Everyday (adj.) – such as is met with every day; ordinary; commonplace.
Cinephile (n.) – a person who is fond of motion pictures.
In and outside classic film circles, the word cinephile is often seen as a pretentious term. To many, a cinephile is the obnoxious college kid who won’t shut up about the new foreign movie they drove across state lines to see last weekend or that one friend who refuses to watch anything not associated with the Criterion label. I’ve seen many refer to themselves in the online classic film community as film fans, film buffs, but rarely as cinephiles.
Despite all the negative connotations around cinephile, it’s my favorite word to describe my relationship to the movies. Cinephile captures both the fondness for movies and the appreciation that film can be more than just mere entertainment to pass a Friday night. I’ve added everyday in front of cinephile when naming my blog to express my like of the everyday, commonplace filmfare of yesterday just as much as the arthouse films.
The Everyday Cinephile seeks to explore the high and low of classic films (for the purpose of this blog, classic film encompasses the very beginnings of cinema in the 1890s up until the late 1960s). It’s a space set on discovering new genres, filmmakers, time periods, viewpoints, and histories that you may not have explored, whether you’re already an ardent fan of classic film or someone who wants to see their first black and white movie or first silent picture. I am currently undertaking the European Silent Cinema Project to explore the early years of filmmaking on the European continent which can be found here.
Who’s the man behind the keyboard?
My name is Shawn Hall and I love silent films, pre-code films, and film noir among other things. I grew up in the California territory known as Las Vegas, Nevada and currently live at the center of the movie world in Los Angeles where I am pursuing a career as a film archivist and preservationist.
Ever since I got hooked onto watching classic films in high school, DVRing as many movies on Turner Classic Movies and checking out my library’s collection of AFI Top 100 list films, I’ve loved the power that film has to entertain, question, and uplift. The best movies don’t just fill up an hour and a half of our Friday night. They become a part of us, comforting us when we’re in need, inspiring us to be our best self, and challenging us to expand our own worldview beyond the limited confines of our own notions and beliefs. While I enjoy a good movie no matter the year of its release, I want to make sure films that matter to me from decades past will still have a large audience and impact the film community and others for years to come.
I plan to deliver a mixture of reviews of well-known classics, hidden gems, and overlooked films, both high and low, served up with my own opinions and observations from the film. While I’m most familiar with American classics, I hope to review films from different countries with a wide variety of languages.
I hope that The Everyday Cinephile will give both me and you a chance to expand our knowledge of film, share our own favorite films while discovering new favorites, and connect classic film lovers everywhere to share their own experiences and worldviews. Feel free to connect with me through this blog or on Twitter @EDCinephile. Here’s to the beginning of a beautiful friendship!