Good evening. My name is Eric M. Blake. I hope you’ll forgive me if I indulge myself with this chance to introduce myself.
I am currently a graduate student at the University of South Florida, where I already hold a Bachelor’s in Political Science. I am currently in pursuit of a Master’s in Film Studies. This blog started as a project for the class Mind Games In Film, as taught by Professor Marina Hassapopoulou. On this site, you will find my various thoughts on the world of Cinema. I hope you enjoy!
Now…where to begin? Ah, yes:
I love the world of cinema, and am an aspiring filmmaker of my own. Perhaps I’ll post my film projects here, soon.
My favorite film genre (if it can be called a “genre”, per se) is Film Noir. I love how it explores the many facets of the dark side of society (the criminal underworld as well as individual crime), but from a “fun”, stylized perspective. Some of my favorite “classic” noirs (those from the “classic era” of 1940-1959): The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, D.O.A, The Big Sleep. Some of my favorite “neo-noirs”: The Black Dahlia, Gangster Squad, Chinatown, Memento, Heat, Reservoir Dogs.
Crime films in general catch my interest, a great deal. I love the gangster films of Martin Scorsese, for their seamless blend of “fun” and grit. I also love the Godfather trilogy of Francis Ford Coppola, for helping set the standard for crime films to come. Other favorites include the highly underrated Miller’s Crossing, perhaps my favorite film of the Coen Bothers (Carer Burwell’s theme alone is one of the most beautiful I have heard in a movie).
One of my favorite “cop films” is the first Die Hard: I find it especially thrilling because, as a reviewer put it, “[Bruce] Willis [plays] a real guy, not a comic book hero!” In the first film, John McClane is shown as a “real guy” with real vulnerabilities, who can be hurt. As such, we are able to worry for his safety (as opposed to Under Siege with Steven Segal, which was laughably branded “Die Hard on a battleship” even though Segal’s character seems basically invincible).
My favorite Westerns: the Dollars Trilogy of Sergio Leone, The Magnificent Seven, Rio Bravo.
My favorite comedies range from Steven Soderberg’s crime-caper Ocean’s Eleven (where practically every time someone opens their mouth, it’s witty–it’s fun) to Hello Again (starring the lovely and endearing Shelley Long of Cheers fame).
My favorite filmmakers of today are Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan. I have seen every film fully directed by Tarantino, and am currently writing a master’s theses on his work. From Nolan, I have seen the Dark Knight trilogy, Memento, Inception, and the truly superb Interstellar.
I also strongly admire the work of Clint Eastwood, both as an actor and as a director. My favorite film directed by him is Jersey Boys.
From the “classical Hollywood” period, I am a strong admirer of Alfred Hitchcock. My favorite film of his is Rear Window.
My favorite directors of the “Movie Brat” generation are Steven Spielberg and Brian De Palma (though I suspect I would loathe and detest Redacted), with Martin Scorsese coming in for a close third (critical as I am of The Last Temptation).