With more than a decade of film reviewing experience under his belt, Bennett Duckworth has seen far more movies than the average Louisvillian. When he’s not working or catching up with friends, Bennett can be found taking in the newest releases at various theaters around town. You can read his latest film review each week right here in The Voice-Tribune, and see more at www.bennettduckworth.blogspot.com.
The 31-year-old self-professed “movie geek” recently sat down with The Voice-Tribune to talk about film, nostalgia and how he has evolved as a writer.
– Sophie Hottinger
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Eugene, Ore. and moved here when I was 5 1/2 years old – my dad got a job at UofL. (My) first year was in J-town and the rest of my upbringing was in the Frankfort Avenue area, Clifton. I went to J. Graham Brown School most of my life, that was from second through 12th grade.
What do you like about Louisville?
I think I discovered it after high school. I really started meeting a lot of cool people in unlikely places – restaurants and coffee shops. I think that’s where I’ve had some of my best conversations with people. And I think it’s great during spring and fall time here.
When you’re not watching the latest movies released, what are some of your hobbies?
Making food; I really enjoy making food as a hobby, at home. And graphic design projects as well. And, every now and then, taking 35mm stills – as long as that camera still lasts.
How long have you been interested in film?
I think my interest in movies easily started when I was a kid, and I’m (not sure) when it went above the average kid’s interest in movies. I just know movies were something I shared with my dad. They were something we could both enjoy together, because otherwise he was this Classical music aficionado and it could be alienating to a kid sometimes. But he really liked going to the movies with me, so that was something we could talk about.
And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that a lot of the friends I wound up having just happen to be movie geeks, too. It was probably by high school that I was becoming kind of a movie junkie. I think I deliberately dropped playing video games at that point, because I couldn’t fit them into my life.
How did you get your start writing reviews?
I think I started writing reviews as kind of a hobby, it was just on and off, probably starting in high school. When I was first out of high school I started writing them for a website called PuckNation.com and that was the first time I (was published). If I were to look back at any of those, I would probably think that I was all wrong about everything. I think my point of view, and cinema, keeps evolving and changing. There was a certain point when I kind of forced opinions that I didn’t really believe, but I wanted to fit in with the elite. I’m a little looser now than I was when I was younger.
Do you have any all-time favorite movies?
I think that, with age, that’s also drifted away. I would probably change the top five, if I had to pick, again every week.
I have always told people that “The Truman Show” is my favorite movie. And I still think it’s a great movie, I re-watched it recently, but I think it reflects my attitude towards the world a little bit more when I was younger. I think sometimes the favorite movies, the ones that really stick with you, are the ones that had an impact on you when you were a kid. …So I don’t pick movies by Truffaut or Kubrick or Goddard, even though those can be great movies, they didn’t come out during my lifetime. And I didn’t go to see (them) in the theater and get blown away by them when I was a kid.
I think “Star Wars” (also) inspired a lot when I was a kid. I found myself obsessing over the movies, and not the extended comic books or the video games or anything like that. I just really concentrated on the movies and every single scene and every single shot, and how they pulled off the special effects. Effects were a big deal to me when I was a kid – when they used to be special.