Lost in the Movies: The Dancing Image in 2008

The Dancing Image in 2008

[update 1/3: see the "Fellow Travelers" section for an entry from Like Anna Karina's Sweater. I've also updated The Cooler with a post I originally intended to mention.]

As promised, this is the last post of the year. As the title indicates, I'm taking a look back at the past year of blogging, at least since July 16, when The Dancing Image began. But I also want to give a nod to my "fellow travelers" - so I've included favorite posts from all those on my blogroll. Take your time & keep coming back to explore the links, as this post should be atop my blog for a while.


First things first, here is what I think is my strongest writing, in alphabetical order.

1. Hooray for (Hating) Hollywood: Sunset Boulevard
2. The Magnificent Ambersons
3. Twin Peaks: Beyond Life and Death
4. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
5. The Way We Weren't: Art Under Bush

And while we're on the subject of my blog, I hope you'll check out these posts which, more or less departing from the written word, focus on the "image" in my blog's title. In some cases motionless, in others dancing - literally, in fact. In chronological order:

A dirty dozen - 12 movies I'd like to screen, in pairs, with stills to accompany each movie (accompanied by a bit of prose to explain my decisions).

Another dirty dozen & The Holy Grail & Finding the Holy Grail - A meme I originated (name twelve unavailable movies you want to see), featuring images from all of my holy grail films. The second link is a gathering of blogs who participated, and the third is an exhaustive master list of all the movies mentioned.

Shine on You Crazy Diamonds... - My twenty favorite actresses, accompanied by photos and clips from their movies.

Astaire and Rogers - An anthology of videos; all forty or so of their dances together, spanning ten films and sixteen years.


OK, now to spread the wealth around. A shout-out to my favorite piece from my favorite blogs. They will be in alphabetical order by blog, but first let me mention one post I think will resonate with all of you:

David Bordwell's “Games Cinephiles Play,” from his blog Observations on film art and Film Art.

And here are the rest - and if there's any of your own work you'd like to highlight yourself, please mention it in the comments section and I'll make note. I've lost track of a lot of blogs I was reading at one point, but these are the ones I'm keeping tabs on at the moment. Keep in mind that I have not read every post by every one of these bloggers; these are just the ones that I caught & enjoyed. Alphabetical, by blog title. Without further, etc.:

“Kill All Jonesers,” Erich Kuersten, Acidemic-Film

“Working in the Movies,” Jacqueline T. Lynch, Another Old Movie Blog

“The Actress Meme: Co-Stars,” C. Jerry Kutner, Bright Lights After Dark (A nice spin-off of the aforementioned actress list; published just in time for inclusion!)

“An Atheist’s Guide to A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Joseph “Jon” Lanthier, Bright Lights After Dark

“I Know It’s Shocktober, and All Posts Should Be Horror Related But; My Voice and ‘Twin Peaks’ are Pretty Horrifying,” Joseph Campanella, Cinema Fist

“Piercing the Realm of Glamour,” Jonathan Lapper, Cinema Styles

“Sin City and Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Neglected Value of Artifice in Cinema,” Tony Dayoub, Cinema Viewfinder

“Milk (2008),” Alexander Coleman, Coleman’s Corner in Cinema

“Down the Rabbit Hole,” Jason Bellamy, The Cooler (Good as this review is, I originally intended to put up his hilarious take on the "Bourning" of Bond, which can be found here. Sorry for the mishap - the latter review will probably get more visitors, given that Synecdoche is still generally unavailable.)

“Everything Old is New Again,” The Mad Hatter, The Dark of the Matinee

“The Good Liberal and the Left,” ZC, Elusive Lucidity

“Rescuing the Author from the Auteur, or Why I Will Never Call the Preminger Abomination by its ‘Title’,” Marilyn Ferdinand, Ferdy on Films etc.

“Notes from a relatively new film blogger,” Filmdr, The Film Doctor

“Final Cut: Brazil,” Ibetolis, Film for the Soul

“Film #92: Reds,” Dean Treadway, filmicability

“The Noir Night,” Tony D’Ambra, film noir (This is short, like much of Tony's writing in this venue, but extremely evocative)

“W.,” Daniel Getahun, Getafilm

“Be Kind Rewind,” M. King, Goodnight Mono

“Disney’s Story of the Animated Drawing,” John McElwee, Greenbriar Picture Shows

“My Top 100 Movies (in Order!),” Elgringo, He Shot Cyrus (just 'cause he had the balls to do it...)

“When to Play the Rudy Card,” Piper, Lazy Eye Theatre

*"NYFF Review: Afterschool," Filmbrain, Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Apologies to Filmbrain - his was one of the original entries I highlighted but it somehow got lost in the shuffle. To those of you who've already looked through these links, please do follow this one. Interesting take on an interesting movie - and the rest of his blog, which focuses on a "name that image" contest, is great too. updated 1/3)

“Movies Literature Part 2: John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ (continued),” Ben, Man Without a Star

“Q&A with author Derek Hill,” Jeremy Richey, Moon in the Gutter (this is a visually lush blog, with too many gorgeous screen caps to do justice to, hence the somewhat idiosyncratic - but definitely worth reading - link, so if you visit for the interview - with the author of a book about Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, et al. - stick around for everything else!)

“My Favorite Movie is the Same Movie as The Best Movie of All Time,” Graham, Movies et al.

“Everything is Cinema and Criticism is Nothing,” Ed Howard, Only the Cinema

“One Question, for All the Mumbai Marbles,” Brandon Colvin, Out 1 (Fair warning: this may piss a lot of you off, but it's definitely worth reading...)

“New York Film Festival 2008: Cannes You Dig It?”, James Hansen, Out 1

“Let’s Get Lost,” J.D., Radiator Heaven

“Barack Obama for President,” T.S., Screen Savour (This is an unusual choice, as T.S.'s blog generally eschews politics, but that made me appreciate its thoughtfulness all the more. More typical examples of his tasteful, observant, extremely knowledgeable reviews can be found in his extensive Hitchcock retrospective, which begins here.)

“New York City of the Mind,” Campaspe, Self-Styled Siren

“High School Musical 3: Things My Daughters Taught Me,” Dennis Cozzolo, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule

“Jean Luc Godard and me: three decades, three scenes,” Glenn Kenny, Some Came Running

“Fantastic Fest: Martyrs,” Fox, Tractor Facts

“Wherefore art thou, noir?”, Allan Fish, Wonders in the Dark

“Val Lewton's 'I Walked With a Zombie' One of the Most Poetic of Films,”
Sam Juliano, Wonders in the Dark

You should also check out 1 Minute Film Review, whose sharp little reviews are too short (and frequent) for me to pick just one, and The House Next Door, which is too prolific (and with too many authors) for me to represent with a single link.

And please do check out the Large Association of Movie Blogs and Blogcritics.com, two excellent conglomerate sites to which I belong as a member and/or very infrequent contributor (update 1/3).


My election series ran every day from mid-October to Election Day, often with several posts a day, resulting in 25 reviews of politically relevant documentaries and fiction films.

An episode-by-episode analysis of Twin Peaks began with the pilot (scroll to the bottom of the post for a full listing of all the entries in the series).

I tackled D.W. Griffith as the first director in my Auteurs series, reviewing the eleven of his features which were available, in addition to several early shorts.

And I did a mini-series which stretched from August to October, a six-film examination of Hollywood's self-loathing "film about film" classics from the early 50s: Hooray for (Hating) Hollywood, which began with Singin' in the Rain.

And finally, if your appetite is not yet satiated, here are some more posts worth exploring:

Another take on the Holy Grail: Apocryphal ephemera or, Mouse Guts
THE AUTEURS: D.W. Griffith – The Birth of a Nation
THE AUTEURS: D.W. Griffith – The Struggle
Blue Velvet
Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story
Burn After Reading
The Brave Little Toaster
The Conversation
Critical idiocy vis a vis Fire Walk With Me
The Dark Knight (revisited)
Dark Knights for Different Eras
Farewell, termite
Inland Empire
Iraq in Fragments
Kiss of Death
Lost Highway
The Parallax View
Pineapple Express
The problem with comic books (and movies)
Taxi to the Dark Side
Twin Peaks: Lonely Souls
The Verdict
The Virgin Suicides
The War Tapes

I will now be taking a sort of vacation from this blog and the blogosphere. My Netflix queue is set to reactivate on January 9, so you can probably expect some new entries around that time. Until then, happy new years & thanks for the memories...


Fox said...

Thanks for the nod, MovieMan!

And I will definitely be checking out some of your earlier reviews that you've linked too. This is a nice juicy post until Jan. 9th.

The Film Doctor said...

Much thanks for your continuing support and encouragement, Movieman. Happy New Year!

Ed Howard said...

Thanks for the link, and this looks like a good resource for further reading to keep me busy for a while.

Have a happy new year, everyone!

Joseph "Jon" Lanthier said...

Thanks much for the nod, MovieMan...I must say I'm glad you initiated a conversation with me after my first blog post for Bright Lights went up (re: "Burn After Reading") -- it introduced me to a rather fecund community of film bloggers who have made me feel far less alone (and paradoxically, less special...guess we can't have both, now can we?).

I also find it highly ironic that after over a year of trying to find an appropriate "blogging" voice (I tend to write too much, or too little, or in too polished a manner, or in too perfunctory a manner...blogs are hell for me) the post wherein I said "screw it" and basically posted an article got tons of linkage, including here. That having been said, it's probably the best thing I've written this year, aside from maybe this Slant review:

Secret of the Grain

Anyway, your back-catalog is likely to keep all of us busy this winter. You're a stand-out in a veritable ocean of blogger talent. Happy 2009!

Anonymous said...

Thanks movie man for that. and thanks so much for your wonderful entry at the DAY OF WRATH thread at Wonders in the Dark, which posted for a while but somehow along with other comments was accidentally deleted, along with my long response to you. If there's a way to replace it, please negotiate it, otherwise the facty that you posted it in the first place is deeply appreciated.appreciated. I feel so bad about this.

Happy new Year's to you!

Daniel said...

Yours has been one of the best blogs I've discovered in 2008, MovieMan, and I appreciate your visits to mine. I look forward to some really enriching discussions in 2009.

Thanks and Happy New Year to you!

Anonymous said...

I straitened everything out Movie Man. Again, have a great holiday, and congratulations to Mr. Lanthier on his superb review in SLANT of SECRET OF THE GRAIN, a film I will be seeing on Saturday night at Manhattan's IFC.

The shout outs you gave our blog is deeply flattering and much-appreciated.

And I responded to you in length at my DAY OF WRATH review at WitD.

Best Wishes to you and yours and atoast to a great 2009.

Joseph "Jon" Lanthier said...

Thanks for the Kudos on my write-up, Mr. Juliano...I'd actually be curious to hear your take on "Secret of the Grain"... Or anyone else's, provided that they don't halt their analysis after effortlessly diving into critical pillow terms such as "realism" or "Cassavetes-like"...

Tony D'Ambra said...

Thanks MM for featuring my 'Noir Night' piece - very much appreciated.

I look forward to checking out the many interesting links you have gathered together in this post.

Best wishes for 2009!

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks for the nod, and the introduction to some great bloggers. I'll be busy checking them out, and The Dancing Image. Happy hiatus.

Brandon Colvin said...

Thanks for the link! It has sparked quite a bit of discussion about my piece!

Joel Bocko said...

Thanks everyone for the enthusiasm - the post seems to be achieving its desired goal, which is to get discussion going, and introduce you to each other's blogs if you haven't already discovered them.

One thing I don't like about the blogosphere is the way old posts, like old generals, just "fade away"; hopefully this will help alleviate that. Keep checking the posts out...they're all worth reading. And I've got some good ideas for the new year, so tune back in next week as I may get started again sooner than expected (though I've promised myself not to force my hand & post as incessantly as I did last year, fun as it was.)

Happy New Year, all.

Greg said...

Thanks for the mention. I enjoyed writing about filmmaking outside the narrative mainstream for that one. I hope to take in more in the coming year at the great venues here in the area. And this post is a great resource (as others have said) for looking back on many great posts from so many great bloggers.

Ric Burke said...

Thanks for the link MovieMan, it's nice to be appreciated and mentioned alongside such illustrious company.

I'm familiar with quite a few of these links but there's certainly enough new stuff for me to check out.

What a wonderful first year in the blogsphere it's been, I never expected to meet so many like-minded, bloody minded and better minded writers, bloggers and critics, some of whom I can now call friends, I've loved every moment of it.

I agree with the sentiment on these posts that 'The Dancing Image' has been one of the finds of the year and thanks for including me in your best of 08.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Thanks so much for the link to my Q&A with Derek. Also, thanks for putting these together. I have a lot of reading to catch up on. Keep up the always terrific work here and have a great 2009.

James Hansen said...

I appreciate the nods to Out 1. Thanks yo. As far as your rather remarkable site, I rather enjoy your Lynch entries, as well as Brave Little Toaster and Tex Avery. Hoorah for filmic diversity! Here's to a great year!

Unknown said...

I would also like to thank you for the link to my LET'S GET LOST article. Your shout-out is much appreciated. Btw, I really enjoy your TWIN PEAKS/Lynch-related articles. He's one of my fave filmmakers so it is always nice to see him and his work get some love.

T.S. said...

Thanks a million, of course, for the kind words. The Dancing Image was the first film blog I started reading after I joined LAMB, so I have a special kinship with your reviews. Keep on doing the great work – and I'm looking forward to the clicking on over here innumerable times in '09.

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