“What’s Left to Say?”

Travis McClain

Bats: R, Throws: R. How Acquired: Traded for a player to be named later. I hold a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Louisville, earned in history. I have lived with Crohn's disease since 2005, and chronic depression since my youth. I bring into each film that I view a world view shaped by those and other parts of my background. I try to be mindful of the socio-political themes and implications of movies, intended or otherwise, and that surely shows in my blog pieces. I also love doughnuts.

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6 Responses

  1. Derek Armstrong says:

    Agreed and well said. I think this is why blogging is as much (or let’s be honest, more) for the blogger than the reader. It’s a way to have that conversation in print, with only one conversant. Or multiple conversants, if you get some comments. But even if you don’t, it’s important to always be having that conversation with ourselves, which makes our love affair with movies continue to blossom. Or “spider-web,” as you elegantly characterized it. 

    • Derek, I suppose I was really getting at two different experiences. The first is how empty it can be to write something no one responds to; the other is how pointless it can feel at times to just keep having the same conversation and not have a new insight or perspective to show for it.

      How often do we hear something that prompts us to launch into our own rehearsed talking points? When was the last time you discussed a movie and actually had someone get you to see something truly new you hadn’t considered? Not just some form of trivia about the movie, but something that felt like a revelation. It’s rare. I suppose, though, that’s the real reason we keep doing this dance. Every now and again, someone might take an unexpected step and make it interesting.

  2. David Greenwood says:

     I think the notion that there’s some kind of film canon that you must see to be considered knowledgeable is kind of silly.  Obviously, if you’re going to compare a film to another, one would hope that you’ve seen both of them.  But forcing yourself to watch “The Great Movies” simply because everyone else has is a waste of your time.  Watch the movies you want to see, and seek out more good ones.  That’s why we watch movies right?  To enjoy them?

    That said, anyone who has never seen Citizen Kane isn’t a true cinema lover.  And I liked Batman before it was cool. And films were better before everyone could talk.  Back in my day, we had to hike 40 miles through the snow to see movies.  You durned youngster punks.

    • David, I’m conflicted about this. I’m very much against the notion of doing anything just because everyone else is doing it. However, I think it’s healthy to challenge oneself to expand one’s horizons and I see nothing wrong with taking cues from a consensus from time to time.

      I think of it this way: I only saw Casablanca because it was held in such high regard. I figured, at the absolute worst, I could check it off my To See list. I fell completely in love with it, though, so I owe a debt of gratitude to all those who expressed such reverence for it that I felt compelled to expose myself to it.

      Or, if you will: Is there anything advantageous about not taking the chance you might love something just because it’s on some kind of “Mandatory Viewing” list?

    • David Greenwood says:

      Sorry it’s been so long since this post before I replied, but I just found your response

      I’m not opposed to watching stuff that list-writers recommend, as a writer of such lists myself. But people should watch movies from such lists because those movies interest them, not JUST that “some critic told me I had to”. It’s a fine distinction.

      In essence, if you can’t stand movies about gangsters, and people constantly pressure you to see the Godfather, I don’t think you need to waste three hours of your life on something you’ll probably hate. Now this assumes that you’re basing your distaste on having seen several gangster films in the past, or having a distaste for the general idea. People who refuse to watch “old” movies, or silent films, or foreign movies are a different matter entirely.

      Now there are some films that I watch simply because they’re cited so frequently that I want to be an informed part of the conversation. But not being interested in watching 8 1/2 or Casablanca or what have you doesn’t make me somehow less of a movie lover. There are only so many hours in the day after all.