Please don't misunderstand me...
1) I recognize the brilliance and lasting influence of certain films in the oeuvres of great directors like Jean-Luc Godard, F.W. Murnau, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wong Kar-wai, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Akira Kurosawa, Sergio Leone, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Luis Bunuel, Alexander Dovzhenko, Roberto Rossellini, Fritz Lang, Sergei Eisenstein, Bernardo Bertolucci and Werner Herzog, among many others.
2) I understand the auteur theory as a principle and see how it works to shed light on the films of some great Hollywood masters like Howard Hawks, John Ford, Billy Wilder, William Wyler, Alfred Hitchcock, Andre De Toth, Don Siegel among many others, while also accepting the fundamental truth of movies as a collaborative art form.
3) I appreciate film criticism as an art unto itself, to be cultivated and practiced in response to works of art, commerce, and those that are both, and I place high value on the writing of its most renowned practitioners, including Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris, J. Hoberman and Manny Farber, among many others.
4) I think a great work of cinematic art, and sometimes even movies that fall far short of that high-water mark, can speak to the soul as well as to the mind and the heart.
5) And I think in genre filmmaking-- westerns (like Andre De Toth's Day of the Outlaw), film noir (like Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past), horror films (like Dario Argento's Suspiria) and comedies (like Bertrand Blier's Buffet Froid)-- we can find some of the greatest movies, not only in American cinema but in world cinema as well.
The assertions seen above are not the basis of some belated and unnecessary mission statement for this blog, nor will they be used as the foundation for making me sound smarter than I am or for any ridiculous rogue theorizing on my part that would shame the memory of the work of the great artists whose names I have invoked.
No, actually, it’s all just some proactive reassurance from me to you designed to calm your understandable desire to perhaps flee this blog forever, never, ever to return, when I reveal that I’m really looking forward to seeing this— yes, I’ll say it— this film:
God help me, but September 22 just can’t get here fast enough.