Hi, my name is Benjamin Nason. I am a new writer here on The MacGuffin website as well as a new writer over at The Backroom Comics website. I also am the writer of an independently published comic book mini-series entitled, The Serpent Whispered. I thought I’d take a minute and tell you a little bit about myself, my background in film, and what I will be contributing to The MacGuffin.
Like most people of my generation I owe a huge debt of my love for movies to the original Star Wars trilogy. My earliest and strongest memory of experiencing a film in the theaters is The Empire Strikes Back. A darkened theater with a screen larger than life, it was more of a gateway to another world than just a thing to watch, like our television screen at home. Of course the magic of the film itself, flights of fancy, mythic heroes and villains, duels to the death, and all of it set in a fantasy, sci-fi environment, grabbed my immediate attention from the first shot of a Star Destroyer sending probes into the galaxy to find the film’s heroes. To this day I still hold Empire to be my favorite film, and while I won’t say that I believe it is the greatest film ever made it has remained a constant source of inspiration.
It would be from that point forward that I fell in love with films, movies, flicks, whatever you choose to call them. Several years later it was a film poster that drove me to write my very first short story. Asked to write as a grade school assignment I immediately turned my imagination to the poster, and world of The Road Warrior. Being a young child I was not yet allowed to watch films that were “R” rated, and I had been seeing the poster for The Road Warrior at the theater and in the paper and TV Guide. It was the kind of film ripe for my imagination. At the time I had never heard of the concept of the Post-Apocalypse but knew what nuclear war was and I knew that that sawed-off shotgun Mad Max was holding, the leather outfit he was wearing, and the sidekick dog at his side were beyond cool. Taking those things I wrote out an action sequence as short story that turned out to be not far off from the opening sequence of the film.
Over the years I have sought out and attempted to watch as many interesting films as I can find. I have found that my favorite movies range in many genres from action films, to foreign dramas, to spaghetti westerns, macaroni combat films, and Italian horror, to American dramas, to British comedies, noir films, neo-noir films, and downright trashy exploitation films that miraculously were ever made. I tend to follow specific directors that work inside and outside of these genres as opposed to just everything that exists inside of a genre I enjoy. As with all things of entertainment some are made for more than just the reason of earning a few dollars and those tend to be the ones that stick out in our memories and hold stronger truths than the others. Some of the directors I have found that I feel accomplish this and have become my favorites are: Stanley Kubrik, John Carpenter, David Lynch, Paul Thomas Anderson, Fritz Lang, Sergio Leone, Jean-Pierre Melville, Andrei Tarkovsky, Ishiro Honda, Michael Mann, John Woo, Cheh Chang, Jim Jarmusch, and Tobe Hooper, just to name a few.
The first thing I will be writing for The MacGuffin is a weekly column on what is perhaps my favorite genre of them all, Action movies. Over the coming weeks I will be bringing you critical analysis’s and reviews for some of my favorite action films, as well as movies I have never seen. The general idea is to take a look at a genre that I feel is far overlooked and bring to light not just the reasons why I think these films should be looked at more, but to also look at films in the genre that perhaps weren’t seen by many people, either because they were independently released, unfairly panned by critics, poorly marketed and therefore snubbed by audiences, or foreign films that haven’t been popular in the states and or, are necessarily not in print and therefore hard to find. It is my goal to attempt to introduce to you films you didn’t know about, and to maybe get you to think about and enjoy films you might have dismissed before. Along the way I hope to encourage you to be a participant with me, share your agreements and disagreements, and reasons why, and introduce and suggest to me films I have not heard of or seen or thought to write about, and I will review and talk about them in the column.
On deck for my first three analysis are three of my most favorite action films of all time, one of which I mentioned above, The Mad Max trilogy. I will be examining the aspects of the action in the films themselves, as well as the aspect of character development in direct relation to the world the character inhabits. Thanks for joining me; I am very excited to be working with The MacGuffin crew, and look forward to talking to you about film! Any questions or suggestions you may have can be sent to me at, firstname.lastname@example.org.