It’s been a while folks, and I’ve been busy.
It’s something I do quite often, usually on a daily basis (honestly!), but just so there’s no doubt I have provided some photographic evidence below. Rodin, eat your heart out.
The main focus of my thoughts has been where to take this blog that some genuinely wonderful people take the time to read on occasion. It started as a platform to talk about films and to hopefully improve my writing skills in the process, and to that extent it’s proved somewhat successful. However, in recent months some things have started to bother me.
Chief among these is my writing style, in as much as I don’t really have one. No distinct voice. And as strange as that sounds, it does worry me. As a severely amateur self-styled film critic, I take the time to read the professionals – Empire, Variety, Little White Lies, Guardian, Telegraph, even the Metro from time to time – and have started to emulate the widely used format for commercial mainstream reviews. I honestly couldn’t pin down exactly what that is but I feel like I’m conforming to it whenever I put fingers to keys. If the chance presents itself at some point in my life, I would love to talk about films for a living, but no-one will give me that chance if I am simply one more generic voice in the deafening chorus of voices on the internet. If I’m just imitating what’s already out there, what’s the point?!
With this in mind I have weirdly been imposing a lot of restrictions upon myself with regards to what I write about and how frequently I write, possibly trying to emulate the conditions of a professional. This has not proven to be fun, and maybe that says a lot about my suitability for a critic’s job, but bringing to light my unprepared state is no bad thing. I don’t have the skills to churn out quality written pieces about mediocre films on a daily basis, that can only come with practice and some very shrewd editing. But I do love to talk about films that stir up my passion for films, whether by their enriching substance or complete ineptitude. It’s these films that I want to talk about, whatever they may be, and I believe doing so will help me find my elusive critical voice.
Last in my realisations has been the nature of being an amateur blogger. In terms of my opinions, I answer to no-one. I can say what I want, about whatever topic I choose – anything related to film – write as much or as little as I want, and then publish it at whatever time I like. I sound like Captain Obvious here but I don’t think I’ve considered the implications fully until now. At times, and for practically inexplicable reasons, I have diluted my opinions in order for my writing to appeal to a wider audience. It’s crazy, and above all it’s dishonest, and that needs to change.
So what does all this mean for my blog?
Firstly, there won’t be a publishing schedule. I’ll be writing whenever I have something worth writing about, and taking the time to produce content that I’m happy with. I’m planning to produce a greater variety of content, so sometimes that could mean you get something that’s complete bollocks or it might be ruddy brilliant – I can’t make any promises about quality – but if it’s up on the blog you’ll know that I’m happy and I’ve put the effort in. How often are posts likely to appear? Once a week but we’ll see how it goes.
Secondly I’ll be writing about films that I’m passionate about, films that are important to me. If I don’t care about it then you won’t hear me talk about it, but that’s not all. If you like my writing and want to hear me talk about something that you care about, by all means let me know. I want to write what I want, and what you genuinely want to read. At this point a special thank you to those who have engaged with the blog and even requested films for me to review. I haven’t forgotten about them and I will address them in due course, hopefully in some interesting ways.
Following on from these two points, it’s likely that you won’t see many posts about the latest releases and the major blockbusters on my blog. With the number of commercial publications out there you don’t have to look far for views on the newest films, so I’m going to focus a little more on the smaller and perhaps lesser known films; independent, foreign, British, and so on. I’ll still be watching as many films as possible, and making a comment here and there, but I want to support the films that might go unnoticed and unsung. Perhaps even contributing to the British film industry in some ways, who knows?
Lastly – and most importantly – there’ll be no more writing to please the masses. I’m going to keep honesty and integrity at the heart of all that I write, and do my best to put that across. No-one should read what I write if it isn’t my honest opinion, plain and simple.
All that’s left to say is thank you to all of you who have read what I’ve written so far, even if that’s just a sentence or two, I hope you have gained something from it. For those willing to stick around, we could be heading into some interesting territory.
Films await. I’m excited.