If I may be brutally honest with you, I would have never picked up “Filmish” by Edward Ross if it weren’t a recommended read for the Teen Summer Reading Challenge that was happening at my local library. I’m not a big fan of movies but I genuinely liked it. There are so many aspects about a film that I never realized had a significant impact on them. Here are some reasons why you should read Filmish.
#1: you learn cool facts.
Did you know that the secret to a successful horror film is related to our eyes? According to the author, “horror toys with our vision to elicit fear, playing on the anxieties associated with seeing too much or seeing too little, as our desire to look does battle with our instinct to turn away.” No wonder Poltergeist scared the living out of me.
#2: author shines a light on modern cinema’s mistakes.
As an example, Ross, the author, was throwing shade towards the film industry’s use of people with disabilities in films. He said that movies often use marginalized bodies as a kind of way to spice characters and convey internal qualities. Most times, it is the villain whose scars or deformities that “make his alienation and moral corruption visible in opposition to the able-bodied hero.” However, this defines disabled people by their bodies and equate disability with immorality and even evil. I didn’t take in the negative effects on the type of bodies used to portray characters.
#3: structure of a graphic novel keeps it interesting.
I’m not indicating that words are bad. I’m pointing out the fact this book could’ve been one of those non-fiction stories composed of only words, but it may not have had the same effect. Ross used the images to emphasize what he would say in the text. Plus, I like how his persona would narrate amid all the movie scenes and characters. His narration was set at a nice pace, which never overloaded me with information.
#4: new movie recommendations.
With a book analyzing movies, you encounter a lot of new/old movies and some you want to watch. For example, I want to check out a movie called Happy End (1966) which tells a butcher’s life story in reverse. Starting with his birth by execution, the film rewinds through his life as he graduates from prison, constructs a wide out of body parts, grows younger and eventually meets his happy end: his death by birth. Yet, I’m sure I won’t be able to find this movie on Netflix anytime soon 🙁
I may not be a person who watches movies frequently, but “Filmish” by Edward Ross has opened my eyes to the secrets in the world of film, filled with useful information that would have flown above my head if it weren’t in comic book form. I give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars rating. It would’ve have been a solid 5 out of 5-star rating if the author offered some online sites I can watch some of these movies on.