September 28, 2011

#100: Recap, Links, and the Future

Cold Weather, directed by Aaron Katz

When I started this blog in March, my plan was to share my thoughts on movies with friends and family while covering some blind spots in my background. During the past seven months, it's been an exciting creative outlet and introduced me to gems like Repo Man, The Killing, and many others. The refreshing part that I didn't expect has been the interactions with lots of smart, insightful people who love watching and talking about the cinema and television. I've learned about tons of interesting films and enjoyed chatting with other bloggers along the way. A great resource for connecting is the LAMB (Large Association of Movie Blogs), whose members are filled with friendly, bright movie lovers.

The Links!
I frequently check out excellent work from other bloggers and listen to their engaging podcasts. Limited time generally prevents me from recognizing other posts, so I'd like to mention some great examples from recent weeks during this 100th post. Check out these links and you won't be disappointed!

* I'm really enjoying the Televerse, the new TV podcast from Kate Kulzick and Simon Howell at Sound on Sight. Check out their latest episode, which includes great conversations on Breaking Bad and Newsradio, plus a look at some of this season's new shows.

*Another wonderful podcast that I've just discovered is Frankly My Dear, which offers great chemistry and wit from the husband-and-wife team of Scott and Whitney. My favorite episode so far covers Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which brings in a few guests to cover their love for the show. Scott is the lone dissenter in many cases, which just adds to the fun.

* The gang at Man, I Love Films have a lot of fun discussing the latest releases and providing some original lists of the best aspects of past movies. This week, Dylan Fields tackles the Top 5 Movie Paintings and offers some great choices like Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon", a personal favorite.

* One of my favorite parts of reading other blogs is their coverage of film festivals. Ruth over at FlixChatter has been providing excellent coverage of the Twin Cities Film Fest over the past week. Her post from this past Sunday discusses three interesting movies that she caught over the weekend.

* Scott Lawlor at FrontRoom Cinema is one of the friendliest and busiest bloggers around. He posts frequently about a variety of topics and comments regularly on many sites. A few weeks back, he discussed an interesting topic for film lovers looking to explore the medium: does film studies ruin your enjoyment? My personal answer is a definite no, but there's no clear answer for each person.

* Last week, Jessica at The Velvet Cafe brought up the distressing fact that women still occupy a very small percentage of directors, producers, writers, and other crew members who create movies. The best part of this intriguing post was the discussion it generated, with nearly 30 comments on the topic thus far.

These are just a few good examples of the constant stream of top-notch material showing up on film blogs around the world. I know that reading and listening to these and many other avid fans is increasing my knowledge, which hopefully improves the content of this site.

The Future: Marathons, A Film Festival, and More
Next week, I'm starting a marathon that focuses solely on the year 1984. I was eight years old at that time, so I definitely missed out on some movies. The first choice is Purple Rain, which showed me that Prince's music far outweighs his acting skills. I'll also check out Oscar winners like Amadeus and smaller dramas like The Pope of Greenwich Village for the first time. The next marathon will tackle Steven Soderbergh's diverse filmography, with an emphasis on his early movies. I've seen many of his films but have still missed some big ones like King of the Hill.

In mid-November, I'm excited to check out the 20th Annual St. Louis International Film Festival. The Cinema St. Louis folks do a nice job and bring in some exciting guests each year, so I'm expecting some great things.

Finally, I'd love to hear suggestions on ideas for future marathons and ways to improve this site. Also, if there are any lesser-known movies from 1984 that you love, I'd enjoy hearing about those films. I've had an amazing time during the past seven months and can't wait for the months to come. This Friday, I'll close out the time-travel marathon with a look at my Top 5 Time Travel Movies. There was a very deep field for this list.


  1. you mean other than repo man and buckaroo banzai? i might also suggest stranger than paradise. element of crime perhaps?

    congrats on reaching 100 by the way dan. i love stopping by.

  2. Thanks Toby! I've seen Repo Man and Buckaroo Bonzai, and both of those are great choices. Stranger Than Paradise is also excellent. I haven't seen Element of Crime (early Lars von Trier!), so I'll add that to the list of possibilities. I appreciate the suggestions.

  3. Glad you're liking the podcast, Dan- thanks for the plug! As for other marathon ideas, of course I'm always pro any TV-related ones. Maybe movies based on TV shows? (If nothing else, it's an excuse to watch Serenity, Naked Gun, and Dragnet again)

    Also, in the vein of your 1984 marathon, I absolutely love at least 5 films from 1939 and the list of absolute classics from that year is pretty ridiculous. Otherwise, screwball comedies, fantasy, film noir, or any marathon that lets you review the Princess Bride. :)

  4. No problem, Kate! Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm always looking for an excuse to watch Serenity and the Princess Bride again.

    1939 is a great year for movies, with Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and a lot more. That might be a cool marathon in the future. A while back, Entertainment Weekly actually had an article that asked if 1984 was greater than 1939. I think that's crazy talk, but it's interesting for comparison. Thanks!

  5. Weird. Something is eating my comments. This is the third time I try to write a comment on this. Now I'm trying a different viewer.

    Anyway, here we go again: first I wanted to congratulate you. 100 posts is not a small achievement. Hopefully it has gotten you past the first hurdles of a new blogger. A habit is established and you can't stop. :)
    Secondly: thank you for the link love. I haven't seen much discussion about the lack of women in the film industry going on in the blogosphere. I would love to see this more talked about. At least I've done my little contribution to raise awareness.
    Finally: There were loads of great movies made in 1984. One that you might not have heard of is the Icelandic Revenge of the Barbarians.
    Apart from that I just love what others love... Karate Kid, Killing Fields, Stranger than paradise... A passage to India and Falling in Love might have become a little bit forgotten. But for a different perspective, I'd go for Revenge of the Barbarians!

  6. Hi Jessica. No problem about the link; it was an interesting discussion for sure about an important topic.

    I haven't heard of Icelandic Revenge of the Barbarians, but even after just hearing the title, it sounds awesome. It's weird that IMDB lists the title as "When the Raven Flies". If I can find it, I'll try to watch it for an extra post.

    The Karate Kid and Stranger than Paradise are both classics. The Killing Fields is on my list for a post (I've never seen it), and I might check out A Passage to India if I get the time. I'm going to spend a week on some Oscar-nominated films, starting with Amadeus. Thanks!

  7. That must be the same one. It's called "when the Raven flies in Swedish and in Icelandic". The only way I can see the English title is from the image and on that it said "Revenge of the barbarians". But I'm glad they decided to return the real title to it. I recommend you to try to find it! It deserves some fame. If you like it there's a continuation that is good too, as far as i remember at least.

  8. Hey congrats on 100 post Dan. You've got a great blog going so here is to 1000 next :) Also thanks for the linkage to Nick's review of Heat!

  9. Thanks Castor! I'm amazed it's already been 100 posts. The time's flown by. Nick's review of Heat was great; I'm glad to pass it along.

  10. Congratulations on your 100th post. Blogging is great, isn't it? It added so much to my enjoyment of movies and just like you helped me discover many nice movies. Keep it up and I really like the format you do it in. Especially was a big fan of your time travel reviews.

  11. Thanks, Nostra! Blogging has added to my enjoyment, and I've caught up with a bunch of movies that have been on my to-see list for years. The time-travel marathon was a lot of fun, and I was able to catch up with a lot of interesting smaller films. Thanks again!

  12. I'm not sure what to consider lesser known since I would not have picked Streets of Fire for that, yet your post and people's comments indicated otherwise. I guess I'll just give it a shot, avoiding ones you mentioned you've already seen:

    This is Spinal Tap
    Blood Simple
    Romancing the Stone
    The Killing Fields
    Red Dawn (if only to see early performances from a bunch of familiar faces)
    Revenge of the Nerds
    Tightrope (not great, but a different kind of Eastwood cop)
    Night of the Comet
    The Philadelphia Experiment
    Choose Me (not great, but definitely less known)
    Reckless (probably won't be able to find since it's not on DVD - has a great soundtrack, which also was never released in the U.S.)
    L'annee des meduses - only watch to see something that I would have thought was impossible - seeing an incredibly beautiful French actress nude for much of the movie - and it being incredibly boring.

    Man, I went through the 200 most voted for 1984 films on IMDB and I was shocked at how many I had seen (36 of the top 50 and 73 of the top 150, plus a few more after that.) There were a ton a "teen" movies and "sex comedies" that year, most of which I had seen (hey, I was in college.)

  13. A belated congrats to you as well, Dan. You're traveling in some excellent circles, if I do say so myself! ;) Many thanks for the shout-out as well.

    I find we're listening to a bunch of the same shows as well. Was cool to hear Lee and Dan talking about you - took me a couple weeks before I figured out that you were the "roller coaster guy."

  14. Thanks Dylan! I don't think Dan Hughes realized that the "roller coaster guy" was the same "American Dan" from the LAMBcast. Until their show, I didn't even realize that my ITunes reviews were just for a few roller coaster podcasts. I do think we're listening to some of the same shows. I've been slowly catching up with some great podcasts from LAMB members.

    Chip, thanks for the suggestions. I've only got two weeks left in this marathon, but I'll try to get to a few of them at least.