Clay’s occasional, eccentric movie reviews

Someone asked me to post movie reviews, someone who really should know better. He has spent considerable time listening to my preaching in which I do, I confess, occasionally muse over movies. In the congregation he attended and where I spent most of my pre-retirement years, a piece of wisdom circulated, a warning for newcomers. The wisdom was simple: never go to a movie that Clay recommends. The movie will be unwatchable: slow, perhaps pretentious, with little in the way of action and much in the way of talk. I mention this now as a warning to you. The movies I am inclined to cover often will not be found at the local metroplex. Some may not be available on your favorite streaming channel. They will probably have subtitles. For all that, they will, I promise, be worth seeking out and seeing.

The small print. Usually, I will have seen the movies I review only once. No one can take in a good movie in one sitting. Movies, like good novels, require one to go back, rewind, see what you missed in the first viewing, check the internal resonances of the film. I will not have had the opportunity to do that for most of what I post. I lack the time and access that viewing movies more than once would require. So these reviews or, better, notices are first impressions, first takes on what may beg for many takes and much mulling over. They are not definitive but suggestive.

And that points to one other warning, true of all reviews, more or less. They will contain spoilers. How can one review anything without revealing something of what happens in the film? I will try not to spoil movies that depend on a big reveal. Most of the movies I see are not that kind of movie, anyway. If it is a who-dunnit, I won’t tell you who dunnit. But for many movies a field guide is often helpful: look here, don’t miss this, here’s a bit of background for that, and so forth. If those sorts of suggestions are spoilers for you, then perhaps you should not read these reviews, but for the rest of you, I hope that what I have to say will help you to see at least what I saw and perhaps more.  

So then, as directors used to say, “Lights, camera, action.”


Peripatetic Pastor