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1. Why does this site exist?
2. Why are there parts that haven't been updated / look terrible?
Why do you think your opinion matters?
How do you rate movies?
What is your favorite movie?
6. OK, so who are you?

1. Why does this site exist?

First, there is no greater pleasure than to know that other people enjoyed a film that you recommended, helping them discover something that they'll be excited about and that they, in turn, will recommend.

Second, it forms a certain bond with people knowing that you've appreciated or been thrilled by the same films, or, on the other hand, it creates lively discussions when you realize that your opinions differ.

Other minor reasons:

  • People often ask me about my opinions on movies I've seen, so this is an easy way to keep them informed,
  • I'm often asked what my favorite movies are, and I usually can't remember more than 4 or 5 in any category off-hand, so this is an easy way for me to keep track (my memory has never been what it should have been),
  • I wanted to let other people know what my opinion was! (and that's really the best excuse, no?).

2. Why have some parts not been updated / look terrible?

This site will always be a "work in progress". If something doesn't work, I'll try to change it. If something works, I might get bored with it and change it anyway. I would appreciate any constructive criticisms, of course, but if I don't implement them, consider that this site is a hobby, not a commercial affair.

Which goes to my updating as well: I'll try to update the site regularly, but if I slip, sorry! but Real Life (tm) must have gotten in the way.

3. Why do you think your opinion matters?

I do not profess to be an expert in any of these topics. Neither do I think that my take on any of these films or my views in the "editorial" pieces should be seen as a war cry against people of differing opinions. Movies, like any other art form, is extremely subjective. What I hate, you might enjoy, and vice-versa. The movie Eraserhead is not to everyone's taste, nor is There's Something About Mary, or Eternity and a Day. As the French expression goes: "Vive la différence!".

4. How do you rate movies?

Each movie can be categorized in different ways. Is it a drama? a comedy? a thriller? People enjoy films for different reasons, and expect them to deliver either entertainment value or depth. You don't get the same thing out of comedy as you do from a thriller, so I try not to review each film of different genres the same way. Dramas, for example, are rated by their dramatic content (obviously). A predominantly action-oriented film, on the other hand, will be rated on the intensity of the action and on its general entertainment value, etc. So a high rating for one film means it's better than other films from that category, but not necessarily a better movie than one from another category.

5. What is your favorite film?

My all-time favorite film? 2001: A Space Odyssey, hands down. Why? Because every time I see it I get a very emotional response to what's happening on the screen; because I think it has one of the smartest scripts ever written; because it's science-fiction (and I'm a sucker for SF); because it involves issues that I've often thought about; because it's a fine piece of film-making from Stanley Kubrick, one of the best directors in movie history; and because of the technical brilliance that went into creating the film. For all these reasons, 2001: A Space Odyssey will always have the top spot on my list.

My second favorite is Citizen Kane. No matter how many times I see this film, I'm struck at how well Orson Welles understood the medium and how inventive his cinematography and script were. And this was his first film!

6. OK, so who are you?

My name is Paul Benmussa which, I understand, doesn't mean anything to you (and that's fair enough). I was born in Montreal, Canada in the year Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon, which everybody says probably influenced my early development into everything that had to do with space travel (including oodles of trashy sci-fi novels). 

I am a Mechanical Engineer by trade but my real passion is cinema, not in a creative capacity mind you but just as (take your pick:) a movie buff, a giddy fan-boy, or an amateur connoisseur.

My mother's the one who first taught me to appreciate all types of movies, and still shares that passion with me. Heck, I still remember her taking me to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and to three consecutive showings of Star Wars when I was 7.  And during the week, we'd be watching Humphrey  Bogart or Cary Grant films on PBS. Ah yes, those were the days...

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