Let’s start off with some honesty: my therapist is the one that encouraged me to start this film blog. I’ve done these before. Tried and failed with regularity to keep regular content flowing on to a WordPress site, all about my second favorite cultural obsession. And there’s no telling if this one is going to be any great shakes either. I could abandon it within the fortnight.
Yet, as my therapist and I discussed over the last couple of weeks – I have to branch out. I’ve done some film reviewing, but most of my writing and criticism has been focused on music and musicians. I daresay I’m even getting pretty good at writing about it too. So, why not try my hand at exploring another outcropping of the cultural mountain? I’ve got nothing to lose and the bandwidth is free.
What finally cemented it for me was watching SCANNERS last night. I acquired the Criterion Blu-ray edition of it recently, even though I’d never seen it before. I put my trust in David Cronenberg that much. No surprise, it was marvelous. Not a perfect film by any means – it rushes the plot through far too quickly, so as to make sure it hits near the 100 minute mark – but there are so many amazing ideas and indelible images to hold on to. I sorely wish that he had held on to big head exploding scene as the opening salvo for the film…but that’s why I’m not a filmmaker.
It seems odd to me that it took so long for me to see that movie, considering what an impact it had in 1981 and how it resonated through the years. Even as I completely absorbed Cronenberg’s work after that like THE FLY, VIDEODROME, NAKED LUNCH, and even COSMOPOLIS (which I’m a big fan of), I skipped over the early stuff. That train of thought led me to consider how strange it was that I found myself obsessing over certain directors at a relatively early age.
At first, it was anything Steven Spielberg attached his name too, but when I was 11 years old, I fell under the spell of Woody Allen. I had already seen SLEEPER and guffawed my little head off about it, but when my mom took my sister and I to see HANNAH AND HER SISTERS at a strange art house cinema in Seattle…that changed everything. I recognized the man onscreen as the same one who had slipped on large banana peels in the distant future, but here he was wrestling with existential and romantic concerns that I could only scratch the surface of. I could relate to the sibling dynamic, and I could feel the hurt and joy emanating from the screen. Wrap it up with some amazing jazz tunes and I was completely hooked.
I’ve been chasing down that feeling every time I go to the movies, plop a disc in the Blu-ray player, or dial up a movie on a streaming service. I put my faith in it from the opening seconds. I’ve often been let down, but more often than not, I’ve been put right back into that place of utter delight and/or deep emotional resonance.
Which brings me to this little venture here. I don’t know where it is going to go from here. I’ll likely rope in my colleagues and other writers I trust to contribute essays, reviews, or snark-filled commentary about movies they love, hate, or love to hate. I’ll likely be doing the same along the way. Whatever happens with this, I only hope that you’ll enjoy wandering through the vast world of film with us.