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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Movies, movies, movies...

  I started this blog back in January as a way to keep my writing skills sharp. In the meantime, I've been writing other stuff and been neglecting my faithful readers. (Note: I have no idea if I have any readers, but I'm pretending I have at least two.)
  A few months ago I signed up for Flickchart and discovered it to be a fun way to simultaneously catalog my movies and rank them in order of my favorites. And considering how long it's been since my last post, I think I now have an excuse to write some more and Flickchart is my springboard. I'm going to blog about my top ten films, at least one a week starting with....

 10. Notorious (1946)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Written by Ben Hecht.
Starring Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Leopoldine Konstantin.
  Now, let's talk McGuffins. If you like McGuffins as much as I like McGuffins (hell, I even like typing the word 'McGuffin') then this is the film for you. What's a McGuffin, you ask? A McGuffin is anything in a story that drives the plot and it doesn't matter what it is. If you need an example, look no farther than the uranium ore from Notorious. You know, the stuff in the wine bottles? I don't blame you for forgetting, in fact, if you get to that scene and you actually care what's in the bottles, you're missing the point.
  This is but one of my theories about what separates good filmmakers from bad ones. It's a complex issue, but it boils down to this: The bad filmmakers try to make you care about the uranium ore, while the good ones know that it's about Alicia and Devlin and Alex and Alex's creepy mother.
  I could go on and I probably should, but what else remains to be said about this film? The three minute kiss that really isn't. Cary Grant as his most ambiguously slimy/charming (sorry, 'Suspicion'). The unbearable tension at the bottom of a cup of coffee.

  See you next week for number 9.


  1. Happy to have you on Flickchart, Nick. Glad you're enjoying the site!

  2. Hey, Nathan thanks for the comment. Flickchart is one of my favorite Web time-sinks (and I mean that as a compliment!)