Cinephile Blogging

Just a link and comment for now because I’m still working on my first cup of coffee (plus my paper for MLA beckons), but I thought this indieWIRE article on “The Year of the (Film) Blogs” was worth noting. In the article, Steve Rosen notes the increasing number of Oscar-Watch and gossip blogs as well as newspaper-sponsored blogs, such as The New York Times’ Carpetbagger, where I found this article. Rosen adds that the art-house chain, Landmark Theatres, is in the process of expanding its online resources by offering blogs by filmmakers and critics.

But what I found most interetsing about the indieWIRE article is the emphasis on what might best be described as “independent” film blogs. As Rosen points out,

Lively, intelligent blogs that feature frequently updated, conversational postings about cinema — as opposed to celebrity gossip — are flowering. They’re trying to create an interlinked community devoted to those passionately interested in film, similar to what the pioneering urban art houses of the 1950s and 1960s did. And if they haven’t yet reached the point where they have a measured impact on box office, they’re trying.

Rosen mentions GreenCine, the Twitch blog, and MovieCityIndie among others, but he could have added many others, including Girish’s blog or Darren’s Long Pauses among many others. But the point is that these film blogs are ushering in a new mode of appreciation for independent cinemas, whether documentary, international, or “indiewood,” potentially creating an audience for films that might otherwise disappear beneath most viewers’ radars (just last night I caught the important Italian documentary, Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre, thanks to David’s link at GreenCine).

Of course there will always be outstanding films that fail to receive the audience they deserve, but this discussion of film blogs seems to stand in stark contrast to the “decay of cinema” arguments that lament the eclipse of a certain mode of cinephilia. I’ve been thinking about this potential function for film blogs quite a bit recently, in part because I was invited to review several of the films that played at the Washington Jewish Film Festival, and one of my goals with those reviews was to generate interest in films that haven’t received a wide audience in the U.S. That’s not the only reason I blog, of course, but I think it’s worth emphasizing the role of film blogs in facilitating some lively conversation about cinema.

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