“Charlie Don’t Surf!”
Hi there! I’m Ricky Vergais, and I’m here to give away this adorable little writing project of Jason’s. Why he’d want me, of all people, to try and pitch you a movie blog is a complete mystery. Personally, I think the whole premise seems absurd. I mean why would anyone want to read about movies when they can just go watch them? After all, isn’t that why movies were invented in the first place? To spare people the boredom of staring at a page all day?
But what do I know? I’m just a comedian, right? I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason for this whole charade. I sincerely hope you revel in Jason’s nostalgic blathering, even though I won’t. “Blah blah movies are so awesome! Blah blah blah.” Absolute torture, I’m telling you. Just consider yourselves warned. That’s all I’m trying to say. God, is this over with yet? I have a nice dry martini to return to backstage.
Experience Film, as it were, is a blog that offers its viewers a visceral, psychological perspective on modern cinema. Its purpose is to enhance your experience of today’s movies and the psychology within them. The end goal is total immersion. After just a few doses of Experience Film you will get the distinct sensation of being hurled headlong through your television set and into the fairytale lands of your favorite movie characters. There you’ll be free to live out your wildest fantasies for the remainder of time, escaping the inconveniences of “real life” altogether! Who needs that rubbish anyway?
Wouldn’t you rather link arms with a talking scarecrow and skip down a yellow brick road like a giddy schoolgirl? Or tail the woman of your dreams through the scenic streets of San Francisco? How about dropping acid and riding gunships into the heart of the Mekong Delta under the deafening roar of Wagner’s “Ride of The Valkyries” with Lt. Colonel Bill Kilgore? (“Charlie Don’t Surf!”). Or, what if I was to tell you we could design our very own dream within a dream…within another dream, lure in the heir to a multinational corporation and then mess with his mind while he’s asleep? As Bob Ryan asks in the television show, Entourage, “Is that something you might be interested in?”
Ladies and gentlemen, without further adieu I give you, Experience Film.
Welcome to Experience Film! A visceral, psychological perspective on modern cinema! Let me tell you how this whole thing works.
About once per month i’ll induct a new film into what i’ll call The Experience Films Collection. Or “EFC” for short. Here I’ll commemorate the chosen film by psychoanalyzing the lead characters and tenderly depicting the outrageous fortunes that encumber them. I’ll accomplish this with words, pictures, videos, and also music. That’s right, each EFC post will have an accompanying soundtrack, typically of the pop or alternative rock genre. The soundtrack is meant to provide an additional medium through which to interpret the themes discussed in the post.
I’ll also zero in on one or two scenes within each film, often by describing my own viewing experience. Video clips shall accompany these colorful scene descriptions, which are meant to entertain you first and foremost (“Are you not entertained!?”). I also hope they get you to notice subtleties in your own sensation and perception. These are of course the bases for your unique subjective cinematic experience.
The films that make it into the Experience Films Collection will most all be new or semi-new releases, except on a few special occasions where I may throw in some classics. The films chosen will generally be the ones that best evoke our hearts and engage our minds, for better or worse.
Good films make us think, and even better ones make us feel something. However, the best films, for me, are the ones that fundamentally alter how we think and feel about something in the first place. To do this films must successfully tie new ideas to pre-existing ones, so that we have a foundation on which to leap, so to speak, to wherever novel territory a film asks us to go.
The Wizard of Oz not only hurls us to novel terrain, it delivers us back home with a brand
new outlook. Stuck with her family on a dull plot of farmland in Kansas, Dorothy dreams of an escape somewhere over the rainbow. Only after landing there and becoming disenchanted does she come to realize there’s no place like home. What once appeared drab and boring is now desirable.
Great films can also mix up our emotions and perceptions. Quentin Tarantino’s films, for example, are notorious for crossing our sense of humor with that of violence and disgust. Tarantino masterfully orchestrates long scenes of dialogue in order to build nervous tension in the audience, which he’ll then cut with some often benign element of humor, only to immediately follow that up with horrible, grisly violence. Often in such sequences we are so grateful for the laughter that we cannot stop ourselves and go on laughing even as the blood spatters the screen. The genius of this filmmaking ploy is that, for a moment, we affectively become the sadistic maniacs we are watching on screen.
Great films challenge our preconceived notions of the world by showing us that it operates or can operate a little differently than we initially thought. Murder (can be) funny, depending on our point of view of course. Are Tarantino’s films a danger to us for this reason? Might they provoke violence in us? I’ll let you be the judge here.
By challenging our preconceptions great films open doors to new possibilities for thought, feeling and behavior within us. I believe the proper term for this phenomenon is inspiration. Movies that fit this description are the ones I’ll tend to favor here. Naturally, I’m inclined to favor the movies that profoundly affect me, but might not profoundly affect or inspire you. Therefore, I need you to balance me out. Please give me suggestions for new movies as you watch them!
The best way to offer your suggestions is to post in the comments section below each episode. You can also contact me directly through Facebook or email. Remember, the greater these movies inspire you or mess with your mind the better! I will also pose questions throughout each episode and I hope you will share your answers and feedback with me and other users. Thank you!
Below I have included the infamous scene from Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. To get you in the spirit perhaps.
Apocalypse Now: Ride of The Valkyries:
I hope you enjoyed this inaugural episode of Experience Film! Keep your eyes and ears open for the next one. Please share your own insights by commenting below! Happy movie watching, everybody.