A new column is coming called Film School Club with Jeff Bayer. You have an assignment. Watch Dead Man by Jim Jarmusch. The column discussing the film with Jeff Bayer and guest Drew McWeeny will be available on Thursday, March 26. The film is available on Netflix Instant, and can be rented on iTunes and Amazon.
When I was at the Sundance Film Festival in January, a group of film critics gathered outside to discuss whatever film we all just exited. I said something, I can’t remember exactly what it was, but another film critic, whom I respect, said, “Whatever, you’ve only seen one (Joe) Swanberg film.”
“That’s not true,” I said. “I’ve seen two*.” There was a little laughter from the group, I think partially at my expense.
His comment stuck with me. I have my Master’s in journalism, and while getting that degree, I immediately gravitated toward entertainment/film writing and criticism. I have been a film critic for ten years. I see approximately 175 new films each year. I’ve been a movie fan forever, and typically feel like more of a fan than a critic, but my history with films could improve. I’ve only seen one Akira Kurosawa film. I haven’t seen six Stanley Kubrick films. I still haven’t sat through Gone with the Wind or Schindler’s List. There are countless documentaries, foreign-language films and historically important movies I haven’t seen, and even more that I don’t even realize I haven’t seen. Though I have to admit, I’m kind of convinced I’ve seen every comedy that I will consider great. I hope that’s just foolish.
I’m doing something about this, and I hope you come on this journey with me.
With Jeff Bayer’s Film School Club a notable film critic or personality will assign me (and you) one film per month. He or she will explain why they selected that particular movie. Perhaps it’s an Oscar-winner that everyone has forgotten about. Maybe it’s the greatest film Poland has to offer. It could even be a film no normal person has ever heard of and it’s the reason said film critic worships movies. I will give my thoughts on the film, and then we will have a back and forth, discussing the film. I hope I’ll love the movie, but if not, it will probably lead to a pretty interesting chat.
This is a chance for you and me to go on a journey together. This is a chance for me to take a diss from a fellow film critic and make it into a column I can be proud of. Maybe you want to step up your film knowledge, need to discover something old that’s new to you, or are a little sick of whatever wanna be blockbuster is begging for your money at the box office.
Drew McWeeny from HitFix.com is our first guest critic, and he has assigned Dead Man.
(Alert That is not a Spoiler: This is hilarious and you’ll find out why when you read the article).
Join me. You have plenty of time to watch it. The article will be available on March 26.
*Drinking Buddies and Digging for Fire