Fakin' It: Tarantino's Early Work Is So Underrated
November 7, 2008 at 9:00 am
Introducing Street Film Editor Jessica Spiegelman, who does a mean karaoke version of "A Whole New World" and dressed up as Mia Wallace for Halloween. Join her as she explains how to make yourself look like a pretentious film buff through blatant fakery.
I earned a reputation as a film buff long before I deserved it. It took me years to build up the knowledge necessary to have a real conversation about film, but by the time I had, I was already considered a hardcore cinephile. My secret? I faked it. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be a faux buff in no time.
1. Pretend you’ve seen whatever movie is being discussed. If you are called out on a detail, shrug and say, “Oh, I must not have seen that part. I watched it on TV, so I only saw half of it.” 2. If you have no insights into a particular film, or have simply never heard of it, chime in with the (possibly true) factoid that the movie is a remake of a French New Wave/German Expressionist/Japanese Kaiju film. People will be too impressed by your use of the terms to question you. 3. If someone is praising a movie you’ve never heard of, roll your eyes and say “Orson Welles thought of that decades ago.” Chances are, he did. 4. When the movie in question is a new release, chuckle and tell your friends that Jon Stewart had a great line about it. Pause, then say, “Or maybe it was Conan.” This both proves that you watch a lot of late-night, and keeps the reference contradiction-proof. 5. This line can apply to almost every movie ever made: “The film’s underlying theme of questionable morality would have been beautifully reinforced if it had been in black and white.” You’ll only get in trouble if it actually was. 6. Ask questions. “Did that win any Oscars?” is always a safe bet, and “I wonder who the cinematographer was” makes you seem like you know what cinematography is. 7. Respond to unfamiliar references with ambiguous adjectives. “Classic” is a good one. So are “brilliant,” “inspired,” and “provocative.” And, the pièce de resistance, “That is so meta.” It’s just pretentious enough to work. 8. Watch at least one obscure, classic movie, and bring it up constantly. Bonus points if it’s foreign. 9. When all else fails, sigh and say, “It’s just so amazing, it defies analysis.” While virtually no movies are quite that great, at least you’ll sound passionate. 10. Don’t back down. Ever. Even if it’s too hard to pretend you’ve seen a movie, at least pretend to have heard of it. This technique works best when you nod thoughtfully, and ask for the name of the movie again. Misleading people into thinking that you’re going beef up your Netflix queue the second you go home works every time.