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Ebbywebby, Orange County, CA, United States


Seems like the first movie I can remember seeing was the original "101 Dalmatians," except it must have been a revival because I was not a person in 1961. The first R-rated movie I saw was "The Choirboys," which was actually a rather hardcore choice. My father wanted to see it and took me along. I distinctly recall seeing a S&M scene (Perry King's character was being whipped) and having no idea what was happening.

My first VHS rental? An unusual one: Ken Russell's "Mahler." Not so many folks have rented that at all, I imagine. I don't know my first DVD rental. And unlike most film buffs, I have little interest in collecting movies. The few DVDs I've bought were impulse buys on clearance. I'll list my entire collection right here: 1. "Monty Python & the Holy Grail" ($4) 2. "Life of Brian" ($4) 3. Butthole Surfers/"Blind Eye Sees All" (a promotional freebie) 4. "A Clockwork Orange" ($5) 5. a multi-disc set of "Larry Sanders" episodes (another gift).

Somehow, a lot of my film cravings come from somewhere around 1965-72. Before "Jaws" and after the Golden Age of Hollywood. I see a lot of foreign films, cult films, avant-garde/experimental films, indies, silents, character studies, films with a lot of visual imagination or stylish direction...but not too many high-action blockbusters. Some of my worst rankings among the official lists are in seemingly easy categories such as 2010s, 2000s, 1990s, All-Time Worldwide Box Office and Top 100 Animated Features. As far as more "acclaimed" movies go, I deviate in not being so keen on Westerns, war movies, film noir, adapted plays or international films about An Impoverished Underdog Who Somehow Rises From Hellish Surroundings and Finds Salvation.

Much to my irritation, I have many problems remembering exactly which movies I've seen. Whether I only saw an isolated chunk of a film while channel-surfing...whether I'm confusing one film with another film by the same director and/or star...whether the film was so culturally prominent that it just *seems* like I saw it.... Thus, I'm very conservative about which films I check off -- I only mark the ones that I'm sure about. I've skimmed through all the films that are "official checks," and there are about 300 "Did I see it or not?" question marks. I've left them all unmarked. I started keeping a film log in 2008, but I wish I had started one at least 20 years earlier.

I did begin keeping a "Movies to See" list early in the 2000s (long before I shared any such thing online) and have plenty of fun whittling it down while steadily inserting fresh discoveries. It was as long as 230-something titles at one point but, even after dozens of further additions, it's much shorter nowadays (not counting the shorts).

ICM's emphasis on short film has been very useful to me -- I've been gaining a belated, thorough education in this area, thanks to ICM's related lists. I really regret not keeping a running list of my favorite shorts, because it's so hard to recall in hindsight what I thought of this or that 5-10 minutes of obscure footage.

As a personal project to find further interesting shorts, I've also spent quite awhile trying to see every "unofficial" short that appears on at least 13 toplists (either official or personal). Why 13? It just seemed like the right cut-off point. Except that it's a much less rewarding venture now, because the exasperating glut of ill-considered, redundant lists of Oscar winners/nominees means far too many Oscar-nominated shorts are reaching that threshold undeservedly. I wish people would bother checking to see if the list they want to add to ICM already exists here. Anyway, I finally decided to switch the threshold to 14 lists rather than 13. And then I had to compromise even further and up it to 15. And then 16. I'm probably due to up it yet again.

(My watchlist has two sections: The top through "Fuck" are features I want to see, in order of interest. And from "Foot and Mouth" through the end are shorts I want to see -- unofficial checks only. They're ordered somewhat erratically, alphabetized based on the director's name or maybe the subject matter.)

For what it's worth, I'm also a Super Reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes and have posted hundreds of varying-length reviews on that site.

Lists I've submitted to ICM forum polls

Favorite quote: “Ordinary f*cking people...I hate 'em.”(Repo Man)


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5 December 2010
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