Monday, December 22, 2008

Spread of Activation II: The Resolution Edition

The holidays are upon us again and a New Year just around the corner. Time for a change.

Lately, I've become restless here at Cinema Styles. I don't feel I'm doing enough of what I want to with this blog on a weekly basis. I want to do more reviews, introduce new features (that inevitably fall by the wayside), spark more discussion. Since November, I've let Cinema Styles slide a bit, not devoting as much time to it as I should. The last couple of months have produced far more picture posts than previous months and I want more than that. Don't get me wrong, I love my picture posts and have no intention of stopping them, it's just that there's more I want to do. And that 'more' is this: Opinion. What do I mean? I mean this: As the hits have increased I feel I have pulled back on writing from the gut and going with my instincts.

But more to the point, I've shied away from more controversial topics or just expressing an opinion that might land me in a bit of hot water with fellow cinephiles and I'm bored with it. I'm not saying I want to become that "jerk blogger" who's always burning bridges but I want to get back to why I started this blog in the first place: To write about movies, to express my love for them and to be honest in my reactions. A part of this feeling comes from reading bloggers like Flickhead, Marilyn, Kimberly and Arbogast. Not that there aren't other bloggers like them (so if I didn't mention you it's not an intentional slight) it's just that those bloggers come to mind as examples of writers who not only speak their minds (anyone can do that) but back their opinions up with solid writing, good examples and just the right amount of attitude. Flickhead and Arbogast consistently amaze me with their blunt, to the point reactions that don't come off as offensive or insulting like some young, scorched earth bloggers I've read. And Kimberly and Marilyn seem able to inject politics into their writing without fear of backlash. So I'm impressed and want to get back there myself (waits for collective groan about posts on racism in the movies and documentaries about nuclear arms starting up again).

So that's my New Year's Resolution, to stop second-guessing myself and my posts. It's an easy resolution to keep. Anyone who's been blogging any significant amount of time (and in the blogging world, two years is considered a significant amount of time) knows that you get to a point where you just don't care anymore about keeping up with Joneses, you stop worrying about how many posts you have and on what topic and you just start writing for yourself again and hope people will find you interesting enough to read. Just ask Dennis or Larry. It's clear they both arrived there in the last couple of years and seem more relaxed than ever with their blogging. The Siren got their long ago too it seems. And now, hopefully, so will I.

And now some parting morsels:

*In January I will, believe it or not, have a short post looking back at the scant few movies I've seen from 2008. I've seen a lot more in the last few weeks and am rotating through nothing but 2008 movies in my Netflix queue right now.

*Also, in January, Marilyn kicks off the first ever post for The Oldest Established Really Important Film Club at Ferdy on Films. The film will be The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia and all are invited to join in. Once the post goes up there will be a permanent link here. For now, it simply links to Marilyn's blog. In February I will take a hold of the reins with The Tin Drum. As for March, no word from Rick yet on what that might be but check in at the Film Club for updates.

*I've got movie books. Lots of movie books. And you're going to hear about them. I enjoyed writing up The Haunted Cinema in October and want to write about others as well.

*Name that Movie will continue and we may soon have a winner. Arbogast stands at eight (first to ten wins) but has not guessed the last three. Is Arbo slipping?

*Currently working on two movies. One is a montage that I'm very pleased with and is a little different than what you're used to here. It should be ready by February. The other is a short film in which I'm going for a specific reaction based on horror motifs and built-in genre expectations by producing a film ( about two-thirds done at this point) with no characters that are seen on the screen or dialogue heard and yet the viewer not only understands what is happening, and understands what characters are involved, but is viscerally affected by it. It won't be shown here of course, it will be on my personal blog. So why am I telling you? Because once I'm done I might e-mail a few of you to ask your opinion of it, that's why. Be completely honest of course, while somehow finding a way to kiss my ass at the same time.

*Tomorrow or Wednesday, I'll be putting up my Holiday montage, a video card for all my readers and wonderful friends I have made here on this blog. And then...

*I'm taking a few days off. I'll have a post here or there before the New Year but don't count on anything big until we're into 2009. I'll leave the video up for a few days, visit and comment on other blogs and generally just relax (so everyone write lots of important stuff that I can read while I'm taking a break from Cinema Styles). But that's not until Wednesday. For now, I'm still around, and speaking of resolutions, still smoking. Come Monday, January 5th, that ends too. Yikes. Wish me luck.