Monday 17 October 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Blogs

The Critical Escapist has only written two posts so far. And they were both in September. It's risky for me to recommend this blog, because there's no guarantee the writer will still be posting articles a week or a year from now, but then I guess that's true of everyone. The Critical Escapist is, by her own definition, "an average teenage film lover who has to Wiki 90% of filmmaking terms and IMDb the names of 70% of French New Wave directors. Beware." -- This makes me like her already. I always get along best with people who are less concerned about the definitions and names of French directors, or more driven by what they're excited about. Her first post, 'In Defense Of The Blockbusters' is a spirited argument; full of truths and insight; along with a little wisdom from her Father: "if something was beloved by millions, there must be a reason". In her second post, 'All Hail Scorcese' she speaks of her love for Martin Scorcese's work. These are two great posts, from an interesting young voice, and I hope there'll be more. Maybe a few comments from you will help her see that people are paying attention. 

The problem with most film blogs, is that they're just people reviewing films. There's no style, no uniqueness; just a generation of internet people who want to get hired by newspapers, so they perfect their skills at writing mind-numbing reviews. Reviews are boring, critics are boring; that's why it's great when you find a real voice. Okinawa Assault  is a blog brimming with energy and passion. The writer also pens reviews for Anomalous Material, but his reviews there are rarely as interesting. He's best in his own domain, writing whatever random stuff comes to his attention.  His fascinating take on 'Super Size Me' is a wonderful read, even though I lost interest in that film eight years ago. Having the freedom to review a film in an unorthodox way, like with 'Drive', is also a common thing on Okinawa Assault, and it's what I love. When critics write for newspapers or big websites, they have to pretend they're in the mood, that they're always paying attention, that they have authority and know what is going on. Writers like Okinawa Assault are really freeing -- because they give it to you how it really is, based on how they are really feeing. It's refreshing. 

I'm not sure what I'm meant to call the next blog -- Screen Speak? Final Cut? Filmgeek? Either way -- check it out. Emma's blog isn't constantly as updated, like most; but when she does -- it's worth taking a lot. She's a very generous blogger, always championing other bloggers that she finds. Her posts often feel like a mish-mash of things, where she's sharing recent curiosities and fascinations. Here's her post from 3rd September where she shared some thoughts on the Toronto Film Festival 2011. 

I think I may have shared Robby Cress' Dear Old Hollywood before, but it's worth doing again. He visits locations from old movies and takes pictures of how they look now. He comes back and posts them together, giving us a fascinating insight into how things change, or perhaps how they stay the same. In February 2009, he revisited The Chaplin Film Studios and in July 2009, he hunted down filming locations from Chaplin's 'City Lights'. These posts are a great place to start.

Care to share?


  1. Some great links Kid! Did you see that I put up a few posts a while back on Chaplin's first three shorts and MODERN TIMES. I have only recently started watching his stuff and it is incredible.

    On a side note, watched MIDNIGHT IN PARIS last night - absolutely brilliant!

  2. I'm sure your views on mind-numbing and boring film reviews wont win you any friends amongst the membership of "the lamb" but I agree with you.

    I visited The Critical Escapist and found those two posts very refreshing and I also took your advice and left a message of support which seems to have helped because I notice there's a new post on there today.

    Hopefully The Critical Escapist will be entertaining us for a while yet.

  3. I was looking at my site stats and this page was listed as one of the referrers.

    All I can say is, you are too kind.

    Thank you for the shout out and the encouragement. It means a lot coming from a blogger I admire.