Insider Tips to Becoming a Film Buff

As author of The Ultimate DVD Easter Egg Guide, Jo is an expert on these bits of the business. Knowing about them is just one of the ways you can improve your film cred, she says. You also need to understand genres such as film noir, dark crime classics like The Third Man, and auteur theory, where the director writes the script (think Woody Allen) and stamps the movie with their style.

It’s vital to get your head round sub-genres too. The hottest is female-friendly horror, says Jo: witness Robert Pattinson vamping it up in the Twilight films; Stephen Moyer, star of cult HBO series True Blood; and the spine-freezing Paranormal Activity. Then there’s the grown-up chick flick (think Carrie Bradshaw and the Sex and the City gals) and the children’s film for adults (peek through your fingers at Where the Wild Things Are.) Biopics are still big—Sam Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy, about John Lennon,  got the boomers queueing a few years back—while environmentally apocalyptic movies such as 2012 and The Road show that the end is nigh.

And when it comes, don’t forget to stay for the credits.

More Tips for Becoming a Movie Buff

1. Stanley Kubrick 

The golden era of Hollywood is long gone, but that doesn't mean its output should be ignored. All those big names of yester-year Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable. These names no doubt ring a bell but do you know what classic movies each one featured in? At the very least you should have watched Singin' In the Rain, Some Like it Hot and Casablanca.


Hitchcock is the first name in cinema. With well over 50 titles to his name you're bound to have seen one in your time. He inspired much modern symbolism and specialised in suspense thrillers. The pacing of these films are quite different to what we are used to today, but suspense is still high. Classic Hitchcock films to get you started, Rear Window, Psycho and Vertigo


Now you've buffed up your general film knowledge, it’s time to find your favourite genre. Horror flicks, cheap B-movies, science fiction, indie films, art house; there is a wealth of film to delve into. Once you're up to speed you might want to consider expanding and sharing your knowledge with others. Joining or starting your own film society is a great way to make new friends and really turn into a film buff.