‘Bad Cinema’ has a whole new meaning now

What do you do to unwind after an unusually tiring day? Most of us prefer to hit the bed, but some people like to watch a movie. See? Look how easy the recovery process is. Go home, watch a movie, relax, and have a good time. Simple. However, it is easier said than done. Is watching a movie so cumbersome? No its not. Selecting a good one is. The choice that you make will decide whether you end up having a good time, or end up, as Joey says, “Ripping out your arm so that you will have something to throw at the screen”.

As a person who has watched many a movie, I sometimes laugh at myself for having seen some movies that are so bad that the English language does not have enough “non swear” words to describe them. This list of movies that you should stay clear of is exhaustive, but some of them top the list. For example, “Following” was Chris Nolan’s first attempt at direction. Fortunately for many of us, the movie is only about 70 minutes long. I made the mistake of watching it right after I saw movies like Insomnia, The Dark Knight and The Prestige. The story supposedly describes a writer’s life. Ten minutes into the movie, Nolan loses the plot and the actors seem to relish looking at one another for no reason!

Manoj ‘Night’ Shyamalan has given us some great movies like The Sixth Sense and Signs (not particularly good, but better than the others). With “The Happening”, he fell off the ladder of fame and plunged into bitter waters. The movie however was very entertaining because of its inherent ludicrousness and absurdity. A guy throws himself off the top of a building because he had smelled the air a couple of minutes ago. People kill themselves in ways that are novel and innovative. If you had seen the movie in a multiplex, you would have noticed the boom mikes on the top of every frame. So much for good editing. The ending is a real humdinger.

Citizen Kane” finds a place on every ‘top movie’ list on the Internet Movie database (imdb). It is supposed to be ground breaking and Orson Welles is hailed as the pioneer of innovative cinematography in modern cinema. That may very well be the only good thing about the movie. You can explore the real world of boredom and absurdity if you watch this movie. The refrain that you hear throughout the movie is ‘Rosebud’. It will not make any sense until you watch the movie. Or after you watch it.  At the end of the movie, you would want to kill yourself. If not, you are either a ‘braveheart’ or you have already seen movies like “The Darjeeling Limited”. It ranks right down there with “Ocean’s Twelve”.  We certainly didn’t expect Soderbergh to make a sequel to ‘Asinine Adventures’!

The list is not complete without movies like Harrison Ford’s “Firewall” and Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi”. While the former takes you along on a repugnant and nauseating ride, the latter transports you into the mind of a mathematician (quite literally) with electric drills, electronic chips and an insect that looks pretty much like a housefly but isn’t.

I have not included shoddy movies made by obscure directors. The movies listed above have the potential to induce revulsion in you. Watch at your own risk. If you actually like any of these movies, please tell me why I am wrong.

4 thoughts on “‘Bad Cinema’ has a whole new meaning now

  1. Hmmm.. Nice write up!! but i must say i loved The Darjeeling Express.. I forgot the director’s name.. but he had this ability to put an amazing background song right when you needed it..i haven’t seen firewall and pi though!! and yes citizen Kane is kinda overrated i feel!! Nice start Hari.. I see a writer who has attented a lot of DEJ classes lol!!

    • Thank you Naren!
      Wes Anderson directed The Darjeeling Limited. The movie didn’t seem to have any substance, but I do agree with you on the background score.

  2. Nice article. I agree with you mostly, but not on CItizen kane.
    While you express your take on Citizen Kane, it should not be forgotten that, this film was made in an era, when film making followed traditional narrative structures and technical elements. Orson welles revolutionized the whole idea of film making, and still remains a source of inspiration to the present generation. The film may not kill time and may induce boredom, but the complicated construction of the plot, frequent shifts of time and space with lots of chronological shifts through flashback scenes, and brilliant use (i would call it discopvery ) of Deep focusing in cinematography , and amazing acting reserves a place for this film forever in the history of film-making. I mean it isnt just the story line that matters.. 🙂

    • I agree with you. However, when you want to sit back and enjoy a movie, Citizen Kane is definitely not the ideal movie. For a film maker, Citizen Kane is a masterpiece. Not for the average Joe.

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