Thursday, January 12, 2012

New directions

In comings days and weeks this blog will undergo some changes regarding its content. Given the difficulty I've had with posting frequency, I am adopting a new approach that should keep my writing and posting more in-line and consistent.

The capsule review.

I have avoided short write-ups for some time, mostly because it isn't a terribly exciting model for film writing. But I have recently concluded that for too long this has been my excuse to simply not write. And given the current state of the site, I'll take any writing to no writing at all. Moreover, while good capsule reviews are something of a rarity, this is less a statement about the form than it is a reflection of the difficulty of penning concise, interesting accounts of a film. Some of the best writing I have read recently has been of this variety, and it is about time I start pressing myself to explore it. Short and concise have not exactly been trademarks of my writing o'er these last five years of The Cinematic Art. So, in truth, I take this as a challenge. All news films I see in the theater or at home will receive a short review—probably no more than 200 to 250 words. I may pepper in some reviews of older films, though these will be less frequent.

It is my hope that I still find the time and energy to write commentary pieces on film criticism or a certain trend in film. These pieces tend to represent my preference for writing in this format. But they also require more time and inspiration than I have had lately. Nonetheless, I hope to still chime in to the larger discussion of this great circuit of film writing on the web, even if my contributions are not regular. In the mean time, for the foreseeable future, the capsule review will become this blog's identity.

From a personal viewpoint, I find that I am happier when I write. It is a daunting, often frustrating act for me. It always seems impossible. I write for my day-job in a very different format, and while the task at hand is different the challenge remains the same. Going from blank page to something useful and maybe even interesting is always a source of stress. However, the process is where real discovery happens. Writing helps me to better understand my response to a given movie, or a particular moment within a movie; a shot, a line of dialogue, an edit, etc. Movies are made up of so many things and criticism is a way not only to try to understand how movies work, but more importantly how movies (and art in general) can provoke our innermost states and burrow into our conscious and unconscious minds. For me, writing offers the ability to understand, hone, and develop those thoughts and feelings; which is why I am making a concerted effort to regain some direction for the site.

As always, thanks for reading and I invite your feedback.

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