Thursday, July 01, 2010

Versatile Bloggers and Shots on the Blog

I always used to swear by Groucho Marx’s maxim that he’d never belong to any club that would have him as a member. That was before I became a fully paid-up member of the blogosphere. The Agitation of the Mind has been honoured by several awards over the last year or so. The most recent – the Versatile Blogger award – comes courtesy of Bryce Wilson at Things That Don’t Suck (surely one of the coolest names in the history of blogging). Bryce continues to be a great friend to Agitation and the Versatile Blogger is accepted with thanks and gratitude.

The terms and conditions stipulate that I pass the award on to fifteen other deserving luminaries, a task I was relishing. Only Bryce beat me to half a dozen of my immediate choices: Aaron at The Death Rattle, Bill at The Kind of Face You Hate, Doniphon at The Long Voyage Home, Emily at The Deadly Doll’s House of Horror Nonsense, Francisco at The Film Connoisseur, Kevin at Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies. Factor in J.D. at Radiator Heaven as the guy who gave Bryce the award to begin with (ergo he’s already got one) and another of my faves was accounted for. I had to discount a couple of others who I know opt out of memes and politely refuse awards; their choices are respected.

So, after much head-scratching, and with the opportunity to sing the praise of a few blogs I’ve only recently discovered but which are now essential reading, it’s my happy duty to hand on the Versatile Blogger award to:

The Blue Vial – sophisticated but unpretentious film criticism, this is a blog worth lingering over.

Carfax Abbey – mainly focusing on horror movies, the range of films (and the genuine appreciation of cinema history) is impeccable.

Celluloid Slammer – quirky and irreverent, how can you not love a blog that’s adopted Harvey Korman as its patron saint?

The Cooler – named after “the cooler king”, Steve McQueen’s character in ‘The Great Escape’. McQueen’s on the banner, too. Cool is the operative word.

Cult Movie Reviews – the banner says it all: Horror, sci-fi, exploitation, erotica, B-movies, art-house films. Vampires, sex, monsters, all the fun stuff. Oh yeah!

Doomed Moviethon – witty, conversational and always a fun read. Plus, anyone who's prepared to sit through eighteen Lucio Fulci movies in a single weekend gets my vote.

Goodfella’s Movie Blog – Dave’s Top 100 film noir project was a belter; his ongoing 30 favourite directors overview is just as good.

Jeremy The Critic – not the most prolific blogger, averaging about 6 posts per month, but those posts are elegantly written, thoughtful and definitely worth reading.

Love Train For The Tenebrous Empire – the internet’s premier femme fatale horror blogger (in my ’umble opinion), Kate’s blog is a thing of dark wonders.

Mondo 70 – another blog that does what it says on the banner: A randomly comprehensive survey of extraordinary movie experiences from the art house to the grindhouse, featuring the good, the bad, the ugly, but not the boring or the banal. Amen to that!

Moon in the Gutter – one of the first film blogs I linked to when I started Agitation and one of the most essential.

Not Just Movies – the banner might err towards self-deprecation (unwanted opinions on films, TV shows, albums and whatever strikes my fancy), but the reviews are eloquent and the opinions more than valid.

Only The Cinema – all you need to do is check out Ed’s “films I love” sidebar and see how many of your person faves are there.

Quiet Cool – in-depth writing on an astoundingly eclectic range of movies. Hell, half of what’s reviewed here is stuff I haven’t seen.

Tower Farm Reviews – run by brothers Billy and Jeremy, this horror-themed blog is sibling satire at its finest.

This month sees the return of crime-flick frenzy Shots on the Blog, a little something I inaugurated last year to fill the gap left by Shots in the Dark. This was a 10-day film festival run by Nottingham’s internationally renowned independent cinema, the Broadway. Sadly, when the Broadway’s then director jumped ship to work at the South Bank in London he took Shots in the Dark with him. Shots in the Blog is my way of stealing it back.

I’ll be kicking things off on Saturday with a review of Michael Winterbottom’s controversy magnet ‘The Killer Inside Me’. Most of the reviews for Shots will be appearing at weekends. Last month’s Jeunet retrospective was a blast, but it had the unfortunate side-effect of distracting me from my non-blog-related writing project for almost a fortnight. I desperately need to get back into it and build up a research and writing discipline again. To this end, I’ll be working on the project weekday evenings and blogging over the weekend.

Please bear with me, and do keep checking in on Agitation. I’ve got some good stuff lined up for Shots, including some pieces for Bryce’s Christopher Nolan blog-a-thon. I might be going to ground for a few days at a time, but rest assured I’ll be packing heat, consorting with some smouldering femme fatale (a.k.a. Mrs Agitation) and when I come out, I’ll come out shooting, er, typing.


Ed Howard said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Neil, I really appreciate it!

Keep up the good work here!

Neil Fulwood said...

You're more than welcome, Ed. I hadn't even got round to leaving a comment on your blog yet, so you've saved me a job there!

The dictates of time, work and my ongoing attempts to write a novel mean that it's difficult for me to leave comments (on even a remotely regular basis) on all the blogs I read, so it's good to have the opportunity to pass on something like this as a thank-you to other bloggers whose work I enjoy.

Jake said...

Thank you very much for the mention, Neil. I don't comment here as much as I'd like (your Peckinpah retrospective was inspired and got me off my ass to revisit some of my favorites and check out a few for the first time).

Thanks again.

jeremythecritic said...

Neil, thanks for the shout-out and the honor. You listed a lot of my favorite bloggers here (so many that pretty much all my favorites have already been nominated) and a couple of new ones I hope to check out.

I really enjoy reading your work even though I shamefully haven't commented as much as I should. Thank you for this...and for reading.

Neil Fulwood said...

Jake - I'm flattered that my Peckinpah retrospective inspired you. Don't worry about not commenting on my blog - I seldom find the time to comment on the many blogs I read on a daily basis. (Although I must confess I mostly read them very sneakily at work and generally have to log off before I even have a chance to leave a comment!)

Jeremy - I know what you mean: I balked when I realised that I was supposed to pass the award on to fifteen other bloggers. It was a hard call. But it forced me to look at a handful of writers I'd only briefly encountered before and realise that their work was genuinely deserving of recognition. Ultimately, don't feel beholden to the fifteen-other-bloggers thing; just pass it on to the people you consider deserving. I'm lucky in that I've built up about a hundred links in my sidebar, even if I don't read/comment on their work as frequently as I'd like to.

Samuel Wilson said...

Neil, you set a fine standard of versatility, so I really appreciate this honor. It's going to be a challenge to name fifteen winners of my own, since our taste in blogs seem quite similar. And of course, congratulations yourself!

Neil Fulwood said...

Thanks, Sam. Sounds like you're in the same boat as I was, most of your tried and trusted link listed already singled out.

I was narked at first, but then I took a second look at a bunch of film writers I was only peripherally aware of and realised that there was a far more expansive coterie of film bloggers out there than I'd originally realised.

Choosing fifteen recipients is a hard task, but in retrospect I've discovered a renewed appreciation of some excellent writers I'd only been vaguely aware of beforehand.

Drew said...

Thanks so much for the nomination, Neil, it's greatly appreciated. I am a big fan of practically every other site you've listed here, so to be mentioned in the same company as these other wonderful bloggers is really something special.

Keep up the excellent work! Your Jeunet retrospective has really motivated me to revisit those wonderful films. Thanks again Neil!

Hans A. said...

Thank you so much, Neil. It's quite an honor from someone whose work I admire greatly. I love Shots on the Blog and looking forward to it. I have a long holiday weekend ahead, so I'll be acknowleding this award in the next week. Take care and thanks again!

Neil Fulwood said...

Drew - my pleasure, sir. Glad you enjoyed the Jeunet retrospective.

Hans - you're more than welcome. Shots starts tomorrow; hope you enjoy it.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks very much Neil! I really appreciate the vote of support and am honored to be in such great company.

Donna Lethal said...

Gee whiz, thanks! We're always surprised that anyone reads us besides, well ... us.

the Inmates of the Slammer

Richard of DM said...

You are 14 different varieties of rad. Thanks for the award, captain!

Neil Fulwood said...

Jeremy - your blog was one of the first I discovered when I started Agitation and your range and depth of film writing has always been consistently high.

Donna - you're welcome. I always try to drop by during visiting hours.

Richard - my pleasure. And you're a quite a few varieties of rad yourself as that Fulci weekend proved. The Doomed Divas moviethon had me laughing out loud very noisily and frequently, attracting entirely the wrong sort of attention at work!

Aaron said...

Neil, thanks for not giving me the award (but only because someone else did). Those are all great blogs that definitely deserve some recognition!

Neil Fulwood said...

No probs. I was gnashing my teeth that Bryce had already given you and half a dozen of my other immediate faves the award. I had to work hard to find fifteen film blogs out there with a wide-range and high standard of writing. Glad I did, though, because it made me take a more in-depth look at some blogs I was only peripherally aware of as well as making some cool new discoveries.

Matthew Coniam said...

Thank you very much! And I shall be returning regularly here, too!

Bryce Wilson said...

Yeah sorry for stealing from you Neil. But thanks for mentioning the blogothon. Very much obliged.

Neil Fulwood said...

Matthew - my pleasure. I like what you're doing with Carfax Abbey (I need to stop being remiss and check out your other blogs, as well).

Bryce - what can I say? We both have excellent taste in blogs. No probs regarding the shout for the Nolan blog-a-thon. Really looking forward to it. I'm planning on revisiting 'The Prestige', doing something on the Batman films and looking at 'Memento'. They all fit nicely within this month's Shots on the Blog remit.