Our Movie Fan of the week is Eric Hook. Creator and author of the “100 Movies in One Year” blog in which Eric profiles the movies he has seen in 2012. A recent graduate from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, Eric studied Digital Video Production and minored in History. He’s had brief stints in all facets of film production including; short films, weddings, television, among others. In his free time he watches a lot of sports and attempts to write screenplays. He grew up in a small town in Indiana where he wasn't exposed to any surplus of movie knowledge. His dad channeled John Wayne & mom adored Mary Poppins. He watched anything his older brothers showed him, and always appreciated whatever he saw. In college, his tastes began to diversify, and now he watches movies of every genre. In the future, he would like to visit every major film festival.
Q. Why did you decide to tackle a 100 movies per year challenge? Will you increase or repeat this challenge again next year?
A. The mid-west is not normally the hotpot for a genuine cinematic, but when college rolled around, I was subjected to a whole new faction of people who loved to watch & discuss movies, people I could identify with. After graduation, I moved back home. Suddenly, I was no longer surrounded by that same admiration for film. The 100 movies in 1 year challenge kind of stemmed from the conversations I wasn't having. It was a way for me to release some of the loose thoughts floating around in my head about the movies I was watching. And the 100 movie challenge was just a way for me to keep it organized... Once the challenge is completed, I probably won't do another 100, but surely the reviews will keep coming. It's fun to go back & read the posts months later, and see if I still agree with myself.
Q. Was there a particular film that sparked your interest in writing about movies? If so, what movie and why?
A. Not really one particular film. But the writing started when I was a freshmen in college. As the quantity of my DVD collection increased, so did my understanding of the characters, themes, plot structures, etc. in them. It was just a natural progression to begin writing about all of it. Drowning out your thoughts onto a page can make you realize things you may not have noticed otherwise, and developing a unique voice is something every writer or reviewer should strive to do.
Q. What is your most memorable movie moment?
A. When I was younger, like good fanboys, my friends and I would line up outside the theater to see the big draws. Movies like Lord of the Rings & Spiderman. Back then, they used to give out props & posters at the theater before the movie. I think it was right before Two Towers they were handing out replicas of Frodo's ring. I was one of the few people to get one. It glowed & had neat writing on it, my friends were jealous of course. It's the perfect type of memory you can only get from going to the movies as a kid.
Q. Movie theater or home...where do you prefer to watch movies?
A. Normally, I'm a big advocate for going to the theater. I always take my dates there, or try to wrestle up a group to go on Friday nights. Lately though, I've had a few incidences with cell phones & people disrupting illusion of the movie. Sad to see people being so selfish, especially when it costs so much to see one these days. Still I'd choose the theater almost every time, it is more of an experience.
Q. What is your favorite movie quote?
A. Never been much of a connoisseur when it comes to quoting films, but there is one line that has always registered with me. Bill Murray in the film Lost In Translation, "The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you." The meaning is simple from my point of view. The older you get the more comfortable you feel in your own skin. It's becomes more difficult for people to break you down. For example, when you see a teenager get embarrassed by their parents, it's easy to spot the different levels of insecurity. I think Sofia Coppola has a very deep & mature understanding of life, and I'm a big fan of her writing.
Q. How many movies do you think you’ve watched in your lifetime?
A. I've kept a word file with all my film ratings since I was 11. It could have two dozen pages of movie ratings on there. If I had to take a guess probably a few thousand total, but it's hard to say.
Q. What movies are you most looking forward to seeing later this year?
A. Patiently waiting to watch a couple more independent films from the 2012 festival season. Beasts of the Southern Wild was a big one at Sundance I missed, others Josh Radnor's Liberal Arts, and Derek Cianfrance's follow up to Blue Valentine called The Place Beyond the Pines. As for the blockbusters this year; I wanna see Tarantino's new one, The Hobbit, Killing Them Softly, and Gangster Squad recently got pushed back, it looked fantastic. I try to watch a bit of everything, movies from all over the spectrum of interest.
Q. What type of movies are you typically drawn to and why?
A. It never dawned on me how much relevance I found in romantic dramas until my roommate pointed it out, but only films with particularly superb writing. For instance, Blue Valentine, BeforeSunrise/Sunset, East of Eden, Up in the Air, The Apartment, High Fidelity are all movies I love. Each of them are so tragic and powerful in their own way. Mainly I just want to see something unique, something I haven't seen before. Nearly every premise has been explored by this point in the history of cinema, so any time a writer can put a new spin on a classic genre, I'm always a fan.