By Adam Grey

Film is a visual medium; so first and foremost, I’m interested in motion pictures that can tell a story cinematically. I’m thinking of movies like Once Upon a Time in the West, 8 ½, 2001: A Space Odyssey, or even recent films like The Revenant. These are movies that don’t depend on dialogue or exposition to move it along. The filmmakers trust us as an audience to keep up. One of the problems with many filmmakers today is they think very little of audiences. That’s why Michael Bay gets to keep making movies.
I do love dialogue in films when it’s done right. Movies as diverse as Sweet Smell of Success, Goodfellas, The Big Lebowski, and Annie Hall are terrific in part because of the astonishing dialogue between the characters. I like when characters are allowed to speak because they’re angry or happy or sad, and not just talking about the mechanics of the plot. Think of your favorite movie lines; very few of them have anything to do with the story.
I’m drawn to films that focus on the characters more than the plot. Movies like Taxi Driver, Mean Girls, Big, Jaws, Clockwork Orange, Le Boucher and Inside Llewyn Davis work because we’re interested in the characters. We may not agree with them or even like them, but these characters are compelling regardless.
As a film nerd, when I’m watching a film I’m constantly thinking about the composition of each shot, or in other words, how the filmmaker has decided to frame each moment of the film. Unless it’s a movie directed by Michael Bay or Zack Snyder, there is usually a reason why the director has framed a shot a certain way. Think of recent movies like The Force Awakens or Mad Max: Fury Road and you’ll see filmmakers totally in command of visually telling a story, in large part thanks to their brilliant use of composition.
I’m in constant awe of the overwhelming experiences of film. Seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark, Vertigo, Rules of the Game, and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on the big screen are, for me, the equivalent of going to the Grand Canyon for the first time. Films have the power to make you laugh, cry, scream, ponder and wonder. Films can transport you to another time, another place. They are unlike any other form of art. They are magic.