Saturday, May 22, 2010

My best post / sharing the love

Bryce at Things That Don’t Suck has been kind enough to include The Agitation of the Mind in a round up of “blogs that definitely need to be on your to read list if they are not already”. His article is occasioned by a blogathon over at He Shot Cyrus, which commenced yesterday and runs till to tomorrow, designed to showcase its participants’ best writing.

For his submission, Bryce picked his article on ‘Kill Bill Vol 2’, then – being the blogging community’s equivalent of an officer and a gentleman – threw open the remit of his post to celebrated the achievements of half a dozen fellow bloggers. I’m honoured to be one of them.

I’d like to follow his lead and:

(a) Put forward my write-up on ‘Unforgiven’ for He Shot Cyrus’s blogathon. I blogged about this magisterial western a year ago as part of my ongoing Personal Faves project. It’s my absolute favourite Clint Eastwood movie and, in my humble opinion, the best western since Sam Peckinpah hung up his guns. It gets deeper, richer and more rewarding with every viewing.

(b) Share the love by recommending half a dozen favourite sites. Bryce has already saved me a job by giving a shout to Erich at Acidemic, Francisco at The Film Connoisseur and JD at Radiator Heaven, all of whom have been long-term residents on my blog-roll. They would have been amongst my immediate choices if Bryce hadn’t already sung their praises. They’re all more than more of your attention. As are these luminaries:

Tim at Antagony & Ecstasy. The Oscar Wilde of film critics, Tim’s reviews are characterized by an elegant wit sometimes tinged with mordant sarcasm. But here’s the thing: when he’s sarcastic, it’s because the movie fucking deserves it. He approaches everything equally, from the mainstream to the arthouse, and the only villain is lazy filmmaking.

Aaron at The Death Rattle. Whether he’s stalking the shadowy corridors of a Universal b&w monster movie retrospective or wallowing in the venal pleasures of a video nasties overview, Aaron runs The Death Rattle on one abiding principle: no bullshit. He walks it like he talks it and tells it like he sees it. Plus the guy’s interviewed Sherilyn Fenn, which is pretty damn cool in anyone’s book.

A two-for-one cheat here: the Olson brothers. Kevin at Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies and Troy at Elusive As Robert Denby. For one blogger to achieve a style of writing that’s erudite yet conversational, in-depth but effortless, is worthy of praise; when there’s two of them and they’re brothers to boot, it’s the icing on the cake. And if you want to go one better, the cherry on the icing is that they periodically co-review a genuinely fuck-awful movie (their last victim: the ‘Wicker Man’ remake) and the results are unmissable.

Samuel at Mondo 70. The blog as delicatessen: a smorgasbord of the cult, kitsch and crazy is on the menu every time you drop in. Your maitre d’ Sam is unerring in his ability to unearth offbeat gems. My rental list has quadrupled in size thanks to this guy.

Hans at Quiet Cool. What I love about Hans’s reviews is that his starting point is always the film’s atmosphere. He has a talent for capturing the dynamic of a scene, the quality of an actor’s performance or the signature visual style a director brings to the material – and doing so economically. Hans doesn’t just leave me wanting to watch a bunch of movies I’ve not seen before; he leaves me understanding why I want to see them.

Bryce at Things That Don’t Suck. This isn’t just me repaying the compliment in kiss-ass stylee. Bryce’s blog is an essential read. The title says it all (and damned if he doesn’t have one of the coolest titled sites in the blogosphere): it’s an incisive and more often than not mordantly funny account of, as Bryce puts it himself, “one man’s journey through the things that keep him from running a straight razor down his arm”. I can’t think of any better reason for blogging than that.


Hans A. said...

Thank you so much, Neil, for the kind words. Any list which would include the best reads would obviously have yours near the top. I always enjoy reading your writing, and any accolades that you receive are quite merited. Keep up the excellent work, and I'm looking forward to more!

Kevin J. Olson said...

Neil, my man, you've been too kind to me and my blog. But thanks! Oh, and damn your blog picture makes me want to watch some High Planes favorite Eastwood western.

Bryce Wilson said...

Hey Neil, thank you very much. I'm touched.

Still I have to give credit where its due. Spreading the love as such wasn't my idea that belongs to "She Blogged By Night"

A worthy addition to anyone's roll.

Bryce Wilson said...

Oh and thanks to the officer and gentleman comment its my turn to get a big head. lol.

Erich Kuersten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erich Kuersten said...

Once you start writing to one person and end writing to another, you know you need to go back to bed. I love all these blogs too, so I am lost and dizzy right now.

Anyway, thanks Neil! Agitation! The Mind! And Bryce, Kevin and Hans, you rock too!

Aaron said...

Thanks for the kind words, Neil. Always a HUGE compliment coming from you. I honestly think you're one of the best writers out there in the "blogosphere". And thanks also for pointing me in the directions of some other blogs with this post. I will be sure to check them out when I have some time. Thanks again, Neil! Long live the AGITATION!

Neil Fulwood said...

Guys: the shout out was my pleasure. All of you are doing excellent work and, even if my current schedule means I'm not leaving as many comments as I used to, your blogs form the nucleus of my essential film review reading.

J.D. said...

Neil: Thanks for the mention! Ever since I've discovered your blog, I've enjoyed many of your posts and always find your reviews thoughtful and well-written to the point where I've thought to myself, damn, if only I could have written that!

Troy Olson said...

Awesome -- thanks for the compliments Neil. I better start posting again so that I can live up to such a high standard! I only hate the pressure of coming up with my "best" post as I'll worry over whether it was really any good or not...

Loved catching up on the Eastwood posts, by the way - I had about 2000 posts in my RSS reader when I got back from China, but I made sure to actually read yours instead of just marking them as read -- that's a sign of a good blog.

Neil Fulwood said...

J.D. - you have a blog to be proud of. The time, effort and research you put into your posts indicate your knowledge and love of your subject.

Troy - welcome back, I trust the trip to China went well. Glad you've been enjoying the Eastwood posts. I'll be posting number nine in the series ('The Enforcer') tomorrow, with number ten ('The Outlaw Josey Wales') scheduled for the weekend. And who knows, I might continue the Clint-fest into next month. I'm having fun with it.