Thursday, June 3, 2010

Consolidation

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As you can see, The Dancing Image has now incorporated posts from my two other blogs, The Sun's Not Yellow and Lost in the Movies, which have ceased to be active. It's also received a minor makeover. To replace the functions of several blogs I have added tabs to the top of the page: one which highlights my stronger pieces so they don't get lost in the shuffle, plus a full directory of all my writing, the Wonders in the Dark lineup, and my annual "best of the blogosphere" round-ups. There may be more changes down the line, but then again this may be the end of said line, more or less.

Following my break from online work (save the biweekly "21st Century" pieces, constituting my entire output for the past couple months), I intended to work on some long-term, in-depth essays and series I'd placed on the backburner long ago. None came to fruition, partly because of waning enthusiasm, partly because of a busy schedule, and partly because - upon reflection - some of them were never all that promising to begin with. Anyway, a commitment to blogging has really served its purpose by now; it got me through some lean years, gave me a (semi-)creative and intellectual outlet, and engaged me with a lot of great people whose work and commentary I enjoyed.

From now on this blog will serve three purposes, aside from the dubious distinction of storing my past work. One: It will continue to link up writing I do elsewhere. For now this means the "Best of the 21st Century?" series for Wonders in the Dark, as I intend to fulfill my promise of completing that venture. I'm doubtful that it will mean much else. Two: It will continue to provide an outlet for any random musings on film or films, either in review form or (more likely) loose, impressionistic observations. Most likely there will not be any such pieces, but I certainly don't want to rule out the possibility.

Three: There is one planned project I have not entirely abandoned though I am wobbling on a 50/50 axis as to whether or not I'll still attempt it. This is my canonical exercise in which I draw up a personal list of favorite great films and go through them one by one, looking individually at story, film history, formal analysis, first impressions; incorporating a fair amount of research and eventually illustrating my take with video, picture, and short written essays, each set of posts would culminate with a piece diving right into a particular aspect of the movie. All in all, it's a nice idea, but will require a lot of work and I don't know if I want to go there anymore. That I'm even humoring it in the midst of my general disengagement from blogging demonstrates its tenacity.

Because I want this work to stand on its own, I would probably isolate this series on its own blog; however, at the end of dealing with a particular film, I'd link to all the different chapters in a post here. Even if I do begin this project, it is doubtful I will ever finish it, as it could take years and years to complete. Other demands have my ear but, again, it's a nice idea, so we'll see. Till then, thanks for your support and continue with your own good work, "onscreen" and off.

5 comments :

J.D. said...

I for one hope that you decide to start up your "canonical exercise" project. I would love to see what films you consider worthy and the ambition and scope sounds fascinating.

MovieMan0283 said...

Thanks, J.D. I'll let you know if I go for it - though, fair warning, as I said in the piece it's very unlikely it would be seen through to the end even if I do kick it off. (Which makes it kind of weird that I want to organize the films chronologically - a random approach would be more open-ended and make any halt seem less egregious - but what can I say, I've got a thing for the march of history.)

manwithoutastar said...

Hi MovieMan,

Hoping you're doing well! Just a word to say that I'd be sorry if you were feeling too disengaged from writing about cinema! I always admire your writing. And I love your no-nonsense prose style and intellectual rigour. I'm also always impressed with simply the amount of films you have seen - just noticed you've seen The House is Black, which I've wanted to see for ages.

Also loving the picture from Stranger Than Paradise - that film is pretty much the first film I fell in love with as cinema, and that is definitely a key image... I may steal it for my banner on my website at some point if that's ok by you!?

Incidentally, I have a very vague idea for a sort of small, extremely-cheaply-made magazine here in London, to be hopefully sold in independent cinemas, at such a low cost that there'd be no profit (£1, I'm thinking)... The aim would be to offer a different kinds of writing- not so focused on the latest movie etc; writing that engages with politics, history, popular culture, all in relation to cinema. But writing that's still very easy to read - bridging academia and journalism in some way. It's in no way set up yet but I'll get back to you if the idea rises a little- would only be about 500 words or so? Well, I'll get back on that.

Anyway, all the best!

Ben.

MovieMan0283 said...

Ben,

Thanks for stopping by - since this post was written I've settled into a weekly posting style (with alternating weeks devoted to a link to my Best of the 21st Century series and a fresh post here) which will be maintained at least through the summer.

Definitely use the Jarmusch picture - I'd love to see it up there!

As for the magazine, that sounds great. I'm of course not a Brit (doubt that matters) but would love to contribute. Let me know what I can do when the opportunity arises...

manwithoutastar said...

Hi there,

Yes it wouldn't matter that you're not British - I gather that you're from Boston, right? It'd be a 'London-based Magazine with an International Scope'. I have a friend in Japan who is sending me something (on Ozu) and he and you would be, I guess, our 'foreign correspondents', though it's not as organised as that might sound! I have an idea as to something you could write, but will get back to you on that in hopefully a few days. Best,

Ben.