"32 Days of Movies" is a chronological journey through 350 films.
Every morning, starting tomorrow, a 4-8 minute chapter, with 30-45 second clips, will be unveiled.
In the early hours of October, I will launch the most ambitious, and probably the most ambiguous, enterprise this blog has so far seen. Ambitious because it took me far longer to assemble than anything else I’ve ever done – longer than the Astaire-Rogers dance compilation, or the 525-picture tribute to Allan Fish, or the Brian de Palma video tribute (still my favorite piece, to sound like a broken record), or the long essays I toiled over or wrote all at once during a mad flash of motivation.
Ambiguous because, well, I’m not sure what people will make of it. It is, I guess you could say, a clip show – a series of clips from DVDs I own, a kind of audiovisual sample survey of cinematic moments. This approach is essential for me: if viewing a whole film is an act of consummation, then the foreplay is also part of the pleasure – in this sense, reading about a movie is first base, viewing stills or screen-caps is a double, and when watching a clip, you've made it all the way to third.
Yet I realize that for others a clip is a clip, somewhat less than a part of its sum – a meager breadcrumb when one is hoping for a full meal (in this sense, reading about the film is more like reading a menu, an exciting buildup superior to a teasing snack). For these folks the question will be, "Where's the beef?" To this I can only respond like Louis Armstrong: if you gotta ask, you’ll never know.
Even for those cottoning to such an approach, however, a number of excuses, explanations, and disclaimers remain in order. First, a few things this series is not.