I am the Canadian Cinephile.
At one point, my website carried hundreds of film reviews. I have deleted those reviews as part of some bizarre ritual in which I told myself I could – and should – start over.
What you are witnessing now is that culmination of that absurd ritual. In my impetuous, perhaps conceited state, I decided I wanted to revisit and reconsider many of the movies I’ve seen. I wanted to do it all again, despite the fact that I abhor most of the social media environment and I despise what passes for most film criticism these days. I have always maintained that experiencing art isn’t about getting what we want but rather listening to what someone else has to say.
Social media and YouTube and goodness knows where else is filled to the brim with “reactions” about movies. We don’t have to go far to find someone’s squealing enchantment with the 33rd incarnation of Batman or their hesitance over someone from that movie being cast in that other movie. We can find people passing the proverbial hat, setting up an online soliciting service to finance their endeavour of clicking a button and watching a goddamn movie trailer. It’s all so…magical.
What we don’t often find is thought. Consideration. People who take a moment to breathe.
Whether it’s our social or political or theatrical or even sports environment, the anticipation is killing us. We want to know what our favourite pop singer has to say about the socio-political climate, and we want to know what’s going to happen in that film because, hell, the world is falling apart.
And I am nothing if not sympathetic to the rudderless, dull reality that must grip many people these days, what with a pandemic and a “president” and who knows what else reminding us on a daily basis that we are all so dreadfully mortal.
But honestly, we can do better. So here I am. Again.
What you will find on the Canadian Cinephile is honest, thoughtful film reviews. You will not always approve of my sentiments. I hope you don’t. Disagreement is healthy, debate is reasonable, differences of opinion are not immoral.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with me or your favourite movie star on everything. Or anything. And no, I am not trying to win you over to my “side” or convince you of the supremacy of my point of view.
What matters is that we take this journey together, that we learn to live, laugh, and enjoy art somehow in this topsy-turvy existence. We don’t need to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals or know all the ins and outs of a movie before we see it. We are not mere partisans. We are not Star Wars people or Avengers people. We are people. We can open ourselves up to surprises, differences, disputes, and the full-blooded reverence that comes with experiencing a piece of art as a human being.
With that pretense aside and with this screed securely tucked away on this page, I welcome all three of you to yet another run of the Canadian Cinephile. I wish you well.