24 August 2012

(You're Not) Rid of Me

After just over two years of hibernation, I've finally decided to reemerge from the volcano. A lot has changed over that time of radio silence – most of which doesn't pertain to matters at hand, but for the first time in my life, I've found myself living in a "film city." San Francisco, to be precise. It's my understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong) that here and New York City are possibly the only US cities where going to the cinema to catch John Huston double-features or a bunch of Curt McDowell shorts is commonplace. Like a wide-eyed, paler-skinned, hopefully-less-uptight Mary Ann Singleton, I moved to the The City by the Bay, with its rich and strange film history (from The Maltese Falcon on down to Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit), which has been my home for just over a year.

So if you're wondering where I disappeared to, there's one answer. I've appreciated the e-mails some of you have sent during my absence. But what took so long? I rather fool-heartedly assumed that I would return when the "time was right," when the desire to write would be so consuming I wouldn't be able to stop my fingers from running wild across my keyboard. Of course that never happened. It wasn't that I didn't wish to write any longer; I've done plenty of writing in my free time. It was that, among other things, I wasn't sure what I was doing with the blog any more. Although, truthfully, I just didn't like what I was doing with it. In the same way my fingers didn't start writing on their own, a clear idea of what I did want to do with the blog never came either, and its absence just gave me another excuse to delay making a decision about whether to return to the blog or bid it a fond farewell. I'm not sure what finally got me to realize that, if the universe had anything to say on the matter, it probably wasn't going to tell me in the ways I had been waiting for. So I stopped anticipating, and started to listen to the encouragement I'd been given by my friends, and now here I am.

As I mentioned earlier, I still don't have a vivid image of what direction I want to take the blog. My interests and attention have shifted over the past couple years, away from DVD and Blu-ray release dates and studio acquisitions. There are plenty of resources out there for those things. I've also lost the desire to try to see as many films in a given year as possible (particularly with regard to the Academy Awards and my prior attempts to see all of the nominated films... what a colossal waste of time that was). Somewhere along the line, I started to understand the value of time (with regard to watching films, that is; I still have plenty of other ways to carelessly waste it) and the rising number of films I'd seen over the years whose existence has nearly (or completely) vanished from my memory.

I would like to, instead, spend my time writing about films that are bold and that I think are important, worth my time and yours. And, of course, there will likely be some words and time dedicated to garbage like The Dark Knight Rises (the film's dumbest moment – among many – is pictured above) Midnight in Paris, and Shame, so I can spew my venom onto the page/screen instead of in the ears of my friends. And then again, in trying to resurrect my blog, I might find that it was better off dead.

If you're in dire need of some film suggestions, the four best films from 2011 that I saw are as follows: Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret, Bertrand Bonello's House of Tolerance (L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close)), Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights, and Nadav Lapid's Policeman. And if you're looking for House of Tolerance in the US, note that IFC Films re-titled it the more crudely "provocative" House of Pleasures.

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