you to hear my big important opinions.

Also, stay tuned for the latest Duke of York’s podcast. As always I’ll be talking with (and sometimes over) art-cinema manager, and the author of the excellent SPLENDOR CINEMA blog, Jon Barrenechea.
Thanks for reading!


  1. Hi Rob...cant wait to argue over ur opinions here!!! expecting many 'healthy' debates!!!...can u start of by saying how shit Avatar is please!....come on i know u hate as much as i do....GO ON!


  2. Hey Toby, thanks for being my first (and for all I know last) poster on here!
    I too look forward to blows being exchanged in this forum. If you want to see my review of Avatar, Jon posted it on his blog under the heading "Kind of Blue". It's his take followed by mine. However, he won't be getting my reviews now, I can tell 'ya. If you want the boiled fown gist: I didn't hate it and quite enjoyed it. Go on... hit me.

  3. i did read that review and i must say good points..well made!...however..i wish i didnt hate it as much as i sure if i were 12 i would be all over iv said before...theres no point in having a 3D film if u got 2D characters (and story and narrative and message etc) rather watch fern gully and dances with wolves at the same time!

    but your right...lets leave this regretable thing in the past and focus on the future...(however the oscars coming up there might be even more conversation about this naff spectacle)!

    more to come .....

  4. Very good, Rob. Let the cinema appreciation and ranting begin.

    Who is this fool who didn't get Punch Drunk Love, which, in this humble lads opinion, is one classic underrated film. Does beautiful things with sound design, embedding it so uniquely in the score, affecting the tensions throughout. I can think of only a few other film makers - Lynch mostly - who bother to use sound so well. And the colour palette with it's revolving paint dream of washes linking the scenes (and like a moving gallery if you've seen the DVD extras) is, again, totally unique in any film, let alone a 'romantic comedy'. And don't get me started on the hidden respect I now have for Adam Sandler now I know he's capable of investing himself in such a project so opposed to the crap he usually does - shame he hasn't tried pushing the boat out since.

    See, your blog has already got thoughts whirring.

  5. Thanks for your kind words Mr. Whitehall.

    I am very happy to read your (excellent) analysis of why Punch-Drunk Love is a really special film. I'm glad we can bond over this underrated gem. I agree with all the reasons you list. The films use of music (I really like all of Jon Brion's film score work incidently) is certainly a high point. I too have seen that DVD extra, and the music, along with those "paint dream washes" as you called them. Superb. I also agree about Sandler. A beer on me Mr. Whitehall.