Friday, July 18, 2008


Ibetolis knows what the future has in store for him -- it's staring him right in the face in the form of the 1,000 Greatest Films, as compiled by They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?. It is his mission to watch them all, and by all he means all 1,000 movies, even the ones he was familiar with. And Ibetolis chronicles this mission at Film for the Soul, with the occasional sidestep to other topics, like opening scenes. Anyone could proclaim such a mission, but Ibetolis seems bloody serious, and his dispatches from the journey are enjoyable reads (don't miss his take on Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid). Good luck, man!

EARLIEST MOVIE-WATCHING MEMORY: 'I'd love to say something cool like the Rosebud moment in Citizen Kane or even Gary Cooper throwing down his badge in High Noon but the simple truth is being cradled in my mother's arms crying my heart out to The Champ. I had to wear glasses back then to correct a lazy eye and I remember my mum removing my glasses and wiping away all the tears before putting them back on my face. I was an emotional kid. And obviously one with no taste.'

LAST DVD YOU BOUGHT: 'I found The Elephant Man and Magnolia in a local second hand store the other day, what a bargain. Brilliant double bill.'

IF YOU WERE A TCM GUEST PROGRAMMER, WHAT THREE FILMS WOULD YOU CHOOSE: 'After much contemplation, I've decided to go for three films that are like my first loves, these are the films that made me fall in love with cinema. 1) I'd start things of with Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944), the greatest noir of them all, 2) Then I'd have the marathon event that is Seven Samurai (Akira Kurasowa, 1954) and then finishing the night 3) The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969). Nothing quite ends the night like a blood bath.

FAVORITE MOVIE ENDING: 'There are so many but the one that always sticks in my head is Gene Hackman frantically pulling his apartment apart looking for an elusive bug in The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974). The sheer horror and paranoia perfectly sums up that time period in America. I remember Hackman just sitting amongst a pile of broken floorboards and ripped curtains, surrounded by everything he owned that's now destroyed. Brilliant.'

WHAT MOVIE ARE YOU ASHAMED TO SAY YOU HAVEN'T SEEN, AND WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE: 'Anyone that's read my blog will know that I've missed literally hundreds of great films, my excuse? The dog ate it. I have no idea what I've done to miss them all but the one I'm most annoyed about is Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953) because I've had this film in my possession TWICE! First time on VHS borrowed from the library (many a moon ago) which I managed to melt on a fireplace and the second time I borrowed a DVD off a friend and didn't get around to watching it and then, to make it worse, I lied and said I did.'

The Goodbye Girl
Working Girl
Funny Girl
Jersey Girl -- 'You should all be very ashamed. What the hell were you thinking?'

WHO WOULD YOU AWARD AN HONORARY BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS OSCAR TO: 'We all know that the Oscar's are a sycophantic charade at the best of times, woefully unable to recognise brilliance when it lands on their face. So it's no surprise that a) 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days was omitted from the Best Foreign Film category and b) it's lead actress, Anamaria Marinca, who incidentally gave one of the greatest performances seen in the past 10 years, was never even mentioned, I'd like to give the Oscar to her.'

LAST TIME YOU WERE AT A DRIVE-IN, WHAT DID YOU SEE: 'England and the drive-in never really got started, well at least not round my way, unfortunately. Too much rain.'
FILM ERA OR GENRE YOU'RE A LITTLE OBSESSED WITH: 'I suppose I can't quite get enough of 70's American cinema (Badlands, Apocalypse Now, The Godfathers, Exorcist, Being There, McCabe and Mrs Miller), you lot were really on a roll back then, amazing films.'

FILM CRITIC YOU TRUST THE MOST: 'Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian, all the way. He's helped me seperate the wheat from the chaff, I'll read him before I see a movie and then read him again after I watched the said movie. He's straight to the point and doesn't pull his punches, it's very rare we disagree but when you do it's still a revelation.'

FAVORITE BOOK ON THE SUBJECT OF FILM: 'I've promised myself lately that I will read more film books, I used to read them none stop at university but ever since I've been a little lazy, to get back into the flow of things I'm deep into James Monaco's How to Read a Film at the moment. Not exactly riveting but extremly enlightening.'

DESCRIBE THE FREQUENCY OF YOUR FILM INTAKE: 'At the moment I'm hitting around 4 a week, I would like to see more but it's not possible at the moment. I like to watch at least one film at the cinema but living in a one horse town good movies are hard to come by, thankfully we have a 'directors chair' night and some great films are featured. Like I say I wish I could watch more, bloody work. Why don't they pay me to watch films? I'd be a great employee.

1) That despite how inadequately bad your team may be all you need is an ex-professional reforming alcoholic as a coach, a misunderstood rebel, a member of the opposite gender and a bunch of oddballs to turn your team around and win the championship.
2) That monkeys are great companions and will always spell fun.
3) That saying 'Matt Damon' in a monotone voice is both derogatory and hilarious.

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