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Questions I'd presume you would ask frequently, had I not the amazing foresight to cut you off at the pass...
Q.) Who are you & What is this?
A.) My name's Jeremy Heilman. I'm 23, live in Brooklyn, NY , and I watch too many films. I think that that's a pretty self-indulgent activity, so I'm putting this site up with my rankings & reviews in the hopes that someone might benefit from it. I dig looking at other peoples best film lists since I want to watch everything anyway, and I don't necessarily know everything that exists. It seems that this whole chain of these types of sites are a bunch of obsessive compulsives feeding into and off of each other, but what can you do? Besides, I figure it can't hurt to put my opinions out there, since I naturally think my opinions are better than most everyone else's.
Q.) Why should I listen to you?
A.) No good reason really. I don't have any hardcore credentials. I did a few years of film school, but it wasn't really for me (I sort of felt I could make the same determinations about movies I saw on my own.) I don't really work in the film industry. I don't publish reviews professionally (nor do I write professional reviews). I just see a lot of films and love to always watch more, which apparently ranks me above many so-called professional critics. I think that plot summary is almost irrelevant in criticism, unless it is absolutely necessary in order to make one's point. A film's plot is just about the most rudimentary aspect of the film, so it seems silly to focus on it.
Q.) Who should I listen to then?
A.) If I'm not good enough for you, you can find great criticism by Jonathan Rosenbaum & David Kehr (who's now at the NY Times, finally giving them a decent critic) on the Chicago Reader website. Then again there seem to be just as many critics that seem inspired by Rex Reed. The majority of film criticism that I read seems to be reactionary to things other than the film itself (i.e. it responds to the advertising or what the film is SUPPOSED TO BE, as opposed to whatís up there on the screen). I'm pretty guilty of being the same way at times, but I try to veer away from that.
Q.) So, what is it again that we're doing here, exactly?
A.) I'm just trying to catalogue the massive time, thought, and money investment that I place in films. I figure that it doesn't hurt to make those views public though. I figure I might write some reviews, I will keep lists of my favorite films. I will be glad to make recommendations. I'm just trying to do something positive with my "useless" knowledge.
Besides, it seems that everyone else with my level of interest in film seems to be doing this, and a lot of people seem to be getting paid for it. It can't hurt to develop my craft a bit. Besides, my internet provider took away the usual newsgroup (rec.arts.movies.current-films) in which I post this sort of thing, so I feel as if I'm without an outlet at the moment. (Scratch that, it's been restored!)
As I'm starting this, I notice a lot of people that have been doing this on pages that I admire (e.g. Theo P., Mike D'Angelo) have begun to scale down their operations. I guess I feel a bit of a gap as a result.
Q.) Why is your page so ugly?
A.) I can't be bothered to make it pretty. I figure any time that I waste using my html skills to brush up appearances would basically be better spent seeing & writing about more movies. It's a matter of priorities, bub.
Q.) What is your all-time favorite movie?A.) Always with the unanswerables, eh? If you were to hold a proverbial gun to my head and make me answer, Iíd probably spurt out Manhattan (though I am equally likely to say Vertigo or Chinatown). Itís usually whichever of about a dozen or so of my favorites Iíve watched most recently.
Q.) What's the determination of a film's eligibility to be reviewed?
A.) I only review films. TV movies are only included if I find out that they were originally intended to be films and didn't get proper distribution, or if they were produced for foreign television and were shown in a theater in the US.
I live in NYC, so I tend to group films by the year that they're released for a commercial engagement in NYC. If that doesn't happen, and I've somehow seen that film anyhow, I just include it for the year that it was made. It's an inexact science, since I think these movies are all like a bunch of cute puppies, and I don't want to leave any out just because I didn't notice it right when it was born.
It's all pretty nebulous, I suppose, but you'll find a lot of that here...
FAQ: Created - 9/24/01 Last Updated - 1/01/02