Walking Out The Movies

With Xavier O'Hara

On a near daily basis I am asked the following three questions:

        1. “What was it that first drew you to the great art of cinema?”
        2. “What is your favourite film?”

        3. “Can you please put on some deodorant?”

As such it is only fitting that I should spend my opening column addressing these queries.

The answer to question 1 is as follows: nothing. Nothing drew me to the great art of cinema. In fact, I absolutely detest cinema. It’s rotten. And I’m miserable in this job. The only reason I became a film critic in the first place is because I was pressured into it by my father – you see I am descended from a long-line of film critics. My father was a film critic, and his father before that, and his father before that. His father before that worked at a fruit market, but that’s only because Hollywood hadn’t been invented yet.

Deciding on a favourite film presents a unique conundrum for yours truly: to claim a favourite would be to admit to liking a piece of cinema, and this would be greatly at odds with my core values. So, ordinarily when posed this question I opt to tell people that my favourite film is the home movie I made when I went on holiday to Blackpool. I am yet to see anything which would make me dispute this.

The answer to the third question is no, no I will not put on any deodorant. I have been warned by Edna Wotherspoon that deodorant contains the tears of dead children, and besides, I’m rather fond of the sweaty musk I produce. Unfortunately other people don’t seem to agree, and my scent has been considered so offensive that I have actually been banned from every cinema in a 10 mile radius. As such the name of this column is in fact rather inaccurate: it should really be called “Walking out My Living Room” as that is where I will be watching most of the films I am reviewing. 

From the next issue onward, my column will feature reviews of two pieces of cinema,  largely comprised of older films - given both my cinema ban and steadfast refusal to adopt a pirate lifestyle. But before I get on to that drudgery, I should probably describe my scoring system in more depth. The best mark possible is that I stay in my living room for the entirety of a feature, whilst the worst possible is that I don’t even get past the opening credits. (I foresee the latter being far more common than the former.)

Anything in between will be given as a percentage of how much of the film I got through. So if, for example, I watch 15 minutes of a 100 minute piece, that will get a score of 15%. However the reason I decided to leave my living room must also be taken into account – so if I leave 15 minutes into a film because I am offended by the sheer banality of it, that should still be considered worse than a film I left 15 minutes into because I suddenly discovered I was running late for a badminton match with my local Scientology minister. It may take a while for me to perfect this system.

One more thing before I go – in the last publication I worked for before Uuh! Magazine, it was commonplace for my readers to write in and request reviews of certain films etc. Let it be known that I have a zero tolerance approach towards this kind of behaviour, and I will hold ritual burnings of DVD's of all the films which you may recommend. It’s my job, not yours, and I certainly won’t be writing in telling you how to do your job.

Issue #1: Introductions