Thursday, February 9, 2012
Celebrating 4 Years of Fun and Games
The image above makes for one of my favorite moments in my favorite Wes Anderson film, The Royal Tenenbaums. Gene Hackman's Royal has just had an argument with his eldest son, Ben Stiller's Chas, in a peculiar place: the family game closet. After Chas storms off, Royal looks around the closet and chuckles at the sight of games once familiar, then forgotten and now familiar again. He smiles. It warms him. Then he spots his cherished javelina mount, and his smile grows even wider.
For me, this blog is about experiences like that one. It's about immersion, surprise, nostalgia, joy and the welcome rediscovery of something once loved, then somewhat forgotten and then loved again. Going to the movies is like standing in that game closet, and sometimes we need to take a step back to truly appreciate the depth and breadth of all those smaller adventures.
I bring this up en route to noting the completion of my fourth year of blogging.
This last year was another in which the blog output dipped, but not my love for movies, criticism or the movie geek community I'm proud to inhabit (at least part-time). I'm pleased to have met several longtime online correspondents face to face this year, starting with Ed Howard, with whom I'm proud to still be coauthoring The Conversations series, and including Steven Santos, Sheila O'Malley, Steven Boone, Odie Henderson, Keith Uhlich, Matt Zoller Seitz and others. I'm pleased to have produced a video essay on The Muppets. I'm pleased to have seen The Tree of Life in the theater four times, including twice in Manhattan on opening weekend with Hokahey. I'm pleased to have been moved by movies like Warrior and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and to have been able to write about them and have that criticism and appreciation read by others. I'm pleased that while this is the first post I've generated this month, in recent weeks I've spent ample time churning through movies from Netflix and cutting a video essay (written by someone else) that will publish at Press Play later this month or early next -- movies and creativity and criticism always in my mind and at my fingertips.
What to expect in this next year? Probably something close to what you've seen this past year, although perhaps with more short-take reviews and less of a focus on the year in front of me. But we'll see. I still love the ritual of moviegoing, even as assholes with smartphones and no attention spans are doing their best to quash that.
A sincere thanks to everyone who reads this blog, from the regular commenters to the silent lurkers. Great athletes have sometimes said they would have played the game for free. And similarly, I'd probably write if no one was reading. But it's a lot more gratifying to have a caring and thoughtful audience, of any size. Which is to say that if you're reading this, I'm grateful.