This site features short articles (goal: <1,000 words) about movies and books. I often dispense with synopses and plot summaries. Those parts are boring to write and can be boring to read. If it’s a gem, particularly of the diamond in the rough variety, why not get right down to what it makes it that?
Movies of Interest — films with something to recommend them. Some may be gems that are cracked or flawed or imperfectly set, but gems nevertheless; a diamond pulled from a landfill is still a diamond.
Modern Tube — new-style serialized entertainment, what we used to call TV. It’s all changing, right?
Famous Big Packs — books about long journeys, often on foot, typically lasting weeks or months.
A Blog Philosophy
Due to limited time for what are mostly just passing entertainments, I usually don’t watch movies more than once. If a film is memorable, it will be brightly delineated in my mind, at least for a little while, and I’ll be able to write about it without too much preparation. If it’s not memorable… well, those films get skipped altogether.
Since I write fairly slowly and revise even slower, I normally have numerous opportunities to catch the most egregious of errors. But without a second viewing, it’s easy to get some things wrong. But usually these are just details and getting them right probably wouldn’t change my overall opinion of a movie very much.
Obviously it would be nice to produce something where the only quibble a reader might have is over interpretation, but this is wishing for a level of quality that is above the standard or goal for a blog like this one, which is to describe the initial impression that a notable movie or book made… and then move on. Perfection in this case is for pedants and encyclopedias.
A subtle but more serious error is that of the poorly written post. The careless word choice or awkward sentence that introduces ambiguity or confusion, the idea that seemed so clear when it first appeared and so muddied once its wordy incarnation has dribbled out onto the page and hardened. Errors of this sort are entirely the author’s responsibility and can’t be explained away as quirks of memory. This is the bane of writing of all sorts and at all levels, but is a particular problem for criticism (and poetry), where each word must carry its own weight.
And then there are errors of judgment. These are often caused by biases or prejudices for or against something. We may not even be aware of their existence. And then there are the hapless associations that occur in our minds (over which we have so little control) which can fatally color our memory of something.
Of course it’s also possible to come to a movie ill-equipped for what we are about to see: not enough knowledge, not enough experience, not enough movies under our belts. For this the only remedy is to pay attention, keep learning, keep practicing, keep watching.
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