Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Blogger's Reflections

In one of my first entries on this blog, I said that this site would feature mostly film analysis and criticism of specific films. I also said that interspersed with these reviews would be reflections on cinema, criticism, media, communication, and blogging. After almost two months, I don't think I've posted a single film review, despite my discussions of many films. To be honest, I've been exposed to so many perspectives on communication, cinema, and criticism in my classes and reading other blogs/web sites that I've been so compelled to write commentaries and discussion pieces focused on theory and thinking about cinema as an aesthetic medium, communication device, and artistic expression. I wish to continue coming up with things to write about, but I always hold the fear that I will run dry. But I find that things often come to me when I'm not stressed out about things coming to me. As anyone who has read a single entry here will know, I have a lot to say. But when I'm reflexive of that, I often find myself asking, "What do I have to say? How can I possibly contribute in any meaningful way to film discussion that is featured on so many great blogs?" I suppose this is the blogger's life. I look at the variety of blogs out there, each fitting its own niche and employing different styles and approaches to cinema and criticism that I am often downright envious. But, like many writers, I often come across decent ideas when I'm not consciously worrying about coming across decent ideas. But, one of the fascinating things about blogging is that someone else's ideas can bring about one's own. The danger of this medium and its immediacy is to reduce oneself to a reactionary, commenting on other blogs and linking to them. While this can be a good thing, we wouldn't want the stamp of sameness stamped on blogging that currently plagues mainstream journalistic criticism. But I want to hold off on those thoughts for now...

I suppose if I were to adopt a more positive perspective, I really enjoying pushing myself to do this. I haven't had the time to think through everything or provide the best structure to my pieces, but in a strange sort of way, that's what I like about blogging. This site represents (I hope) a growing inquiry into cinema and criticism from varying rhetorical and critical perspectives that in due time will hopefully come together as I open more areas of discussion. I cannot emphasize enough how much I would love anyone and everyone to comment. It makes for great discussion not only on this blog, but sometimes it erupts on others. And that is the beauty of this big experiment of blogging. It is a reflection of who I am cinematically. Like me, the blog will always be growing. I have already mentioned in a previous and extremely long post that I am new to the blogging experience both as a reader and a writer and that I lack the technical know-how to provide the best aesthetic experience with this blog. But I'm hoping my relative inexperience may actually translate into a fresh and somewhat different perspective. I've already learned so much, and since form often decides content, how I put this blog together greatly affects the content - content that I don't want to pin down to any specific approach or method. I'm sure this will be a strength and a weakness, as I will be adopting certain norms of blogging and internet communication while rejecting others, likewise academic and journalistic film writing. So far, I have played it safe, offering stream-of-conscious treatises and theoretical approaches. In the future, I'd like to address the issues facing criticism as manifested through internet media such as blogs and how it relates to academic writing/publishing and popular film criticism.

In coming months, I'd like to do pieces on postmodernism, feminist approaches to film criticism, and the art of film scores and sound, as well as critical accounts of films bridging both journalistic and academic critical norms, I hope. Despite this downtime of the past few weeks after only a few months of blogging, I'm itching go get to all of these things and hopefully allow this little experiment to grow. I've had some encouraging feedback, and it has been a pleasure to frequent the blogging circuit and come across new sites and blogs every day. As you can see, my links list is always growing. And I hope it always will.

Currently, I face two substantial research projects for my graduate classes that will be occupying the great majority of my time over the next month and a half. When I have time, I will be brainstorming and presenting ideas here on the blog about film technology, film language, and Jungian approaches to heroism mths and popular American film genres, which are the ideas and driving concepts behind my projects. I hope to learn not just from the books and articles I'm citing, but from my experience interacting with fellow bloggers.

As I have great faith in this new frontier of film studies, I encourage any and all feedback in hopes that other film bloggers like myself make comments and spark discussion, both here and elsewhere. Because that is the beauty of this new vehicle for film criticism and discussion; not only does it enable discourse on such an immediate level, but the nature of the discussion can vary immensely and invites paradigm shifts. I say we - the film bloggers - utilize it and keep letting this medium grow in prominence and importance as cinema moves into new territory. So shall discussion and criticism. Ultimately, a perusal of film blogs will teach readers is that there really are endless manners of participating in discssuin of cinema and shaping how we as critics/lovers of the medium constitute an understanding and participation in it. Therefore, I look forward to reading and responding to comments as well as being provoked and engaged by other film blogs.

I'm not the first to claim the importance of blogging to the future of cinema and its criticism. But I hope that my own contribution to the blogging community, along with the participation of all other film bloggers, will account for its growth and fruition. I'm more than honored to be a part of it, and I look forward to sharing my cinema experience here so shall such growth in cinema studies may transpire.

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