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Criticisms on the existentialisms of the revolving shoeshiners!

(or how one should land a concord on a film critic)

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by Shane O'Reilly, Editor, Dublin for outsideleft.com
originally published: March, 2006
suffice to say; I don't think so. Not now anyway.
by Shane O'Reilly, Editor, Dublin for outsideleft.com
originally published: March, 2006
suffice to say; I don't think so. Not now anyway.

I haven't written much lately so I thought I'd address my reasons on here, as a piece. Between too-ing and fro-ing over college work (which I generally avoid along with that voice of guilt in my head. He is always at me but like any small kid in school, he's easy to beat and/or ignore) and updating my bebo account (it's oh so trendy now), I had been reviewing various films for www.frankthemonkey.com (white countess, last holiday, the proposition, the ordeal, etc) and I was therefore given a little peep into the world of the film critic. A job I had at one stage, really enamoured by it that is, decided my path lay in it. But suffice to say; I don't think so. Not now anyway.

With matters of study piling up I am resting my cinematic adventures for now. It was fun though. I felt very lost at the beginning. The private screenings are the worst. The collage of reptilian elders and middle-aged catatonics was only slightly subdued by the ever more annoying, what I call, BIG ISSUE CRITICS. There's always an agenda with these guys. These are the loud know-it-all ones; happy to acclaim and prophesize over what wonders they've seen, always voicing their opinions very clearly for others NOT to argue with. Assholes basically. But I'm fairly stubborn I suppose, like them, but they're worse. Versions of me with bigger egos and more confidence. Did I want to be them?
Not sure...br> So what began as a group of movie-buffs took form then as a rather yawning catalogue of stubborn males (mostly). One guy was always about - balding, four-eyed (bound to be me in ten years or less) and the ringleader I assumed. The epicentre for all others. I dodged him shyly but no regrets here. Maybe he was another website collaborator but I doubt it. More than likely a newspaper man or a magazine fronter. I tended to sit quietly, praying for the feature to begin.

While in the Screen cinema, my gaze fell upon yet another balding man (my hair doesn't stand a chance in this profession. Damnit!), this one bloated and carrying an air of superiority and the deft movement of an aristocratic cheetah. He waddled into the cinema taking his jacket off, looking around for colleagues and stood for what seemed like ages. I felt like screaming, the man was literally and breathlessly begging for public recognition.
'Sit down!' I thought. Christ, would he sit down but, of course, someone did recognise him and after a handshake, they chatted and parted. He smooched down into his seat rather satisfied I imagined. Big grins all around. Bet he was thinking how lucky that cinema was to have him, that seat, a lucky little throne. Pompous. Just pompous.

Afterwards, he waddled back out with a wry grin. Big shot I thought, real big man. I felt like confronting him, challenging him with as many difficult questions on Norwegian and Belgian cinema as I could muster but what was the point? He'd devour me and use my spinal cord to floss his teeth. I sharked off, frowning into the rain.

I did meet one fella, old lad, from RTE. He arrived forty minutes into 'The Proposition' and sat beside me. Spitting into my face he asked me how long the film had been on. I told him and he replied laughing; 'I went to the wrong cinema'. I smiled, having only just arrived twenty minutes before him; 'Me too' I said leaning in. Best chuckle I had all day.

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Shane O'Reilly
Editor, Dublin

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