Kiki Ain’t No Critic : Cinephile’s Log, Vol. 1

6:41 AM – After spending far too much caffeine and time reading Ebert archives


Film log – April 5, 2013:

“That’s just what we call ‘pillow talk’, baby.” – Ash

1.) Watched Army of Darkness while folding laundry and cleaning / reorganizing the guest / TV room. Army of Darkness is a 5 star film to backdrop folding and cleaning and reorganizing. Not sure I could meditate on it solely. Although the battle scenes towards the end leaned me back and flipped the edges of my lip-stache in up-feathers. Army is my favorite of the Ash chronicles.

2.) Later watched the first half of Roger Corman’s 1960 Little Shop of Horrors. According to my DVD case, Jack Nicholson’s somewhere in there, but we didn’t see him. I turned on LSOH  to celebrate Corman’s 87th birthday (born April 5, 1926). The wife joined me ten minutes into the film, and I heard us both laughing harder than I can ever remember hearing anyone laugh at the 1986 musical. Corman, from what I’ve seen, directs with an urgency that squeezes awkwardness and spit-fire frenzy into each scene. The dialogue cracks faster than the popcorn in the theater lobby, sight gags bumble so quickly true- footing gets lost in the shuffle and the pratfalls become real falls. All this rapid action makes Corman’s films even funnier and livelier than they’re actuality, but I’ve never seen a Corman directed film that wasn’t super fun. I’ll finish watching LSOH after depositing this miserable excuse for morning words.

3.) We cut Little Shop of Horrors short to finish Season One of Girls. Too much to say. That’s a whole week’s worth of morning pages. Words and paragraphs and rants certainly will stack and I’ll get emotional at some point. Not teary, just worried about those ladies. My wife asked me after we shut off the TV if I ever think about characters from fiction and try to imagine their lives after the fact. I said that I wonder and worry about most characters past the cover or credits. And, without HBO, I’ll specifically be worried about Hannah and Marnie until Season Two releases to DVD. Will they reconcile? Will Hannah keep chasing Adam? Will Marnie lose herself in all her staunchly declared freedom? I feel tempted to write a prayer request to my church about them, although I hear Dunham signed on for a Season Three so they must be fairing well.


Film confessions – April 6, 2013:

“Too many simply absorb. They are depositories for input.” – Roger Ebert

I did not know Roger Ebert the way my friend Dr. Myles Werntz did. I did not read Ebert on a regular basis because I thought Ebert stiff. Although I’ve written loads of film reviews over the years, mostly for horror flicks only three people care one demon’s wail about, that is precisely all I’ve written: reviews. Basic summaries and personal responses at best. I’ve never been and never will be a critic. My views of film, even of books, are not teaching people to read films or books on any level deeper than my own Kiki-vision resolution.

You want a film critic, go to the Sun-Times. You want a John Hughes obsessed horror-hound with a penchant for Sarah Silverman flavored subversiveness, call your local Kiki.

Ebert quoted a favorite critic, Pierre Rissient, as saying, “It is not enough to like a film. One must like it for the right reasons.” Sure, but what the hell does that means. What are the right reasons? Did the film give me pleasure? Did it make my laundry folding more enjoyable? Did it make me laugh? Did it make me want to pray spiritual peace and rest over ladies that do not actually exist? What the stale corn are the “right reasons”? I’m sure there’s an answer to all of this, but I’ve got a Rashida Jones film from Netflix waiting upstairs and I’ll be damned if anyone’s gonna proclaim a right reason to dislike Rashida Jones.

(As a personal aside, Rashida Jones is my dedgum muse. She and Gator Boy have been running adventures in my head for the past four months. If I’ve got a prolonged narrative inside my bones, it stars Rashida Jones and Gator Boy. That right there means something to some people.)

I’ve taken to quoting myself recently as saying, “I like 98% of the films I see because if I think there’s an iota of a chance I won’t like it then I don’t see it.” This seems like a fairly common sense way to pick your films. With only a possible 50 or 60 years (at best) left on this planet, I don’t have time to watch what’s popular or what’s important, what killed at the Box Office or what your cousin said is good, what my friend ________ liked or what Roger Ebert – God rest that glorious beauty – gave credence. This is possibly how I ended up watching Raimi’s Army of Darkness, Corman’s Little Shop of Horrors, and Dunham’s Girls all in the same evening. I will never critically say anything about any of these films that will enhance or deepen another person’s experience with them, but I can definitely tell you at what point I put down the towels and at what point I asked Shoshanna Shapiro into my heart. If that does anything for you, then I’ll be your cinephile, baby.


About Kiki Malone

Girding till the break of dawn.
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