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.