Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kreativ Blogger: Keepin the Meme Alive

Having received two nominations for the Kreativ Blogger award, a meme that's been swirling about the movie blogs for the last few weeks, I find myself in the position of wanting to express my gratitude to those who mentioned me quietly and generally slip on with business. Then I remembered that this is a shitting movie blog, and that I shouldn't take myself so seriously; besides, I genuinely enjoy the idea of spotlighting some of the blogs I frequent. Now, the award comes with a set of rules, which are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name seven things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate seven Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

I have already thanked Meredith of M. Carter @ the Movies, but I only just noticed that Aiden R. of Cut the Crap Movie Reviews and have not yet thanked him, so let me thank the both of them here and I'd discuss more of them in a second. As for what people might find interesting about me, I may have to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

1. Before choosing to pursue journalism and, to a narrower extent, film criticism as a career path, I enrolled as an engineer. After a year and a half of that, I hated it so goddamn much that I took engineering, a field based on complex understanding of mathematics and logistics, and traced my finger to its polar opposite: the concise writing of journalism. I don't care how big the pay cut is; I couldn't take another second of equations.

2. I'm just about the shyest person you could ever meet, which is why my Internet persona is fairly balanced: even with asshole-empowering anonymity, I usually can only rise to the level of a normal person in the real world.

3. As a child, I meet Keenan Thompson, now of Saturday Night Live and then of All That!-fame. It doesn't mean so much now, but then I was obsessed with the Nickelodeon program and was thrilled to find out we had the same dentist. However, I found that out the day we both had appointments, and my dentist took me back to meet Thompson while the poor kid was having work done. So they usher in this terrified, shy kid to meet someone on the TV box, while he has his mouth ratcheted open and numbed with Novocaine. I remember muttering something along the lines of "Hi" and him responding "Arrghrabrgrblearr."

4. For a fat man who doesn't work out, I'm surprisingly flexible and occasionally put my feet behind my head because we all deal with boredom in our own ways.

5. As you may have noticed with recent blog entries, I've become obsessed with late night TV. This is not interesting, but it could be a cry for help if I don't stop watching Craig Ferguson clips on YouTube soon.

6. In addition to being the shyest person in the world, I am also the whitest. Irish people take vacations to come gawk at me. My skin even turns red if I'm sitting under a particularly bright, hot artificial light.

7. I've been to China, France, England and Spain but I've never seen California and only spent a three-day school trip in New York City, a full day of which compromised going to and from the city by bus (from Georgia).

Now, for the people who make it all worthwhile when I check my blogger feed in the morning. Limiting myself to seven is difficult, so I've done what any self-respecting lad would do: I've cheated.

1. M. Carter @ the Movies/Cut the Crap Movie Reviews -- I know, it seems like a case of quid pro quo, which I suspect was partial motivation for the start of this meme anyway, but had I started the thing myself I would have nominated both and by counting them as one I free up space to talk about others. Both Meredith and Aiden are direct and insightful; Aiden's got a wicked sense of irreverence, and Meredith says more in 600 words than I do in twice the amount (if I'm particularly sharp that day). Plus, we all seem to be generally positive with most of the movies we see, without failing to ask something of the movies we watch.

2. Only the Cinema/The Cooler -- Ed Howard (Only the Cinema) and Jason Bellamy (The Cooler) were some of the first movie bloggers I really took notice of when I began to branch out this blog from a means of jotting down extended, disorganized thoughts for a forum's "What Film Did You Last Watch?" thread into something I took seriously, and studying their writing helped me immeasurably even if I'm not remotely good enough to be compared to them. Finding out that both had begun to read this blog (and occasionally leave comments), I applied myself even harder, and the credit for the general upswing in the quality of the posts here over the last few months owes as much to them as anything I've done. If you are of stout mind and heart, head over to The House Next Door to read their exhaustive (and magnificently exhausting) thoughts on specific topics for their series "The Conversations."

3. Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies/Elusive as Robert Denby (a.k.a. The Brothers Olson) -- Both Kevin (Hugo Stiglitz) and Troy (Robert Denby) know their stuff from top to bottom, and like any pair of siblings are distinctive and separate yet identifiable as brothers. If you're a movie blogger reading this, you probably already have these guys on your rolls, but I'm giving them a shout-out anyway.

4. Antagony & Ecstasy -- Forget James Berardinelli; the online writer who could most easily slip into any major publication is Tim Brayton. Whether he's devoting a book's worth of thoughts for Disney's animated canon or throwing his hands up at disgust with Transformers 2, Tim is analytical, witty and so deft a writer that his essays -- which often stretch beyond the 2-3000 word mark, are as digestible as capsule reviews. Tim was the first movie blogger I seriously read, and still my favorite.

5. Little Worlds/The Long Voyage Home -- When I'm looking for appreciations of aesthetics that don't slip into overanalytical tedium, I go to two places: Hokahey's Little Worlds and Doniphon's The Long Voyage Home. They spare us the shot-by-shot breakdowns that can suck all the fun out discussing a film, but their appraisal of the mise-en-scène and what it communicates leads me to believe they could do just that any time they wanted.

6. Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule -- Possibly the king of film blogs, SLIFR contains the often hilarious and always brilliant insight of Dennis Cozzalio. Of all the people I've mentioned here, he needs the attention the least, but this is all about favorites anyway and I'll be damned if I don't mention him. If writers like Tim, Ed and Jason inspire me to work harder in my analysis of films and my writing style, Dennis is so far ahead of the curve I simply aspire to see enough films to answer the majority of the questions on one of his insane polls (all of them is too long-term a goal).

7. The Film Doctor -- This was the hardest choice for me, not because nominating the Film Doctor took a second's hesitation but because I'm leaving out so many other blogs I enjoy. Doc's tenure as an actual RTVF teacher gives him the ability to cut right through the bullshit to the merits and flaws of every story. He's the only person who can structure reviews as a bulleted list of what he liked and disliked and wind up with something that has all the flow and mingled ideas of a normally constructed article.

Now, I won't post comments on the sites of nominated, not only because most have already been nominated and done their own posts but because it puts pressure on those nominated to reciprocate (pressure, let me just say, I in no way felt from those who nominated me, and I mean that sincerely). But take the time to check out these blogs, and while you're at it consider the rest of the sites in my blogroll to be nominees as well. Again, thanks, Meredith and Aiden.


  1. Congrats for getting the nominations. If you ask me, you deserve them. (Even though I'm sure you find SO MUCH worth in a 15 year-old's opinion, and, oh yeah, you HAVEN'T asked me, lol.)

  2. Ah, thanks the for the notice! I think the fact I've now been nominated twice means we are starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel here ;) Seriously, I do appreciate the recognition though.

    The only problem now is that my brother and I are pretty much the only people left who haven't posted on the meme -- I'm worried that there aren't going to be seven unrecognized blogs left by the time we finally post something!

    Oh, and I've only been reading your site for two weeks or so now, but it's fantastic. The bloggers you chose as stylistic inspirations couldn't be better (and all have somewhat influenced my knowledge of films, if not my style, as well).

    Finally -- I'm an engineer, um, yeah. I'm not really sure where I was going with that thought.

  3. Thanks for the honor! And congratulations for receiving two nominations.

  4. Congrats on your well-deserved nominations!

  5. Jake:

    Sorry I'm coming so late to this. I have your Miami Vice post all printed out, too...I'll be reading that tonight. I also plan on getting to your Best of 2009 post as I prepare for mine (I may steal some of your formatting ideas, hehe). But back to this award thingy: Thank you! I mean it, man. I've been nominated for this thing now four or five times and I'm sure people think I'm a dick because I haven't continued the meme, but as my brother said, I just don't think there are enough blogs left to give this to. I like all of the blogs on my blogroll, so really any of them could be nominated. But it's beyond cool that someone with a quality blog such as yourself nominated my amateur blog. I appreciate it. I won't be continuing the meme, but as I've said to the others who have named my blog for this award it doesn't mean I'm not grateful for the shout-out. So...thanks! I'll be back later with some comments on your other posts.

    Oh, and sorry it took me so long to get your blog on my blogroll, but it's up there now.

  6. Oh you don't have to be sorry for having priorities in check. And it's perfectly cool that you don't want to do the meme; I wrestled with it myself before saying "What the hell?" and that's why I didn't post on the blogs I nominated because even the people who mean well place that pressure to continue it.

  7. Wow, thanks for the kind words, Jake. I just found this post, so my apologies for arriving late. Like Kevin I doubt I'll be doing this particular meme, but I really do appreciate the praise.