Friday, December 22, 2006

"Windmills" officially becomes a film blog

"That's part of your problem: you haven't seen enough movies. All of life's riddles are answered in the movies."
--Davis (Steve Martin) in GRAND CANYON

As I look back over the posts I've made since I lauched this site in October, I couldn't help but notice that most of them revolve around the subject of cinema. To know me, this is not that surprising since movies are probably the primary love of my life (after family and friends of course). Nevertheless, I do find this phenomenon somewhat interesting because I did not create this blog with the intention of it becoming a "film blog." I initially envisioned it (as can be read in my first blog entry) simply as an outlet for my own personal thoughts, feelings and ideas on whatever topic I saw fit. I wanted to leave the possibilities open for Windmills of My Mind to become whatever I wanted it to become. Well, it is time for me to admit, finally, that it has become a film blog.

In a way this is appropriate for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that, as I mentioned before, I really love movies. Heck, the name of my blog and its subtitle originate from a movie (extra points to those who can name which one). It is also fitting because the two sites that inspired me to join the blogosphere are both film blogs themselves: Jim Emerson's Scanners and Andy Horbal's No More Marriages. It is also better that I discover this early on in the blogging process as it would've been much more difficult to alter the identity of my blog after, say, a year of posting. So, as we enter 2007 I thought I should annouce to the world what to expect (and not to expect) from this blog.

-I can (and will) write about other things. Although I will focus most of my attention on cinema I will also write about other topics. I do have interests besides movies. In fact, almost all forms of artistic expression (music, theatre, dance, literature, etc) appeal to me. Plus, I may decide to write on something significant that occurs in my own life (as when I wrote about the parking situation at my new apartment building). If my friend Andy Horbal can write about food, I can certainly write about whatever tickles my fancy.

-No reviews. One thing that you will not find on this blog are any movie reviews (at least not in the conventional sense). This doesn't mean that I will not post my thoughts and impressions on movies as I see them, but I have never liked the idea that when I write about a film, that that piece becomes me official "review," my final word on the film. I may see it again later and completely change my mind. I think film criticism is an evolving thing and I do not want to tie myself down with a fixed opinion and any given film. Also, most reviewers feel compelled to give a film a particular "rating," i.e. a number of stars, a "thumbs up/down" or a letter grade (A-, C+, etc), a practice which I despise.

-No year-end "best/worst" lists. As much as I enjoy making lists, I hardly ever feel qualified to make a "top/bottom 10" list of movies. I confess that I have made them in the past, but later was compelled to amend them simply because I hadn't yet seen enough movies that year. Time and finances restrict my theatregoing (last year I saw 24 movies in the theatre; this year I saw only 12). Working in a video store and getting free rentals means that I see most of my movies on DVD. If I could, I would see ALL movies on the big screen as that is where they are meant to be seen, but reality often interferes with my preferences. At any rate, though I may occasional make the vague "this was one of the best/worst movies of the year" claim, I will never get more specific than that by giving it a "ranking" (top/bottom 10, 20, etc). This is also why you will rarely hear me use the handle "one of the greatest films ever made," (though I may say "it's one of the greatest films I've ever seen") because unless someone actually has seen every single movie ever made, I tend to share the sentiment of Kip Dynamite: "Like anyone can even know that."

-Don't expect regularity. In the almost three months since I started Windmills I have made a dozen posts. That's an average of about one a week. Some of them were done in rapid succession whereas others had quite a long time elapse between them. so, what I am more or less trying to say is that I don't plan to be disciplined enough to post a new entry everyday on this blog. I may end up posting several days in a row or, if so inclined, I may post two or three messages in a single day. However, it may be the case that weeks pass before I choose to write anything. My old English teacher used to say: "Just write. Write anything. Keep writing." This always frustrated me because this is not how I operate. I do not write just to write. I don't do anything just to do it. I write when I feel inspired to do so and that is how I will manage this blog. Please note that I am not suggesting you shouldn't check my blog every day because, well..... you never know.

I guess that about does it for now. The rest of the rules we'll figure out as we go.


Emma said...

Great! Movies truly are the best thing to blog about.

Damian said...

I agree.

Thanks, Emma. :)

andyhorbal said...

I've been wanting to comment on this post for some time now, so I feel like this minimalist response is somehow inadequate, but here we are...

I think your head is in exactly the right place and I look forward to seeing what you come up with here! This is advice too pat, too neat, but since I can think of no better way to express the most useful philosophy of blogging...

Remember, the blog is an opportunity, not an obligation. Write about whatever you want and leave it to us readers to respond positively or negatively as we may. But you don't need this advice, do you? :-)

Good luck, sir!

Damian said...

That's very good advice, andy! I appreciate your encouragement very much (not to mention your placing me on you list of links). At this point, I could use all the help I can get.

Thank you, sir! :)

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