Clearing blind spots
When I was learning to drive my instructor used to always grill me for not checking my blind spots. It’s so easy to just use the mirrors to see what’s around the car, only choosing to look back at what’s clear. When I started to ponder film resolutions for 2016, I could hear the voice of my driving instructor nagging me to check my blind spots. Over the past few years my approach to films of the past was to cling to the familiar, like my teenage self overly reliant on mirrors learning to drive, and it’s time to make a change.
A new initiative is being introduced to The Popcorn Junkie for 2016 in addition to regular reviews. Starting January, there will be a series of themed months dedicated to clearing film blind spots. Franchises, filmmakers, performers, cinematographers, genres and more, will provide inspiration for a month’s worth of viewing in-between new releases to fill in the blanks of my film knowledge. When you write about film there’s often a belief we arrive fully formed with an encyclopedic knowledge of every film ever made. There’s a stigma of shame when someone admits they haven’t seen a classic, and suddenly, people become the video store clerk from Hell with disapproving ‘tsk tsk tsks’ over the knowledge bank gap (I am guilty of this). Film for me has always been about discovery on your own time and trying to avoid the fear of missing out—tough when everyone is trying to be first with the definitive opinion on a film in a hyperactive news and opinion cycle. The themed months will be part confessional and part discovery.
To kick off 2016 the first themed month will be: The Planet of the Apes. I’ve only seen half of the films in the franchise but I intend to watch them all throughout January, and yes, that includes revisiting Tim Burton’s 2001 remake. The choice of The Planet of the Apes franchise was inspired by the Planet of the Apes episode of the outstanding podcast The Canon, which highlighted to me the significance of the long-running franchise and its place in the history of science-fiction cinema. If you’d like to join The Planet of the Apes month as a contributor, send your pitch using the contact form and use the subject heading: Planet of the Apes month pitch. The deadline for pitches is Sunday 24 January 2016.
So, here’s to 2016 and trying to be a better film person.
The Popcorn Junkie