INT. FRENCH CAFE - AFTERNOON
Spend any amount of time discussing movies on the interwebs - Facebook in particular - you'll notice a certain pattern emerging, especially when you're dealing with self-important film geeks. For someone like myself, who actually enjoy movies and love Hollywood escapism, it can be a little difficult to keep up, so with help from a few friends I've put together this guide.
Follow these simple rules, and you too can pretend to be a pretentious film geek on Facebook.
The first rule
Only post about "important" and obscure film. We all need to kick back with a good Steven Segal film every now and then, just to stay sane, but be careful not to mention that kind of film on Facebook.
The tantalizing title rule
When mentioning non-English films - meaning more or less all the time - be sure to use the original title. Pick the most obscure if there's more than one.
The knowingly namedrop rule
Always describe a film as "director-name's "title" (year)". This will make the film sound more important. It makes it sound as if you subscribe to the auteur theory (that sounds French, which is good), and gives the impression that you know the director and his work, I mean, you KNOW him.
The less-than-obvious link rule
Always provide a link when you post about a film, but never just use the IMDb link. Find a poster, preferably a French one. Or link to a subtitled YouTube video.
The critical critique rule
Say bad things about good films, say good things about obscure film, say obscure things about bad films.
The ferocious frequency rule
People notice when you post something. They don't notice when you don't post something, so compress a few days of film watching and post them all on the same day, with two hour intervals, to make it appears as if you have a very important film marathon.
Make sure no automatic Xbox achievements are posted on your wall in the interim.
The always have alternatives rule
Cover the fact that you haven't been watching movies, because Discovery is running an American Chopper marathon by posting links to obscure bootleg soundtracks and claim you're "dreaming yourself away to Venice in the 15th century".
The overzealous sentence rule
Use many words. Like so: "The themes are quite nihilistic, in a post-modern, cathartic sense. The overt anthropomorphism notwithstanding." No I don't know what that means either, but no one will challenge you if you make your posts complicated enough.
Use phrases like , "mise-en-scène", "Cinéma vérité", "enfant terrible" and "je ne sais quoi." Anything French really. Also throw in terms like: "Narrative structure", "neo-realism", "new wave", or "pre-Code." Talk about themes as often as possible.
Don't just write "I'm watching Die Hard for the 20th time." Instead, make it seem as if the fact that you're watching this film is the single most important event happening in the world right now. For example: "I'm watching incarcerated director John McTiernan's brilliantly subversive ode to modern action movies Le Die Hard (1988) for the umpteenth time, while pondering if things had turned out differently had a stockbroker really thrown himself out of that window."
The short rule
Or go for the minimalistic approach.
"Dramatic. Introspective. Trains. Cooking." (This obviously refers to Under Siege 2).
The top 10 films rule
These are the top pretentious titles you must mention at some point:
- Blow-Up (1966)
- Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
- The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
- I am Cuba (1964)
- Jules and Jim (1962)
- M (1931)
- Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
- Nanook of the North (1922)
- The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
- That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
The top 10 directors rule
Basically, as long as you claim to watch anything by these guys, you'll be fine. Got nuts, you can't go wrong (except if you confuse John Cassavetes with his son Nick).
- Michelangelo Antonioni
- Ingmar Bergman
- John Cassavetes
- Sergei Eisenstein
- Rainer Werner Fassbinder
- Federico Fellini
- Jean-Luc Godard
- Akira Kurosawa
- Yasujirō Ozu
- Jean Renoir
Anything Swedish from before 1980 is fine, as well as anything silent (No, not Mel Brooks' Silent Movie).
Avoid anything popular, like Star Wars, Batman movies, Spielberg movies, any box-office hit, or Citizen Kane (it's just too damn popular).
Whenever possible mention your own unseen art-film project.
Being a pretentious film geek on Facebook is hard work. Never just sit back and enjoy a film, there's no time for that. Always find an angle in what you're watching. And remember: If you're having fun, you're not doing it right.