How to become a film expert

September 4, 2019

We all want to be that kid who can talk exotic films with people and sound as if they have been studying it all their life. I used to be completely oblivious to good film, but after a few months of intense movie watching I have developed a taste.  

The first thing that you can do is to start watching lots of movies. All the time. Watch many types of film with different genres, eras, themes, actors, humor, anything. Watch things other people say they love, but especially the ones that they hate. Watching movies others, you respect like is a good way to see what other people find entertaining in film. But, watching bad movies is an even better way to tell when you like something because the ones you have a fun time watching will really stand out.  

Watch movies people reference but aren’t necessarily good like ‘The Breakfast Club’, ‘Mean Girls’, ‘Heathers’, ‘The Notebook’, ‘Forest Gump’, ‘E.T.’, ‘Groundhog Day’, Home Alone’, ‘The Matrix’, ‘Men in Black’, ‘Gremlins’, etc. 

Once you have spent far too many hours watching crappy movies, start to create your “My List” on your Netflix account, if you have one. Start saving everything that you feel excited about the idea of watching. Remember what actors and directors you liked from movies you watched and put some of their work into the folder.   

Don’t forget to include television shows too. Some T.V. can be surprisingly good. Sometimes, especially in England, the story line of a movie is told through a stand-alone season of a show. Watch shows that are popular, one’s people are always talking about.  

As you watch try to figure out the things you like in the movie and the things that you don’t like. Pay attention to the cinematography. If you find that it is a big deciding factor in a movie watch films by directors known for their cinematography like Luca Guadagnino or Quentin Tarantino.  

Take note of what actors you like. If anyone sticks out watch more of them.  

Look closely at the set design and costuming. If that is an interest of yours try watching some more theatrical films, however cheesy, like Edward Scissor Hands and Moulin Rouge 

If you find you like a specific era, watch films that take place of have the times influence on them. 

Most importantly, if you dislike a movie work to find what it is about it that you dislike. What are its redeeming qualities? 

Then talk to others about it. Recommend films you enjoyed to your friends and talk to them about it once they’ve seen it. Talk about how it made you feel. Talk about how it made you want to act or dress or live. Talk about the differences between the ways you perceived it. Just talk about it.  

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