First, I’d like to thank the wonderful folks who double-nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award and my first-time nomination for the Blogger Recognition Award: Ernie Fink from Until the Lights Go Up, Paul Batters from Silver Screen Classics, and Gill Jacob from Realweegiemidget Reviews, respectively. I apologize that it took so long to acknowledge these accolades. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.
As I would imagine is the case for many, these past several months have been difficult emotionally, physically and financially, making it especially hard to stay motivated and focused. Also, as you may have noticed, I’ve refrained from further blogathon announcements for the moment. After discussing things with my blogathon partner Gill, from Realweegiemidget Reviews, we decided to postpone the next installment of the Hammer/Amicus Blogathon until next year. On the other hand, the blog is still chugging along after all these years, albeit at a slower rate. Right now, any progress is good progress.
I’ve never been much of rule follower, so I’ve modified them for the purposes of this overly verbose appreciation post. Nah, who am I kidding? I’ve thrown them out. Instead, here are my responses to Ernie, Paul, and Gill’s questions…
1. What topic do you blog most about?
This is a film blog, so I try to keep things as movie-related as possible. I keep an emphasis on horror and science fiction, although I’m not strictly confined to those genres. While I’ll blog about the occasional blockbuster, my mission is to discuss the movies that somehow slipped through the cracks.
2. Do you only blog about one topic, or do you blog about other things, even occasionally?
Movie reviews, long and short, are my bread and butter, but my blog is peppered with the occasional rant about pets in film, physical media, star ratings, or whatever strikes my fancy at the moment.
3. Do you have someone or something you love to write about more than others? If so, why?
Anyone who knows my Twitter presence probably associates me with Mad Love-era Peter Lorre. I’m not sure exactly when I adopted Peter Lorre (Or should I say he adopted me?) as the official Cinematic Catharsis mascot, but it was love at first fright. Why? I’m not quite, sure, but I think it might have something to do with the old TNT promos for the 100% Weird show.
4. Is your blogging by a schedule, or done as ideas come to you?
I try to adhere to a loose schedule, averaging a minimum of four posts per month. These normally consist of a few longer reviews and a collection of capsule reviews, Quick Picks and Pans (as of this post, I’ve done 118 of ‘em).
5. What subject would you never blog about? Why?
I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a Rom Com, but I wouldn’t rule it out if the right one came along. I stray from religion and politics, and anyone who’s read my posts over the years probably knows that I have no tolerance for intolerance (see #15 of my Film TwitterSurvival Guide).
6. Do you get comments from your readers?
I always look forward to comments from my “regulars” as well as new visitors to the blog. Sure, there are the odd spam messages and a few irritating comments now and then, but keeping an open (albeit moderated) forum is worth it.
7. How do those comments affect you?
As mentioned above, I invite and enjoy comments from my readers. While most comments have been overwhelmingly positive and respectful (which doesn’t mean that my readers always agree with me), I recall a few comments (always from “randos”) that irritated me (lecturing about their take on a film). I’m still baffled by one reader who once took offense when I joked that a movie (Whisper of the Heart) had too much John Denver music.
8. Was there a time when you considered giving up blogging? Why?
Nope. I love doing this, and even if my output slows, I’m glad to do what I’m doing.
9. Has blogging led to other writing activities? Or is it the other way around?
Blogging has definitely opened doors that were closed before. I’m a semi-regular contributor to The Dark Pages newsletter, and I’m currently researching a book project, which will be a direct offshoot of my blog.
10. How important are pictures to your blog?
I believe screenshots and posters are essential for readers to get a taste for the movie I’m writing about. I try to keep things PG-13 around here, so even if the movie is of a more (ahem) adult nature, I purposely refrain from posting more explicit pics. I figure readers know what they’re getting into when they read one of my reviews, and can just watch the movie if they’d like to see more. Besides, there are already plenty of other places on the web if they really need to see that sort of thing.
11. Do you have any wisdom that you'd like to pass along about blogging?
Don’t write for other people. Write what you enjoy, and your audience will find you.
What British or International film would you recommend to a friend who has never seen one?
Japanese cinema continually fascinates and baffles me, so much so that I devote an entire month each year, and could probably write about it until the end of time. Here’s a handful of suggestions… Animated: Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro (1988) or Spirited Away (2001) are simply magical gateways to the world of anime; Takashi Miike’s extensive filmography is well worth investigating. Happiness of the Katakuris (2001) is one of his most fun and accessible titles; If you’re looking for more classic fare, you can’t go wrong with Yasujirō Ozu’s Late Spring (1949) or Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954). Oops! I guess I recommended more than one.
Which classic film director do you prefer and what is your favorite of their films?
The works of Fritz Lang continue to entrance and inspire. I’m still exploring his diverse filmography, and finding hidden treasures. Any director who could make Metropolis (1927) and The Big Heat (1953) demands my attention.
Which character actor or actress do you think would have made a great lead?
Dick Miller was a favorite of Roger Corman and Joe Dante, but rarely got his due. Although he proved he could carry a film with A Bucket of Blood (1959), he should have headlined many more.
What child actor do you believe should have had success as an adult but didn’t?
Haley Joel Osment. After his breakout roles with The Sixth Sense (1999) and A.I. (2001), he seemed to fall into a black hole. I hope his recent appearance in What We Do in the Shadows will be the shot in the arm his career deserves.
What film do you love, but dislike the ending?
Unbreakable (2000) always keeps me captivated with its performances and low-fi approach to superhero movies, but oh, what a corny ending. That final caption (about Elijah Price’s fate) before the end credits has got to go.
Whose onscreen wardrobe do you covet and would like to claim for your own?
Do costumes count? I’m not much of a clothes-horse, but I think it would be a hoot to wear one of Raymond Massey’s “future” outfits from Things to Come (1936) for a Halloween costume party.
Which original film do you think could be improved as a remake and who would you cast?
Damnation Alley. If the filmmakers stuck closer to Roger Zelazny’s 1969 novella (which has more in common with Escape from New York than the 1977 film), I might cast Michael B. Jordan or Christian Bale (played by Jan Michael Vincent in the original) as the lead, or perhaps for a gender switch, Charlize Theron.
Which classic film actor or actress do you think would be successful in today’s film industry?
Katherine Hepburn, who often portrayed tough and savvy, yet vulnerable characters. She held her own against her contemporaries, and would easily measure up against anyone today.
What film trope do you never tire of seeing?
Sure, it’s a tired trope, but I always enjoy seeing the hero knocked down, only to rise up to fight another day (Hey, it works for Godzilla and Gamera).
If you could adapt a piece of classic literature that has not yet been made into a film, what book would you choose and who would you cast in the main roles?
John Kennedy Toole’s posthumous novel, A Confederacy of Dunces. After some consideration, I thought it would be amusing to cast Mark Proksch (the guy who plays Colin Robinson in the What We Do in the Shadows TV series) as Ignatius J. Reilly, and Kathy Bates as his long-suffering mother, Irene Reilly.
Which of today’s modern actors or actresses do you think would have been successful in classic films and why?
With his fast-talking persona and unique features, Steve Buscemi would be ideal for a 1930s screwball comedy or 1940s film noir.
Share the reason you started your blog.
Cinematic Catharsis started as a byproduct of completing my master’s degree. I had grown so accustomed to writing for numerous assignments that I felt I didn’t care to stop. The blog’s title refers to how movies have always been a release for me, my refuge from the rest of the world. I love watching them and sharing my thoughts. As of October, this will be my 10th year blogging, and I have no plans to stop!
Share two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
First (and I can’t stress this enough), write about what you love. Don’t write for pageviews, Twitter retweets, or because you hope to gain some modicum of notoriety. Write about the things you enjoy the most. It’s good to have an audience in mind, but write for yourself first. I’ve seen too many blogs come and go, and the main reason cited (if the blogger decided to write an epitaph) was that it just wasn’t fun anymore. Blogging should never seem like a chore. If it seems like it’s heading that way, this is the perfect time to reevaluate why you’re doing this in the first place. So, go forth and create the kind of content you want to see!
Second, set reasonable goals for yourself. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and no one knows when this crazy ride is coming to a complete stop. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet all your goals. One of the secrets to blog longevity is pacing yourself. Pushing yourself to post when you’re not ready is the quickest road to burnout. By all means, post on a regular basis, however many that means to you. Depending on your comfort level, you can always go up or down from there.
Shrine of the Missing (but not forgotten)
StabfordDeathrage Shoots His Mouth Off – Wherever you are, Mr. Deathrage, I hope you’re doing well, and look forward to reading more of your inimitable musings someday soon.