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Why I Love Film: Welcome to a new weekly column

December 11, 2008


Why I Love Film: Welcome to a new weekly column

By Melanie Addington

(as published weekly in the Oxford Town)

I am not a film critic.

I have taken all the proper film criticism courses. I have studied the various film criticism canon, from New York Times critics Pauline Kael and Elvis Mitchell to modern bloggers. But, a critic is often paid, which I am not.

And I am not really a fan.

A fan is a supporter who often has an intense enthusiasm for something, sci-fi geeks, Bond lovers, etc. But, in rare cases a fan becomes obsessive, to the point of idol worship of such object. And that is where I fall in.

I am a film freak.

No, there is nothing *too* unusual about my appearance but my obsession of film culture neatly ties me to the term. So much so that I spend hard earned money every year to travel to film festivals all over the country. I take countless hours out of the day to watch movies, read about movies, talk about movies, research movies and write about movies.

In my weekly column, don’t expect to find much about celebrity gossip. I don’t really care what Paris Hilton or Brad Pitt are buying at the grocery store, nor do I care about seeing every single movie that comes out in the theaters (although I do make a good try of it). I can however recommend TMZ or People Magazine or Entertainment Weekly if that is your thing.

What I do care about, and what I hope to bring to you each week is what movie events are happening in Oxford, fromMalco’s new releases, Ron Shapiro’s screenings at his juice bar, the film festival or the screenings of foreign film at the local library. Sprinkled in to the mix will be the occasional discussion on awards, new independent films, and film festival happenings.

New This Week

Tomorrow one of the highly anticipated remakes comes to the Malco in Oxford. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is a 1951 classic science-fiction film. The original is just as enjoyable now as it was in the 1950s but technological advances should make for a fairly new take. Starring Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, an alien that arrives on Earth to tell them they must live peacefully or be destroyed. Now, 1951 or 2008 doesn’t make much a difference in human reaction with the government of course taking the news as a reason to fight in “defense.” The original was a metaphor for the Cold War but could easily be applied to today’s war. However, much of the emphasis of the original film was on building a stronger United Nations. The Los Angeles Times called the original subversive, but the message of peace and dark outlook regarding the human race continues to resonate with audiences. Perhaps, with film returning to that darker side in the past few years, there may never be a better time for such a classic movie to be revived.

Also happening this week, the Oxford Film Festival planning is well underway for Feb. 5-8, 2009. The group is now looking for volunteers. For more information or to sign up, visit

On Monday, Dec. 15 at the Oxford-Lafayette Public Library, children can catch the Christmas movie, “Imogene’s Antlers” at 10 a.m. Perfect for kids from 4-8, the Reading Rainbow story is about a little girl, Imogene, who wakes up to find antlers on her head. Her family is quite annoyed but their usefulness to the maid are quickly discovered.

(Editor’s note: Melanie works full time as a staff writer for the Eagle but in her spare time spends too much time at the movies and then writes about it at

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2008 3:12 pm

    Well it is rumored to follow the short story that the original film was based on which has a slightly different ending. I think people may infer more about global warming or Iraq war but the concept is meant to be timeless. Either way – yes, I will be there to see it and then will listen to your podcast!

  2. December 11, 2008 2:45 pm

    Yay new column!

    Regarding Day The Earth Stood Still, I think they’re going to be changing the focus of Klaatu’s message for the new film. The original one, as you said, was about the cold war and was an arguement for the united nations. From what I’ve seen of the new one, I think the message may be global warming.

    Some of the stuff Klaatu has said in the trailers makes me think that he’s come to the earth to tell people to stop killing it, or we’ll be killed to prevent the planet dying.

    His line in the trailer, ” If the Earth dies, you die. If you die, the Earth survives.” seems to speak towards this goal.

    I may be wrong, but that’s what it looks like to me. Either way, I’ll definitely be seeing it this weekend and will then be discussing it this Sunday as we record the new GeekRoundTable podcast. 🙂

  3. kittypackard permalink
    December 11, 2008 2:09 am

    Kudos on your new column and I pledge my ardent following–this looks to be one of ta solidly intelligent movie blog (so few out there on wordpress!) Best of luck! 🙂

    • December 11, 2008 8:02 am

      Thanks so much! I can’t promise we will always be intelligent, but I can promise we write a lot!

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