A Guide to Appreciating Great Cinema

Rocco Tenaglia, contributor

In an age of constant reboots, sequels, and adaptations, it’s important to seek out only the finest of films. One way to curate your tastes – thus sharpening your mind and making you less susceptible to Hollywood’s usual drivel – is to revisit the classics and learn to appreciate what constitutes an exceptional motion picture.

Now, most scholars will tell you to start with the Film School 101 stuff: Citizen Kane Gone With the Wind, or Con Air. However, it’s important not to force yourself to watch anything you aren’t ready for. One fun way to ease yourself into the waters of the cinematic elite is to go from actor to actor. Following the career of a performer you admire can be very rewarding indeed, but jumping from actor to actor is even more of a treat (not to mention it gives you an array of different genres and styles). For example, you could feast your eyes on the unforgettable Giant, starring Elizabeth Taylor and featuring Paul Newman, then follow Newman‘s career to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which he stars in with Robert Redford, who stars in The Natural with Glenn Close, who is in Dangerous Liasons with John Malkovich, who shares the screen with Nicolas Cage in the unforgettable 1997 crime-thriller classic Con Air.

Perhaps you want to challenge yourself by going a more art-house route? Fear not, as there are plenty of short avant-garde films on the web for you to peruse. Try going to YouTube and seeking out Luis Bunuel’s influential, surrealist masterpiece Un Chien Andalou, Maya Deren’s unmistakably singular 1943 work Meshes of the Afternoon, or FunnywillloneyZopTTK Kt’s popular upload Con Air (1997) HD English – Collection Movies 2016 Full Movies – Nicolas Cage, John Cusack. All of these films may not be for you, but each is objectively important and influential in the world of cinema.

I hope you’ve learned a lot about discovering great art. Whether it’s the lighting in Carol Reed’s The Third Man or Steve Buscemi’s unforgettable turn as Garland ‘The Marietta  Mangler’ Greene in Simon West’s 1997 film Con Air, cinema comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s important that you choose the good stuff.

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