Thursday, December 8, 2011


This is it folks.... This is it! I've been wrestling for sometime about how I can cover more films in The Film Tome, namely providing reviews for the movies I am ever watching. I find brevity a real challenge. I can write and write and write about any given film I see. Some people say that is a good thing. Sure, plenty of pros to that, but it's not without its cons. I have reviews, like mine for "The Tree of Life," which are over 2,500 words. Yet now that I think back on that review, I would not change a thing.

I've been walking on this rock for 23 years now and it seems like we're always going to have just 24 hours in our day. We're always going to have to drink, eat, and sleep, not to mention the numerous other obligations (family, school, work, what have you) that claim our time and energies. I love films. I love watching them. I love making them. I love talking about them. I love writing about them. That is why I have this blog. It is not just a hobby. It is a passion. To me, it is of great worth. Films are infinite because the human mind is infinite. They can be about any number of things. They can influence and inspire, for good and for evil, they can educate and entertain, for good and for evil. (I say for good and for evil, but think of all the layers in between those two outliers of that moral spectrum.) Thus, I think they are of important importance. They are experiences and narratives that we take part in and are changed as a result. You are never the same after sitting through one.

To me, it is incomprehensible that a cinephile (or anyone who has a passion for anything) to not take part in serious study and/or discussion of films (or whatever it is you have a passion for). That is what separates the hobbies from the passions in my book. I know of nobody who wants to talk film as much and as frequently as I do and so I began a blog. It is not just self-conducted monologues sprinkled with pretentiousness going on here (but I won't pretend that isn't occurring). This is place for me to keep records, journal, thoughts, opinions, dreams, desires, and fears. Such are the dregs of the human consciousness after seeing a movie. Such will be spread from digital page to digital page in this tome.

I have friends and acquaintances who manage film blogs of their own. Some of them are able to write about more films because they keep their comments concise and brief. That is a real strength. How much is adequate? How much in necessary? What is the length for a short review? Perhaps the best analogy we could draw is from films themselves. There are differing opinions on what is the cut-off length for a short film. Personally, I tend to go with 45 minutes (or, the length of Buster Keaton's madcap masterpiece, "Sherlock Jr."). While features may be what myself and others primarily concern themselves with (and they are what make it into the typical theaters) who can really dream of dismissing the wonderful world of shorts. Cinema was conceived in products of this dosage. Some were a manner of seconds, some just a few more minutes. How long should a film be? As long as it needs to be. (Though Hitchcock said something about it being proportionate to the size of the human bladder...) I feel the answer is true for reviews too.

That said, I could write a full review or a short review on any film. I just find the latter to be more difficult. In fact, in all of my reviews herein I provide a tiny review at the top, just under the picture. This would appear to be the Leonard Maltin style of critiquing, a land where a sentence or two or three shall suffice. And just look at the sheer amount of films he is able to cover. Impressive really. In the very least, I want to start someplace and that someplace is the short review. When I somehow (through whatever miracle of will power and blessing of summation) can keep my thoughts to a paragraph or two or three I will label the analysis as a short review. I want to start providing such a treatment to more of the films I am seeing. I can always come back and add words, which amusingly enough will find me taking away another word ("short"). By doing this I will be able to talk specifically about a greater number of films. While it may seem I am giving into quantity over quality, please know that I will do my best to make these brief analyses shine. Sometimes I'll skip a short review and go right into a lengthy session about this or that, but in the very least, every film deserves treatment, no matter how short it is.

It is ironic that I am spending this much time writing about not having enough time to write... All I can do now is start.


kinko said...

When I see updates for this site, I am more likely to view it if it's one of your reports. For me, those are easier to read because they are so similar to the style that I receive information normally: in short segments cut together like the Philip DeFranco show on YouTube. With your short reviews of each film I can take in a lot more. With your more lengthy reviews like recently The Exorcist, I look at the giant block of text and it discourages me from trying. I don't know if it's as simple as putting pictures between paragraphs to make it seem shorter or something, but regardless I enjoy browsing TFT. :)

kinko said...

sidenote: *The Last Exorcism

J.S. Lewis said...

Thanks for the feedback Jordan. That helps a lot!