My Friends Made Me Do It

I really have to stop saying I’m never going to do something. I swore I’d never join Facebook, but caved when I was convinced it was the only way not to lose track of my friends when we went our separate ways after graduation. I swore I’d never start a blog too. “I don’t feel the need to broadcast my thoughts,” I claimed, “and nobody will feel the need to read them.” After being told by people you respect often enough that you should do something though, you eventually start to think they may be on to something. And so here we are.

That being said, my joining twitter is the first sign of the apocalypse. Know that.

I recently completed my Master’s degree in film studies and this blog is an extension of some of the things I learned in my graduate and undergraduate programs in cinema and a place for thoughts that didn’t find a place in either. Because I’m a trained film scholar some theory will inevitably slip into what a write here. It can’t be helped. It’s just the way I talk about film now. Apologies in advance.

For those of you who haven’t run away screaming yet, I don’t know exactly what shape this blog will take, but I can promise you two things it will never be. The first is cynical. Far too often critics and commentators on film treat the medium with a certain degree of cynical dismissal, knowingly laughing at its apparent artistic pretensions barely concealed beneath its commercial aspirations. I write about film because I love it, because it endlessly fascinates me, not to prove my own intelligence or cultural caché. As the Globe and Mail’s film critic Geoff Pevere wrote of his own approach to cinema, “I may be a professional movie watcher, but I’m not a detached one and never have been.” Cinema will always fascinate me for its ability to draw me in, to tell stories that get under my skin and make a permanent home for themselves in my mind and heart. So despite the endless series of theoretical frameworks drilled into my head, this blog will also never treat film like a low cultural object or apologize for its place in popular or commercial culture. My education has given me the tools to more deeply understand film and the hold it has on me and that is how I will use it.

So, read what I have to say, comment, discuss, agree, or disagree.

I promised myself I wouldn’t do this either, but in the spirit of the day…

Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then let’s begin.

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4 thoughts on “My Friends Made Me Do It

  1. Miriam,

    Welcome to the blogging world!
    It was a breath of fresh air to read this part: “The first is cynical. Far too often critics and commentators on film treat the medium with a certain degree of cynical dismissal, knowingly laughing at its apparent artistic pretensions barely concealed beneath its commercial aspirations”

    The cynical reaction is easy, far too easy. Well done for pushing for greater depth.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much Bruce. It frustrates me greatly when film critics or commentators approach the medium with nothing but cynicism. I am under no illusion that the film industry is just that, an industry, and therefore follows an economic imperative as well as an artistic one. Pointing that out in film commentary is a perfectly valid thing to do. But that reaction can lead to dismissing other points of interest by bypassing the how in favour of the what. How does a film appeal to a mass market? What kind of stories does it choose to tell? How do audiences respond to those stories?

      Like

  2. It always bothered me that my film school peers claimed not to be able to just enjoy a movie without criticizing it anymore, now that they’ve been inundated with all the theory and “rules.”
    I pursued a career in filmmaking because I love movies, and that should never change.

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    1. People often ask me if the study of film has ruined my ability to uncritically enjoy it, but I never really understood why that would be the case. In many ways I enjoy it more now because I notice some of the subtleties I wouldn’t have before. It’s only when a movie is not doing anything for me that my “film studies brain” kicks in while I’m watching.

      Liked by 1 person

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