Lost in the Movies: THE ARCHIVE Chapter 7: Open Season for Blogging (November - December 2009)

THE ARCHIVE Chapter 7: Open Season for Blogging (November - December 2009)

By now I wanted to reserve my main site (still called The Dancing Image) for the occasional ambitious project, but I also hungered for a more spontaneous, casual approach to online writing so I invented a new blog: The Sun's Not Yellow. In the first day alone, I quoted a literary classic, reviewed a proto-noir, and highlighted a random YouTube find that reminded me of my childhood. This site could also serve as a central hub for my work on the Examiner, where I was trying to establish a busy, eclectic approach ranging from independent film reviews to Boston retro round-ups to a "Best of the 21st Century?" series to my first-ever online interview.

Subjects include works by several international auteurs (Sergei Eisenstein, Luis Bunuel, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Mikio Naruse), Beatles-related musings, reactions to news stories, a couple Stan Brakhage tributes, and a couple horror classics.

My highlight for this period is For the Love of Movies interview with Gerald Peary, a local critic and filmmaker, in which we discuss both the history of film criticism and its future in the digital era.


And they're off...
Introducing a new blog, The Sun's Not Yellow, for more frequent, spontaneous takes

Dickens does Drunk
Sharing an amusing excerpt from David Copperfield

You Only Live Once
Sharp, evocative Fritz Lang proto-noir

This is Your Brain on Cartoons
The most popular toon characters of the late eighties teach a teen the dangers of pot

Finally catching up with WALL-E a year after its release

Why are kids' movies sadder?
The emotional pull of family films

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
My first Mikio Naruse, a bittersweet portrait of stoicism and grace

Year Obama
My thoughts on the one-year anniversary of the president's first election

Jewish Film Festival in Boston
Writing about Boston film events for the Examiner, I previewed this festival

Pier Paolo Pasolini's gorgeously rough debut

The Exterminating Angel
Luis Bunuel's proto- (and reverse-) Discreet Charm...the guests can eat, they just can't leave

Beatles on your screen
Celebrating Beatles music videos - though all the clips are gone now!

Two News Stories
Reacting to headlines in the fall of 2009

Early Stan Brakhage is experimental but not abstract

Sergei Eisenstein recreates the Bolshevik Revolution

The Muslim Matter (Fort Hood & Maj. Hasan's Religion)
Taking issue with the coverage of a shooting on a military base

Over at the Examiner
Listing screenings around Boston, including several classics

discussing Schindler
Linking to a conversation about Schindler's List

This week on Examiner
Announcing upcoming work (although Ballast, featured in the picture, would actually go up later)

The Stars Are Beautiful
Transcript of Brakhage's narration for one of his seventies films

For the Love of Movies interview
My first interview, with Gerald Peary, a critic who made a documentary about criticism

Frozen River
Reviewing a film about borders, poverty, and racism for the Examiner

Welcome to Hugowood
I was still fairly centrist in 2009 but even then I was highly suspicious of the U.S. line on Venezuela

What are the Best Films of the 21st century?
Kicking off the first leg of my Best of the 21st Century? series reviewing acclaimed zeroes cinema I hadn't seen before

Halloween in November: Universal horror classic #1...

...and Universal horror classic #2

This week on Examiner
Planning for the week ahead with reviews of comedy, drama, and magical realism

Pirate Radio
Milking the sixties in the late zeroes

Flight of the Red Balloon
My Best of the 21st Century? series begins with a mellow film containing subtle dualities

Elliptical and enigmatic, this quiet movie was shot in the Mississippi delta

Handcrafted Cinema and Figuring Out Day of Wrath
For Thanksgiving, I highlighted two essays, on Il Posto and Day of Wrath, by the great critics Kent Jones and Jonathan Rosenbaum

Reading I Met the Walrus
A nifty book about an unusual encounter with John Lennon

This week on Examiner
Teasing some upcoming reviews for the Examiner, including two documentaries and an action comedy

Where is Mulholland Dr.?
1001 Films You Must See Before You Die, you say? Can't wait to read their take on the most acclaimed film of the 21st century. Now to take a big sip of coffee, and flip to the back of the book...

Man on Wire
Documenting the Twin Towers in a peaceful, if poignant, context


In Bruges
Is Bruges a shithole?

Capturing the Friedmans
A complicated documentary on a complicated subject

Coming up this week
Teasing upcoming reviews of three non-American but English-language films (well, maybe three and a half)

This is England
Nostalgia turns to tragedy in the mid-eighties UK

I was the only person in the theater for this one which was both unnerving and maybe less uncomfortable than the alternative

Grizzly Man
Distillation of Werner Herzog's bitter view of nature, through someone else's lens

The Tracey Fragments
Novel stylistic/storytelling approach didn't quite work for me

Catching up
Pursuing many classics I'd never seen before - though as it turns out, I wouldn't write about most of them

The Girlfriend Experience
Steven Soderbergh captures the rancid polish of late zeroes America so well it makes the film itself nearly unbearable

A short reflection from nineteen-year-old me (pulled from the archive when I needed something to re-post in '09)

Annie Hall
Another excerpt from the same lengthy Woody Allen essay

...enin rebmun, enin rebmuN
At the end of 2009, I looked back on my resolutions for the site from January - how did I do?

Kings and Queen
French film that plays like a postmodern novel

Syndromes and a Century
I was enchanted by the dreamy texture of my first Apichatpong Weerasethakul film

A Christmas Tale
Marking the holiday with a French family drama/comedy (and though this wasn't the plan, wrapping up my first approach to Best of the 21st Century?)

Best of the blogosphere
Preparing to look back at the past year in online film coverage

Happy new year (best of the blogosphere goes up next week)
New Year's salutations from The Dancing Image

(I covered this period on Episode 7 of my Patreon podcast)

Next: The Image Emerges (January - February 2010)
(in which my work becomes particularly visual for the first time)

Previous: Examining the Options (June - October 2009)

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