Saturday, August 01, 2009

Coming attractions / Subtitles, Soviets and Sam Peckinpah

July's Shots on the Blog crime season was fun, even though I found myself flagging a little towards the end.

I've noticed a couple of trends emerging in my articles for the blog lately, trends that could prove disturbing if they remain unchecked: my viewing choices are becoming increasingly mainstream; and my articles are getting longer. I used to be able to discuss a film quite happily in 500 - 600 words. Virtually everything I write now puts its head down, paws the ground, emits a snort or a grunt then goes charging, bull-like, past the 1,000 word mark.

This could mean one of two things: my writing's getting more in-depth, or I'm waffling. I'll leave that for you to decide, ladies and gentlemen.

But in case it's the latter, I'm engaging in a damage limitation exercise. I'm paring things back a little for August: slightly fewer - but regular - reviews; shorter and - hopefully - more readable articles. And I'm taking a break from the mainstream. August will be dedicated to foreign movies. I'm thinking Herzog, I'm thinking Almodovar, I'm thinking Miyazaki. I'm thinking about a really long movie by Bela Tarr, and I'm already starting to wonder how a seven-hour running time and a brevity of article length can possibly reconcile.

Tomorrow, I'm kicking off a retrospective of Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky's small but massively important canon of films - just seven features, most of them made under the most appalling and dictatorial conditions. I'll be considering two a month, with the intention of completing the project in November with his swansong 'The Sacrifice' and Michal Leszczylowski's documentary 'Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky', chronicling the making of same.

And looking ahead beyond that, 28 December marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Sam Peckinpah's death. I'm marking the occasion by dedicating the entire month to his life, work and legacy. Contributions, links, resources and information would be most welcome. If you want to join in, don't hesitate: swipe one of the banners below, bung it on your blog and help celebrate a red Christmas with Bloody Sam.


J.D. said...

This sounds great! I would be more than happy to post one of these banners on my blog and also contribute. I think I might tackle either THE GETAWAY or BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA... Not sure.

Neil Fulwood said...

I'd be interested in reading your thoughts on either of those films, particularly (not wanting to influence you, of course!) 'Alfredo Garcia'.

I remember seeing a late-night screening at Nottingham's Broadway Cinema as part of their now sadly defunct Shots in the Dark Festival about ten or twelve years ago, and half the audience tuning into the gallows humour and the other half sitting through it in stony silence.

I love divisive films!

J.D. said...

Yeah, I love 'em too and Peckinpah's films were either love 'em or hate 'em affairs. Yeah, I might just do ALFREDO GARCIA. I love that film in a big, big way.

Neil Fulwood said...

Good call! The Peckinpah-fest will kick off 1st December, so there's plenty of time yet ... though having said that, I'm already stockpiling a few articles so that I can spend November revisiting all the films and preparing material.

Sam Peckinpah is one of my all-time favourite filmmakers; I'm looking forward to doing him proud.