Read "Great Movies"


A few days ago, I read a book called "The Great Movies" by Roger Ebert, the first person to win the Pulitzer Prize for film criticism.

As the name suggests, this book mostly talks about famous movies in film history. People who like watching movies will see familiar films when looking at the book's table of contents. I had never read Ebert's writing before and didn't know how he wrote, so I chose a few movies that I like to see if his reviews touched me in any way.

The selected movies are as follows: "2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)", "The Godfather", "The Shawshank Redemption", "The Silence of the Lambs". He commented on Kubrick's great film as "a thoughtful film that doesn't cater to us, but tries its best to inspire and broaden our horizons." This comment is very accurate. Although this film is recognized as a thoughtful film, Ebert goes further to point out Kubrick's purpose: inspiration. In fact, this is true. From its preparation to its release in 1968, this film was never intended to cater to the audience. Its premiere also caused confusion among the audience, but that didn't affect its status. It tries to tell us that "we become true human beings when we learn to think."

"The Shawshank Redemption", although it is about a prison break, its focus is actually on friendship and hope. Friendship makes it more acceptable to the public, and hope elevates the theme to another level. Prison break movies inevitably discuss the topic of freedom. As a free person, freedom is not only physical but also mental. In my opinion, the old librarian is actually a free person in prison, but he loses his freedom after being released. And the way he regains his freedom is simple - he gains freedom through death.

I vaguely remember the feeling of horror when I first watched "The Silence of the Lambs". This horror is not sudden scares, but the feeling of staring into the abyss - it doesn't say anything, it is so quiet, but it is terrifying. Years later, when I saw HAL 9000 in "2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)" rationally manipulating the fate of humanity, I remembered that feeling again. Coincidentally, Hopkins' interpretation of the character was influenced by HAL 9000's activation in "2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)" - he is a calm, objective, and extremely intelligent machine, proficient in logical operations, but emotionally blank.

After reading the film reviews, I couldn't help but revisit Kubrick's classic old film. Yesterday, I also revisited Jacques Becker's last work, "Le Trou". Sometimes, I would rather spend time rereading and rewatching these classics than wasting it on new things that are not worth it.

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