Live And Let Five
Five years ago today I started writing this blog.
I must have been fairly enthusiastic about it because, looking at it, I posted three articles on the first day. Five years on, it’s safe to say, I don’t post quite as many reviews as I used to but, then again, it’s swings and roundabouts when you compare what I was writing when I first started up to what I am writing now.
And by that I mean that, in the first year or two, I was writing much shorter reviews by the looks of things. These days, the majority of them are, at the very least, twice as long as what I was writing then... which I think probably means I’m more confident in finding my voice as a writer of reviews now than I ever was before. Or, just possibly, that I’m getting more rambley and irrelevant the older I get. One of those, you decide.
Over the years, one of the things which has helped me develop a, fairly, consistent style is the fact that I seem to have a nice bunch of readers who are generally wonderful people. I’ve had the odd bad comment, to be sure, and sometimes... quite inadvertently... invited the frowning comments of writers who think I have wronged them on here (for some reason it’s usually the writers, rather than the directors, who tend to comment on here, when it comes to opening a dialogue with me). However, for the most part, I’ve generally had some pretty good feedback over the last half a decade... so that really helps me sometimes.
The reason that really helps me is because... well... life seems to get really tough sometimes. I get depressed the older I get and as opportunities diminish (the chance to have kids, raise a family, become a multi-millionaire or live on an island with a harem of appreciative women-folk... for example), I often find that writing about stuff on my blog is the only escape route I have to get away from the curveballs and general insanity that reality sometimes throws my way. I’ve felt like quitting the blog, too, on occasion but... something keeps pulling me back and part of that is because you readers have been so nice and generous with your time for me over the years.
I have to say, the reviews I write here must satisfy some part of my psychological make-up I never realised I had before getting into the whole NUTS4R2 thing. It’s almost like I’ve become addicted to writing over the years but, make no mistake, it’s not always as easy as it sounds to sit down and churn out an article or review. Even after all these years, I will still worry about certain films or books I’ve read and imagine I don’t have anything much to say about them. Luckily, once that pen hits the page... or in my case, once those fingers start pecking at the keys... something inside tends to take over and I find something I can write about. Make no mistake though, certain films cause me a lot of anxiety because, no matter how easy it is to get going, it can sometimes be quite a daunting prospect to start writring about something.
Take, for instance, my two favourite directors, Akira Kurosawa and Andrei Tarkovsky. It seems to me that I am not worthy to even begin to cast a critical eye over what was in the minds of these two great people. That being said, it strikes me that not an awful lot of people are familiar with directors of this calibre so it’s a pleasure to sometimes be able to highlight the works of classic film directors and hopefully spark some interest in the occasional reader who will then go away and look at an example of their work (as I know has happened every now and then). So that’s all good.
Also, it’s a good way of clarifying my own thoughts and applying my own theories as to why the minds behind the movies have reached their finished product in just the way they have and, I hope, readers feel that I’ve brought a little knowledge into their lives, from time to time. Well, yes, probably not in all the articles on here but, it’s my hope at least, that some of my writing on film has met with the beginnings of enlightenment for some, when it comes to decoding those flickerings of shadow and light that dances across our collective retina and takes so much of our hard earned cash... one way or another.
I’ve also watched some remarkably odd films which I’ve sometimes only bought with the blog review in mind (see my recent review of The Vixens Of Kung Fu here to find out what happens when this processs backfires). And, quite often, it gives me the opportunity to get away with watching some real trash cinema and some of that stuff churned out to make a quick bundle of cash has some very surprising, “way beyond competent” technical skills thrown into the mix, too.
I must admit, though, that without you reading this now, this humble blog is nothing. I love the virtual friends and readers I’ve made through this blog as I have promoted it on Twitter over the years and some of the minds I’ve been privileged to share ideas with. People like Katrin Jenny of Twitterland, for example, who reminded me only yesterday evening, that today is indeed my five year blog anniversary. I’d completely forgotten it this year so... thanks for that lady... I owe you some mind numbing alcohol when you are next in the country!
So, as you can probably guess, this blog entry was completely unplanned but, hey, at least it gives me the chance to articulate my appreciation of you readers, without whose regular visits, would mean these pages and words would stack up to being considerably less than, to invoke a time honoured, classic movie legend, “a hill of beans”. So thank you readers, old and new, for sticking with me and paying my writing the occasional visit now and again. It means so much to me and helps ease the insanity of my less than tranquil life.
All the best to you all and... stick around... if you think some of the films I’ve reviewed over the past five years have been either special, moving, thought provoking or downright odd, well... you ain’t seen nothing yet.
All the best,