Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pardon the Intermission...


I have no idea if anyone is actually keeping an eye on this site, but if you were a constant reader of my Xanga blog or have followed my reviews in the newspaper, you know that my recent productivity is pretty odd for me. Within the last two months I've only posted reviews of 2 movies--"District 9" and "The Informant!" Whereas in the past I've been putting out reviews several times a week, this lapse in writing is very out of character for me. And, as someone who loves film and writing about it, I've been very frustrated about my lack of output.

So first a word of explanation. Then, a word of promise.

This summer, August in particular, was a killer. Work at my day job became crazy hectic for about an entire month and, honestly, there was no way I could fit in moviegoing, writing and my real job without going absolutely insane. Add to that the fact that I've had some things going on in my personal life--very good things, mind you--that have kept me away from theaters for that long. Whereas I used to see a movie every weekend and sit at home watching a new DVD every week, work, relationships and other obligations took priority. The reason there were no reviews between "District 9" and "The Informant" is simply because I was not watching movies. Sure, there were a few--I particularly enjoyed "Adventureland" and one day I will sit down and write that lengthy entry on "Inglorious Basterds" that it kills me not to have addressed yet (short review: Tarantino's best since "Jackie Brown.") Other than that, I simply was not at the movies.

I should also point out that there's been a tough transition in the way I approach this. Previously, I could have this be part of my day job. Technically I worked as a reporter, but the film criticism was something I took on as a side project and could devote time to at work. It was considered work time to go see a movie in the evening and my schedule afforded me the flexibility to set aside a few hours to mull over an article. Doing it freelance does not offer that luxury--I often see a screening on Tuesday night and need to go home and write the review right away for a Wednesday deadline (I'm actually doing that tonight with "The Invention of Lying.") Other responsibilities at work have pulled me away (temporarily) from that love of film.

And frankly, I don't like that.

Whether I'm doing it for freelance, posting to a blog or simply writing something up for my own enjoyment, I love immersing myself in film. Some people say they go to a movie to have fun, not to think. I'd argue that going to a movie and having my thoughts provoked IS fun. More than I love a good tv show, more than I love a good book, I love being utterly enveloped by a film and mulling it over again, chewing over every scene and line of dialogue and then writing my thoughts out for whoever will read. While I might not have written anything about "Inglourious Basterds," the truth is that the film is on the fast-track to a high spot on my year end list. One day--most-likely after the DVD has been released--I will right the lengthy love letter that's inside of me to Tarantino's war movie.

But lately, I've been rusty. And that's due, in large part, to the fact that the majority of my professional writing is of a new nature. It's dry, technical and--to be honest--a bit boring.

Which is why I need side projects like this to keep my sanity. And thus, a re commitment to this blog.

We're quickly heading into my favorite time of the year: the Fall movie season. Just last week I renewed my membership in the Detroit Film Critics Society. There are films I'm excited about reviewing for The Source that are starting to screen--"Invention of Lying" is one of them. I have another site asking for reviews as well. And if I'm going to give it my all and be the best critic I can be (regardless if it's part-time), I need to focus.

So this site will get a renewed attention. I'm committing to at least two reviews a week--including at least one older film, as I continue my attempt to improve my cinematic knowledge. I've been working my way through "The Up Series" and hope to have, in the coming months, an essay about those films. With Halloween coming up, I plan on dedicating a significant portion of October's entries to the horror genre. I'm considering taking another attempt at "The Alphabet Project" in 2010...it was a fun project that I began earlier this year to go through my DVD collection. I got through a few but I'm hoping that we'll start that up again near the end of this year or beginning of next. There are directors whose works I hope to delve into. And I hope to start really digging into more columns, including an updated list of my favorite movies and a ranking of the best films of this decade.

So keep this site on your radar. This Friday I'll have my thoughts on "Lying" and over the next week I hope to make it out to the theaters to see "Zombieland," "Capitalism: A Love Story" and the rerelease of "Toy Story/Toy Story 2." It may mean more reliance on my DVR and a willingness to sacrifice a night of TV for a night of film. It may mean forgoing an afternoon nap in favor of a day on the couch with "The Big Lebowski." It may mean finally convincing my girlfriend to sit and watch "Die Hard" with me. But my hope is to really get back to work on this site, especially as we head into the home stretch of 2009 and start to see what are--hopefully--the year's best films.


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30s, engaged and living in Motown. Wrestling with life, love, faith, art, film, culture and everything in between.