The idea for today’s article came with another struggle of mine- not only is it Monday and the Summer’s officially over but also I have a hangover like an eighteen year old. It’s pretty bad. I mean, it’s dramatically bad.

But since I’ve promised you all to be more active on my wonderful blog, I had to get my arse in front of this laptop and feeling like a sinking ship start writing something. So first it was supposed to be a late review of a quite charming Obvious Child, which I recommend you see and review it for me, but then I thought- damn, I really can’t be bothered to write today. Just like I can’t be bothered to watch all the films on Mubi that are the gems of modern independent foreign cinema. And even knowing it doesn’t help. Sometimes I’m in the mood for them but most of the times I’m not and then some super smart friend of mine asks me if I’d ever seen the Silence of Lorna and I just smile because what else do I have left in life?

So I know- it’s hard. So many good films and so little fucks to give, so today I will try and make it slightly easier for you with my little guide to Watching Films You Can’t Be Bothered to Watch. And hey, I already wrote 235 words without even thinking. Here we go:

1. Start Watching This Bloody Film

You know you have to. One day you will regret you didn’t and you already missed its cinema release. And there are more Artificial Eye arthouse films coming up, so you need to hurry. The easiest and only solution to your problem really is do what I’ve just done myself- stick it on and don’t avert your eyes. The good news is: once you start something you are basically lying to your brain that you do it because you chose to, so there is a massive chance that your stupid brain will think that it should enjoy it. And it will!

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2. Focus on the Background

When the film you’re watching is going out of head or is so ambitious you have no idea what your name is anymore, you might also choose a saner option. Just focus on the background. How many leaves have fallen off this rotten tree? How many cows chew the grass on the peopleless field? Are any of the clouds shaped funnily? See? Possibilities are endless!

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3. Stop Checking the Time

It won’t help. Time won’t speed up no matter how much you hope for it. Surprisingly, it might actually stop for a very long period. Time is a cheeky bastard.

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4. Think of Other Films You Could Be Watching Right Now

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Maybe the film you’re watching is quite inspiring and reminds you of other films you’ve seen or were planning on seeing but forgot? Or maybe comparing it to something else will allow you to discover an aspect that can make it actually pleasurable to watch? Making mental connection with other movies would also make you tiny bit smarter in this super pretentious review that you’re going to write. Speaking of which…

5. Write a Review

When I’m bored at the screening I always make ridiculously long notes which often entertain me more than the film itself. Also, you can write very slowly and soon you’ll realise that the horror has passed. Remember, the super ambitious indie foreign movies are usually no longer than 90 minutes. That’s the beauty of it.

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6. Focus on the Increase of Your Hipster Reputation and How Showy-Off It Will Be to Join a Pretentious Discussion Later

This film will turn you into the most annoying entertainer next time you meet your pretentious friends. Your amazing analysis of the background, precise recollections of which scene happens in exactly what minute and long notes you’ve been learning by heart will help you get these little douchbag points. Yay.

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by Amelie

You will see a lot of documentaries this year and you will struggle to choose ones that offer a little more than a moralising commentary on the modern world. You will want to see something that shows you facts, but in a touching and identifiable manner deprived of over-sentimentality and manipulation. You will want to watch a story of a man who was just like us and yet managed to change the whole world. And you won’t have to search any further from today, because here it is: Internet’s Own Boy.

Photo 01_Aaron_Swartz

I went to the screening of Internet’s Own Boy reading some sort of minimalistic blurb from Google’s first page where the only information I got was that Aaron Swartz was the co-creator of Reddit. I know Reddit, I thought. I LIKE Reddit. But what is there to say much about it and especially one and not the only of its creators? Well, thank God I wasn’t put off by te Google’s blurb because Internet’s Own Boy is definitely not a film abour Reddit. Unless of course we are talking about what Reddit stands for. Not literally, but ideologically. So really (in the proper blurb written by the people who actually cared to promote what the film is really about):

The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz; from Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two year legal battle with the Federal government. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26.”

Brian Knappenberger cares. Knappenberger cares to make a film that will make its audience care. I’ll be honest with you, I am not that familiar with the director’s filmography to judge his personal involvement in the political activism around the internet, but he definitely did his research with love and passion that is extremely contagouos. Internet’s Own Boy does tell the story of Aaron Swartz from the moments of when we see him as a kid teaching his brothers some basic maths to the moment where he manages to demolish SOPA- yeah, you know, the cenzorship of the internet we learned too late about. But Internet’s Own Boy is really about power. Aaron Swartz was just our opportunity to realise that we, too can have the power.

Photo 02_Lawrence Lessig and Aaron Swartz

I’m not sure how much information I will now serve you because it comes from what I heard from him and her and other people in my life that were in smaller or larger form involved and interested in the politics of the internet. Apparently the guy who created it wanted it to become a free medium for every human being. We know where that went. And some of us, more interested in the topic might realise that freedom doesn’t necessarily comes hand in hand with the internet.

Yes, there is an amazing part, the part that Aaron Swartz used and promoted- the internet used to share information for free between its users, the chance to gain new knowledge, meet new people, develop ourselves and our society. And there’s also the darker side- the internet controlled by the government, cenzored internet, internet owned by one man. Internet’s Own Boy focuses on dicussing the argument for making internet people’s medium again, it inspires to gain knowledge that would enable us people to use it as a way to promote social activism. And yes, I hope you can see it in my words already- Internet’s Own Boy is a very inspiring movie.

It makes you want to get into coding and start another Wikipedia. It makes you want to connect to other people and together build a website where knowledge gained by humanity throughout ages would be free. It makes you want to believe that we can form a better future for the next generation, generation which hopefully would feel more in control of this medium. And it makes you feel like you can change the world by the age of 26, like Aaron did.

It also makes you sad. Aaron’s death is real and after watching his philantropic work succeed, it is extremely painful for us all. Internet’s Own Boy is an important film that comes out at exactly the right time. Let’s use it for something more than just a passive admiration of wonderful editing, great directing and a heart-touching story. Allow it to inspire us and let’s learn the lesson, not moralising but actually true, that it gives us.

by Amelie

It’s time to write this annoying article where I promise you that everything you hate about this blog will soon change into butterflies and rainbows. It’s been hard. I felt bored with an old template so I went back to an even older one sure that I’d be able to make it as impressive looking as it first did. But hell, the template seemed to forgot everything I taught it. First of all, when you go on the main page (the only page anyone probably goes on these days) you see some old banners scrolling promising competitions that are long closed and disurbing your eyes with some weird arse photoshop picture of Channing Tatum being raped by Ted. I know, I know. It isn’t fun. People complain and by people I mean my friends. My friends worry about this blog being so chaotic and disorganised and also not kept up to date (as is my usual problem), so as of today I announce that

Midnight Review is Under Maintance

What does it mean?

Well, first and most importantly- you can’t complain anymore. Because why would you? I am fixing some bugs, changing a template and working on some important shit. And now it’s official. So you can’t say I’m a lazy bastard.

Secondly, it means that some maintance is actually being done Right Now. Yes, I am not joking when I promise you that the template will change soon. It will and it will be fucking amazing. Your jaw will drop, your eyes will pop. Most importantly, it will be fun to use. But it’s a difficult template to make and it’s being made from a scratch, so you have to be patient. I promise it’s worth it.

Yes, it’s been a difficult journey for the last year. I’ve been quite busy with my life, my other writing which is more important to me than film reviewing if I’m honest with you and often I simply didn’t have a brain capacity to post a review or even a news article here. But these times have changed. I realised that if I don’t drink every evening I might find a little time to write something, so I promise that from now on, in this maintance madness you will find articles on Midnight Review every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Maybe more often than that, but only three days I can guarantee.

Also, a new exciting section will be added to Midnight Review and I am very happy and privilaged to announce it. Finally someone was brave enough to ask me to write some book reviews, so today I will publish one and from then on, it will become a regular thing. So now bookworms, you are welcome to hate me too.

I used to write this column on an amazing website called Filmaster (I wrote about the website on various occassions, you should check it out, you hipster) and I am thinking of continuing it here. So I will now also review Bad Horrors on Midnight Reviews, and if you’re Polish you can always click on the link and read the review in Polish on Filmaster where I will be also publishing a version of them. If you’re not Polish, you can just visit Filmaster for the sake of it. It’s very cosy there. You would love it.

So for now, that’s that. I will try and keep you updated as much as I can. There’s stuff happening on Facebook always because I’m bloody addicted to it, so do not hesitate to rant there, recommend me a film or just say hi. I will say hi back. And I will watch your film.

by Amelie