I’m a writer and salon manager (no joke) in the fair city of Chicago, IL. Originally, from England, I’ve gradually crawled my way through the states and through accents, from Connecticut to Ohio to here. Most of my writing takes book-form, disturbed tales of endangered children, but I’ve recently taken to the Internet. With my hetero-life-mate and Whore of Babylon (roommate), Alex, I write the tumblr blog The Founding F*cking Fathers. I warn you, it isn’t for the faint of heart. After leaving college and taking up a job in the unsurprisingly unintellectual field of beauty, I’ve found myself lacking for deeper artistic thought. My reading habits were reduced to the Hunger Games, awesome books though somehow lacking in existential considerations. My watching habits had fallen even further. I’d spend countless hours scouring Netflix, passing classics and greats alike, and settling for South Park and agonizing horror films from the mid-nineties. I would glance at films such as Metropolis and think “I need to watch that…but I’ve only seen season six of How I Met Your Mother once…I really should give it another viewing.”

I will never unsee this movie. Twice.

This needed to change. No longer shall I be artistically bankrupt. Thus, the game was born. The rules are simple and rigid. A structure of such arbitrary stiffness that it essentially transforms the pleasure of watching films into homework. And, honestly, some of these films should be homework. They’re important, if sometimes painful. They’re difficult. They’re dense. And that’s the point. This blog is my exploration of this process, a collection of thoughts on each work. Let me be clear, these are not movie reviews. I might tell you to see something or not to…but what the hell do I know? I was essentially raised on Indiana Jones and Star Wars, I don’t know my asshole from a Corellian Frigate.

Enough foreplay. Here’s how to do it:

1. Make a list of every film you have ever meant to watch on Netflix Instant watch. Those movies that every time you see, you think, “My mom loved that. It won an oscar. It’s supposed to be amazing…but I’m more in the mood for G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra.”

2. Write every title on a notecard and put it in a bowl. Make it a big bowl. Let them move around. It can be a hat. A big hat. Or any other container. This rule has some area for artistic exploration. Have fun with it!

3. Pick any card at random. No cheating. Seriously. You’re ruining it for everyone.

4. You HAVE to watch the movie picked. The ONLY exception is if the selected movie is too long. Unacceptable excuses include: “But…it’s in French. And I hate the French,” or “I’m not really in a ‘German child-raping murder mystery mood” or “I wanted one with boobs.” You picked the card, you have to pay the consequences. Also, if it’s foreign, it probably has boobs.

5. No distractions. No laptops. No cell phones. No other activities. You watch the movie. Beginning to end. Discussion is allowed among party members.

6. You have to watch the movie in either one or two sittings. No more. If two sittings they have to be either on the same day or two consecutive days. This ain’t Lord of the Rings (unless you put Lord of the Rings on your list, then this absolutely is Lord of the Rings…also, what the hell is wrong with you? You should be watching Lord of the Mutherfucking Rings RIGHT NOW)

7. You have to be sober. A classy glass of wine is allowed. Maximum: one. You want to be conscious and aware of the images flying in front of you. Obviously that’s more difficult when lost in a haze of alcoholic glee.

8. Discuss

I'll probably see it in theaters. Because I hate myself.

If you’re playing the game by yourself, obviously the discussion aspect is difficult. Let me remind you, this isn’t necessarily about enjoying the movies that you select. This is about learning and enrichment. It’s pointless if you just let the movie roll by and you don’t pay it another thought. It might as well be Fast and the Furious 9: Asian Invasion. Find friends to play. But make sure they understand the rules. There’s nothing more frustrating than discussing the finer points of German cinema with someone in the process of scouring ‘Failbook’.

Well. Those are the ground rules. Let the games begin.

  1. Currently in my Netflix Instant Watch Queue: Brick, Waiting For Superman, The Edge of Love, Monsters, Tiny Furniture, The Trip, Drive and Let The Right One In. Perhaps I can get my co-blogger to play with me…

    Oh, and you mention you’re a writer of dark tales involving endangered children. I happen to enjoy reading such tales (and have written one of my own, which I’m currently shamelessly trying to pimp out in the hopes of getting published). Are you published? I’m always up for a dark and disturbing story.

    By the way, I fucking love the idea for this blog and the game and your style. Well done. 🙂

    • You should play! Sometimes it’s agonizing. Triumph of the Will took some fucking triumph of my will to make it through (see what I did there?) Thank you for the compliment! I do write books but I am not published. Trying to get there, of course. Godspeed on your journey to total film knowledge. It’s a long trek, and Netflix can steal away some of the greats before you even have a chance to watch them.

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