Recently Rated Movies #63: The Revival

Welcome back, Rik, to a feature that you seem to have forgotten about on The Cinema 4 Pylon!

Pardon me, dear readers, while I argue with myself briefly regarding one of the chief reasons why I started this blog almost three years ago. Yes, you know the score by now as well as I -- the Pylon is meant as a working writer's notebook, a collection of pop cultural and movie reviews, and a place where I can work out all of the psychobabble junk which I need to burn off before it drives me even more bonkers than I am -- yes, all of this has been mentioned numerous times before here and duly noted. But, especially as a foundation on which to build columns and ideas for the Pylon -- and, eventually, Cinema for Space Lovers the website -- I also meant the Pylon to be a place where I can keep a running track of every film that I watch, whether I wish to write about them fully or not.

In the past few months, I have really gotten away from this.

Part of the reason is that I really didn't want this to be a place for lists. Early on, I would list anywhere from five into the low double figures of films, with very little textual content, though opeing sometimes with just a couple of quick jabs at something or other, and often wholly unconnected to the films being mentioned. I grew tired of this rather quickly. So, I then started to only do Recently Rated Movies columns when I really wanted to write about a certain film, and sometimes I would, sometimes I wouldn't append the column with a quick list of other films I had seen recently. You would think from the entries I have put up in the past year that I have not seen all that many films. This would be a misnomer. I have seen hundreds of films in this time, and at the same rate that I normally watch them. Sure, I have off weeks, but then I will knock through a dozen of them over a weekend.

This past Friday night alone (two days ago), with Jen working and with my latest Spout Mavens review completed and published both here and on my SpoutBlog, I knocked through three movies in succession before my girl arrived home. Saturday morning, arising at 5:00 and with little writing ambition for the moment, I watched another 2-1/2 films, and then this morning, I have already finished the second half of that leftover film and started into another. (I also read three chapters of my immense new biography on Disney and worked on notes for an animated film of my own, so don't think I just sit around watching movies solely. I've got a lot going on all the time. Jen says I can't even relax when I am doing what other people do to relax: watch movies. She is correct...)

And I now have somewhere in the realm of a couple of hundred films that I haven't reported here on the Pylon. All along, I have been trying to figure out a new way of listing them, so that I just don't have pages and pages of movie ratings and nothing else. Not what I really want on a site devoted to writing about movies, not just reporting on seeing them. But then, because I have not been listing them, an important component of this site went away: a true portrayal of the diversity of film selections here on the site, so that I can give readers a general sense of where I have traveled in the past and where I plan to travel cinema-wise into the future. It's an essential part of the process of movie-going, judging that which you are seeing against that which you already have. Equally as vital, when sharing your opinions on movies with your readers -- be they friends, family or complete strangers -- that they have the means to understand the foundation of your opinions, and providing small snapshots such as the lists I used to print in Recently Rated Movies on the Pylon was at least a quick, up-to-the-minute way of doing so.

Early on, I attempted to give capsule reviews for each film, but capsule reviews are really not how I wish to write about films. Writing full essays on every single film I see will mean that I will never catch up in my list as well. I tried that for awhile -- and full reviews will happen in the future from time to time -- but doing so constantly is impossible. And, as I said, I didn't want to revert solely to a regular listing format, because lists are, in the end, merely lists, just title after title with little other information, and boring at that.

But I think I have hit upon a near perfect way of doing this again, keeping it interesting to me, going beyond a mere list format, and using the Pylon again as a "notebook" as well. The idea is to expand the list slightly to add a handful of immediate notes for each film following my viewing of them, which also might do more to explain the ratings I give each one on the site. They will be sketchy for the most part -- I will try to keep them sketchy, a common failing of mine, given my unstoppable need for verbosity (read: my unstoppable need to be long-winded) -- and only two or three lines at most.

We shall see how this works out, and I will start the revival of Recently Rated Movies in a couple of days. Luckily, to catch up, I can go through my Netflix list and all of the notes I have taken on films I have viewed on cable in the last six months. I only have, oh... two... three hundred films to work through, so by the time I catch up, I should have only another, oh... two... three hundred more films to work through. Wish me luck...

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