Monday, April 5, 2010

So Why This Blog?


I love movies, but you probably do too. We like this, and don't like that, and don't get that, and think that one's cheesy or over-the-top or "so bad it's good," an idea whose ubiquity tends to stop us from realizing how weird and interesting it is.

The more I watch movies and read and think about them, the more I'm convinced it's not enough to slot in our reactions to a film and move on. There are reasons we feel the way we do; viewing movies passively and registering only the visceral insults the movie, the movie-makers, and ourselves. Critics are as guilty as anyone, choosing description over engagement. The idea of removing one's personality from a discussion is not only an implausible one, it's also an actively damaging one--we shape the movie as individual observers and thinkers. It belongs to us.

And what's the point of a movie, anyway, if it doesn't make us check ourselves, make us examine the little moments that pinprick us? To quote Ethan Hawke in my all-time favorite movie: "What do think is interesting? What do you think is funny? What do you think is important?"

The key, then, is to talk about movies as they affect us and be able to explain why in a way that matters for other people. Somewhere between detachment and solipsism is the place where being a cinephile really starts to matter. Finding that place is the goal of this blog.

In terms of format, I'm committed to cheerful dilettantism. Posts will jump from new releases to old favorites to director's oeuvres to my true passion, lists. I'm not tied to keeping up with current films, much as I love 'em; urgency is death to a good, simmering critical perspective. I will write about whatever strikes me, whenever it strikes me. I hope you like it, and thanks for reading this far!