And away we go…

general

First and foremost, I’m terrible at updating blogs. I’ve got one, and it hasn’t been updated in almost three months. But this particular blog is going to be about movies, and how people write about them, watch them, and interpret them. There are a multitude of ways that you can watch the same movie. You just need to have a sharp eye, and instinctive analytical thought. Oh, and you need to watch a lot of movies. When you go to a movie, you’re not going into it with a “blank slate”. You’re taking every movie you’ve ever seen with you, so the amount (and quality) of the movies that you’ve seen in your lifetime will directly effect how you view any given movie. And if you revisit a favorite film years later, you might not view it or react to it the same way, because how could you? You’re not the same person you were when you first viewed that film.

Anyhow. That was a tangent. This blog is primarily going to be concerned with the idea that the movies are first and foremost a visual medium. As an English major I tend to go into a movie and analyze it from a very literary perspective. However, I’m learning to appreciate and understand the visual and aural rhythm (or lack thereof) in movies, and how it effects  the viewing experience. As Jim Emerson would say, every edit in a film is a conscious choice. That choice is a reflection of the intentions of the director. Everything you see (and hear) on screen is a result of the directors decision to either leave something out or keep something in.

I mentioned aural rhythm. Sound design is integral to filmmaking, and the best directors don’t just use the sound they have on location, they meticulously do the sound design themselves in post production. Like I said, everything is a conscious choice.

Anyway, what has this got to do with new media? Well, new media is directly effecting the state of film criticism all over the world. Respected professionals are being laid off from their jobs in printed news in favor of blurb spewing shills who can crank out a what passes for a review in 500 words.

And with the advent of blogs, everyone and their mother considers themselves a film critic. Some of them have even managed to weasel their way into studio pockets and get cash in exchange for reviews filled with empty hyperbolic praise.

So people like me can either use new media for the benefit of film criticism and film discussion, or we can watch it go to the wayside and let Ben Lyons and Harry Knowles become the face of film criticism in the country. Let’s see where it goes.

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~ by frankmc5 on September 1, 2009.

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