Having almost completed my second film course, people are increasingly coming up to me in the street and asking "Simon, if a tree falls in a forest, how long will it take 3 men to dig half a hole?", to which I respond (with some thought) "I don't know, I'm a trainee film-geek"
Do you get my point?
I think not. This is what film is like. Experienced film-going persons such as myself are constantly on the look-out for the true (Often hidden) meaning of film. For instance, very few people know that Gone With The Wind was in fact a very long movie. I do, because I've watched a lot of movies. Anyway, the point that I'm trying to make is that unless you are constantly aware, you can waste good "rolling-lollies-down-the-isle" time by trying to find the real meaning behind movies. So by far the easiest option is to stop looking for hidden meanings and get back to the real reason behind movies; i.e. looking for people to tap on the shoulders during the scary bits.
The only hassle is, when you leave the movies, sooner or later someone will ask you exactly what the film was like. This leads to the worry "Just how much does this person know about film, and if they know a lot, How am I going to explain this movie to them and not look like I dribble if I think for more than continous 10 seconds" (Basically, how do you pass yourself off as a FILM- TYPE PERSON when you've got no idea what the movie was about.)
Here's a few tips for the absolute beginner:
1. Develop the AURA
Good filmish people have an AURA about them which is used to inform other filmish people that they're cooking with intelligence - that they've seen almost everything. This AURA is sometimes mistaken by the layman as the smell of stale sweat and pine scented toilet cleaner; but in fact, that is simply a by-product. The AURA is much, much more than that. The easiest way to imagine it is the same kind of thing you feel around loud people in expensive real- fur coats in art museums. It's that smug feeling that "everything is here for my benefit", as they reach past the "DO NOT TOUCH" signs to tear off a souvineer for "the den back home". Filmish Aura, however is not that offensive (except for the sweat and disinfectant that is): like a Siren's song, it's used to lure the ordinary film watcher to their death. Poor Joe Public, exiting the theatre and trying to remember where his/her car is, accidentally bumps into Filmish Person A (as a result of "the AURA"); To cover up his/her embarrasement, they say "Sorry about that - Good Movie, AY".
From this point on, poor Joe may as well brick themselves in the face, they're as good as dead on their feet - As soon as they hear the words "Well, it depends what you mean, I've always found xxxxx's work to be a fairly average affair" they realise their mistake. Before they can utter the saving words "Piss off film-geek!!!" they're surrounded by other Filmish persons (who mill around theatres at closing time looking for a good monotone arguement) armed with phrases "You think so? I feel that xxxxx is very underrated" and "Ah, but I think you overlooked the characteristic elements of...." and so forth. Poor Joe slumps to the floor two hours later gibbering "Mise en scene, Mise en scene" - a drooling vegetable and borderline gifted Filmish person. Avoid this sort of person. All you want to do is FAKE an aura.
How to fake an aura:
i. Wash every 3 days and brush your hair with velco strips
ii. Eat messily, the more you drop on your clothes, the better
iii. When someone asks you a question; sigh, gaze smugly into the middle distance for 2 or 3 seconds and say, "Mmmm", then answer in Film-Talk.
2. Speak Film-Talk
Film-Talk is a special brand of speaking, most commonly observed in Politicians and Computer Science Lecturers whereby the Speaker pays little or no attention to what other people say, rambling on blindly about their favourite subject, dribbling profusely and chuckling inanely at their jokes (most of which should have been eligible for Superannuation in the late 1970's (ditto for the lecturers)), not realising that most of their audience is comatose. Add to this a habit of being deliberatley obscure and pompous, and you have Film- Talk.
For instance, I will compare a peice of filmish talk with not filmish talk.
1: Shit did you see the head go off into the motormower and come out in little slices!
2: Yeah, I reckoned the bit where all the blood splatters over the lens was just awesome.
3: Nah, I reckon Bambi doing the "chainsaw dance of death" was the best!
1: Pleceau outdid himself in the graphic content of that peice. I feel it captures the innocence, and, at the same time the heartrending qualities of childhood
2: Yes, I'd concur with you there, the use of subject in close proximity to lens lent credance to it's visual elements and verisimilitude.
3: I'm afraid I would tend towards the manic non-human interaction, pointing at Pleceau's feelings of Man as a homogenous sequence of apostrophes.
You will of course notice that in the Filmish example, number 3 had begun to lose it and was beginning to crack under the strain of talking "mostly crap", and was sliding into "utter crap". This is one of the dangers of Film-Talk, but what the hey, you'll be a celebrity by then anyway!