Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Slump Continues

I humbly apologize for the lack of posting around here lately. My surgery, you'll be thrilled to know, was a success, and even the worst of my recovery period seems to be behind me. But mentally I still haven't adjusted to...something. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm four days into my medical leave, with a whopping fifteen more to come, or if it's just plain mental laziness, or what, but I still haven't been drawn back to this blog for any reason other than guilt. Frankly, I haven't been much drawn to the internet as a whole, but it should be noted that until today, my computer chair was the least comfortable chair for my battered, well, groin, to rest in. The fact that this, too, appears to be a thing of the past hopefully bodes well for the coming week, part of which I do plan to spend writing.

Writing what is a different question altogether. Earlier today, I was browsing a pop-culture website, and saw a post there that used the word "intertextual" in its title, and I felt a deep existential shudder. It made me think of the dangers of forcing yourself to appear academic, or to pretend to be something you're not, which is something I've fought against since I first started this blog. Seriously, go back (or don't) to some of my very early posts here. Horrific! So I have to get my mind right, and find something I really want to write about, as opposed to something I feel like I can bluff my way through.

In the meantime, you can, and should, read the good stuff that the internet has to offer, which, against all logic, is plentiful:

- Glenn Kenny has a terrific piece up about the supposed "death" of the romantic comedy. He argues against the idea with his typical blend of wit, erudition and acidity.

- Over at Arbogast on Film, Arbogast takes an intriguingly even-handed look at the much-looked-at-askance The Descent 2, which is, of course, the sequel to Neil Marshall's almost universally admired The Descent. As usual, Arbo knows not only more than you do, but also more than the filmmakers do, yet his wish is only to use his abilities for good.

- Meanwhile, Dennis Cozzalio has a wonderful, thorough piece up about Gwen Welles, seen through the lens of her work with Henry Jaglom and, as the subject of a documentary, Donna Deitch. Dennis has a Tarantino-like habit of pulling a name from obscurity -- obscure to most of us, anyway -- writing about them, and, by the end of the article, making the reader feel as if their frame of reference and understanding of film history has been instantly expanded. Which is as it should be, but Dennis does this with an open heart, and a warmth, that is the polar opposite of the academia I alluded to above.

- Speaking of Tarantino (sort of), last week Greg Ferrara wrote about Robert Forster's brilliant turn in Tarantino's Jackie Brown. If you haven't already read Greg's article, please do so now, because there are few bloggers who have as deep an understanding of the art of acting, or can express it as well, as Greg can.

- At Ferdy on Films, Rod Heath mounts a very convincing, on the page, defense of John Huston's Moby Dick. I remember, after reading Melville's novel about six years ago, being very excited to check out Huston's film, which I hadn't seen since I was a kid. And I was profoundly disappointed (not that I made it all the way through, because the tape broke, and I didn't bother rent the DVD after having my hopes dashed by the first half hour or so). Rod makes me think that I might have acted like an ass.

- Kevin Olson of Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies has just wrapped up his Summer of Slash, which I myself am in the process of reading my way through. And there's no reason you shouldn't be doing that, too. Kevin knows his horror films, and more and more lately I've found myself willing to embrace slasher films as something other than a despicable plague upon the genre. Kevin's just the kind of guy to make that argument, so I'll be paying attention.

- Recently, Ed Howard of Only the Cinema wrote up one of my very favorite films, Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter. As is often the case with Ed, he refused to simply agree with my every every passing thought and opinion, so his view of Egoyan's film is rather more mixed than my own. But fuck it, he makes some good points, as always. So give the piece a look, and then remind yourself that Bill R. disagrees, which should take the sting out of Ed's words a bit.

- I'm not going to point to a specific post here, but rather to an overall blog, namely Too Much Horror Fiction, hosted by Will Errickson. Will's blog is about exactly what you'd think, with a particular, but not exclusive, focus on the paperback horror fiction from the genre's boom years in the 1970s and 1980s. Will truly knows his stuff, and is a fun and engaging writer. I'm not pointing to a specific post, because you should just read all of it. It's my favorite non-film blog, so dive in.

- And finally, Tony Dayoub of the great blog Cinema Viewfinder, goddamn him, has just announced that he'll be hosting a David Cronenberg blogathon in September. If, for some bizarre reason, I'm still not off my ass, blogging-wise, by then, Tony and David Cronenberg should finally jolt me into action.


That's it. Just popping in here to let you know I'm not dead. But look for more updates next week!


Kevin J. Olson said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Bill. I appreciate it. I hope you enjoy the series. It was a ton of fun to catch up with some slashers that I had missed out on. And it was a lot of fun to write about them, too. I look forward, as always, to your next post.

Roderick Heath said...

Little do you all know that my evil secret plan is to fool you all into watching bad movies! Mwahaha!

Tony Dayoub said...

The blogathon better jolt your goddamn blogging ass into action!

Anyway, glad to hear your recovery is going well. Thanks for the plug.

Will Errickson said...

Thanks for pointing out these posts. I was just Googling info on Gwen Welles the other day. And I appreciate the shout-out to my blog!