In the bookshop of a prestigious international film society this morning:
Me: I’d like to buy this book (Godard’s “Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television”, newly published in English translation).
Sales Clerk (conspiratorially): Oh, you must be a cinephile!
Me (brightly): Well, I love Godard.
Sales Clerk (collegially): Then you must love Spielberg.
Me (a bit too peremptory, perhaps?): No, not really. I can’t stand his films.
Clerk (shocked): But aren’t you a cinephile?
Me: I’m more of a Godardian.
Clerk (looking aggrieved, or perhaps, thinking he was dealing with a sad naïf, patiently explaining): But Spielberg directed ET!
Me (relentlessly cheery): I like Godard, Hou Hsiao-hsien…
Clerk (baffled): But Spielberg is for cinephiles.
Me: I’ll take the book, thanks.