Saturday, January 31, 2009

We All Loved Each Other So Much (The Dardos Award)

I’d like to thank The Flying Maciste Brothers over at The Destructible Man for conferring upon me the Premio Dardos Award. The Destructible Man is, in all likelihood, the definitive forum for discussions on stand-in film dummies and an awfully witty read to boot. For those of you who haven’t seen the Dardos whizzing across the net, its purpose is to recognize and appreciate blogging that has added some measure of value to the web and to improve blogger fraternity. How could I not support that?

The rules of the award include linking back to the blog that chose you and selecting five (or thereabouts) others to award. So, yes, it’s really just an internet meme thing, but at least it makes everybody feel a drop better about spending countless hours cultivating carpal tunnel for niche audiences (but, hey, to my thinking you guys are the only audience that matters!).

If there’s one thing I’ve come to sadly regret while scanning film blogs, it’s that reading every blog I’d like to read is just as impossible as watching every film I’d like to see. So while I skip here and there in my online reading habits, I’ve developed a relatively small number of must-read favorites that I can fit into my obsessive DVD schedule. Of those, I have to narrow it done much further to find only five to award and all I can say is that even if I didn’t Dardos you, I still appreciate your prose, analysis, opinions, recommendations, screenshots and even that banner art that you spent six hours perfecting and didn’t get any nice comments about; in short, everything you’ve done to make the blogosphere worth circumnavigating.

So here are the five blogs I’ve been indulging in most often in the past months. Some of them have already received the Dardos from others, but they can just consider themselves EXTRA special.

1) Cinebeats – Nobody blogs about the unsung masterpieces of the 1960’s and 70’s quite so well as Cinebeats, whose highly personal tour through the period of counterculture creativity is so insightful, informative and affectionate you’ll soon yearn for a time machine. I can’t deny that much of the appeal comes from my affinity with her taste, but it’s also the staggering depth (no end of cult and foreign titles too often swept under the mainstream), seemingly effortless writing style and much-beloved design sensibilities that distinguish her blog.

2) Kinoblog – My ultimate inside-man on the Eastern European film stock market, Kinoblog is more than just my lifeline to important news and information regarding Czech, Polish and Hungarian cinema, he’s also a darn fine historian and reviewer too. He brings a great deal of experience and knowledge to bear on topics rarely found elsewhere on the net (almost everything I know about Polish cinema I owe to him) and his word has become law for me when it comes to DVD recommendations. One of my personal goals in highlighting underappreciated Czech cinema is to write half as well as him.

3) Observations on Film Art – I was raised on David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s introductory film textbooks (and studied under one of Bordwell’s acolytes, Jeff Smith) and I’ve never stopped reading their books since. Their blog is, if anything, even more enlightening to read and contains a globetrotting treasure trove of well-researched and deeply analyzed ideas. Their lengthy posts on focused topics include illustrated examples and bibliographies, setting a high standard for blogging professionalism. Bordwell has done much more than influence my taste, he’s shaped my understanding of cinema as an art and inspired my whole approach to film writing.

4) Why Film, Exactly? – My friendship with the author may damage my impartiality, but Why Film, Exactly is already one of my favorite internet reads. Her friendly, efficient and immaculately written reviews accomplish a difficult goal I often fail at: reviewing films that <2% of her prospective readers will probably have seen and still writing compelling, entertaining and frequently Netflix-stimulating posts. Defining what I look for in a film blogger, she is open-minded and has a tendency to revel in, if not outright champion, those scrappy genre films of bygone years.

5) Film Forno – Director, editor and blogger Film Forno writes about what he loves, decorates it with images galore and weaves his own experiences into a blog that’s quick reading and great fun. His faithfully alternative taste never turns away any B-movie with something to offer and in return he hands out bits of backstory, context and trivia that renew my fascination with film. This is adoring cinephilia at its warmest.

1 comment:

Mad Dog said...

Congrats on the award and thanks for some recommended reading material. :3