Toronto Star Internet columnist Peter Howell is coming a bit late to the blog game, but late is way better than never:
- I was skeptical about Weblogs – “blogs” for short – when I first heard about them, and why I’ve never really followed them that closely. Blogs looked like just another way of making a Web site, and a very wordy one at that. For the uninitiated – and that would be most of us – blogs are an interactive form of online journal. The blogger gathers his or her thoughts on one issue or many, and provides links to items of interest on the Net. A blog is a sort of digital soapbox, for want of a better description. It is online democracy in motion.
Still, I never thought blogging would amount to anything. Until I saw Variety.com start covering the phenomenon, which the magazine has been doing since last fall. If Hollywood’s must-read trade daily is now watching blogs, it must mean the form has finally climbed up from the underground.
“The reaction to the blogs has been very positive,” says Variety.com editor Travis Smith. “We’ve started some interesting discussions among our readers and uncovered some great stories.”
….There is no Variety coverage of movie blogs, which are in abundance. This set me off on a search to see what’s blogging down at the virtual bijou. Here are just a few of the more interesting ones:
Blogcritics.org (http://wp.blogcritics.org): Not tired yet of debating about Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ? Want to know someone’s picks for the Top 20 Best Films Ever Made? This here is your site, which includes critical mutterings on all manner of pop-cult things. The Top 20 film list is pretty good [way to go John Lars!], although would you include Terence Malick’s The Thin Red Line and Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket amongst the best 20 films ever? Start arguing here.
He lists several others, and not always flatteringly:
- Drew’s Blog-o-rama (tinyurl.com/yuvos): Billed as “the useless offspring of Drew’s Script-o-rama,” which is a long-running site to obtain movie scripts. Not exactly useless – Drew has a fun sense of humour – but not a must-read, either. He teases us with an item about revealing what Bill Murray whispered into Scarlett Johansson’s ear at the end of Lost In Translation, but then doesn’t deliver. But this blog is nicely presented and easy to scroll through.
….Pullquote (pullquote.typepad.com): A regularly updated collection of interesting links and caustic commentary, again from New York, penned by an urbane woman calling herself cinetrix (note the k.d. lang-style lower case). Organized and interesting (it tipped me to the next item on this list), if a bit too New York – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Check out her lethal deconstruction of New York Timesman Dave Kehr’s review of NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience. I’m glad cinetrix doesn’t live in Toronto!
A Girl And A Gun (tinyurl.com/2mor7): “I have the impression that most people running blogs believe the typical surfer has a short attention span,” writes blogger George Fasel, a semi-retired professor of European history and film living in New York. “My essays will go into their subjects at some length.” And how – Fasel currently has an essay about Henri-Georges Clouzot’s wartime witch hunt Le Corbeau which runs over 4,000 words, and which is worth all the time needed to read it. Named for a famous Jean-Luc Godard quote (“All you need to make a film is a girl and a gun”), this is one-blog shopping for discerning film lovers. It doesn’t get any more highbrow than this.
Tagline (http://www.tagliners.org): From out of Britain comes Tagline, the Weblog of brothers Stephen and Alistair Reid, who declare their simple mission: “We’re both movie fans. We both like to write.” They’re also honest, too: Their pop-cult enthusiasms run under links with such no-comment-necessary headlines as Verbal Diarrhoea, Crazy Rants and Fanboy Dribbling.
….The Movie Marketing Blog (tinyurl.com/238do): The title says it all, and full points for demonstrating how blogs really can be about anything you please. It includes lots of useful links to other blogs.
Bunny On A Stick (http://www.bunnyonastick.com): The URL would be great for a Fatal Attraction remake, but it’s the handle for two rabbit-obsessed femmes (screen-named Bunhilda Hopkvetche and Petunia Cottontail) who love to skewer celebrities of every stripe, and in every medium. Current amusements include a deer-in-headlights photo of Christina Aguilera, the latest addition to the Unflattering Celeb Photo archive, and a poll on what constituted the most disturbing thing at this year’s Oscars. Answer: “It was 3.5+ hours long and you still watched all of it.”
Thanks Peter, you are a discerning man.