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A quick explainer on classic movie reviews

29 Aug

For your benefit as readers, when I review a classic movie — a film that is generally critically acclaimed and more than 10 years old — I will typically delve a bit deeper into overall themes and characterization and will sometimes discuss the more technical aspects of filmmaking  (sound, editing, cinematography) a bit more. While I do my best to avoid out-and-out spoilers, more plot is revealed  in these types of reviews than my typical comments on newer cinema.

If you ever believe I have written a bad essay and ruined your future enjoyment of a movie, please, please, please let me know. I have experience writing straight-forward new movie reviews, but classic film essays are new to me, so I’m learning as I go.  Thanks — and happy viewings!

Harold and Maude (1971)

29 Aug

For a long time, I avoided “Harold and Maude.” It’s habitually described as a “cult comedy,” occasionally as the “ultimate” cult comedy, and my experience with cult comedies has been very hot and cold. And so, despite the critical acclaim and the recommendations from people I know who love it, I avoided it — mostly from fear that it wouldn’t live up to its reputation. Now I know the truth: To dismiss “Harold and Maude” as a mere cult film by labeling it as such does a disservice to what is surely one of the more subversive and yet most hopeful and genuine films of its era. Continue reading