Thinking about 2021

I’ll be honest: I was half-heartedly thinking about writing a short summary of upcoming 2021 releases I am excited about the most, but it is a bit of a doomed endeavour. Nobody knows what the release slate will look like or when (if?) cinemas reopen worldwide at some point in the year. It’s all a bit of a mess especially when you factor in the differences between release calendars on various streaming services that may not be available everywhere. So I am not exactly sure when and how I will be able to see Dune or any other WB release, let alone smaller indie productions some of which might get lost in the shuffle only to reappear months later on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I still have no idea if and when I will be able to see Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow and it breaks my heart. But alas…

What I want to use this opportunity for is to share with you my immediate plans for this place, such as it is. You might already know that I am not, nor do I aspire to be, a ‘real’ film critic. I don’t seek out screeners or strive to see every single new release I can. I am just a guy with opinions who happens to like writing about movies. I am especially thankful for CLAPPER for letting me develop in this regard as a Features Editor, which is something I am very excited to pursue further. And of course, if you have a pitch, DM me on Twitter!

But that’s just a part of my journey through film writing and this brings me to what I want to do with this website and what you can expect to read here as the year moves forward. As with everything in life, there’s stuff you want to do and there’s stuff you can do because universe tends to interfere with our plans on a daily basis. I have already conceded that I won’t be able to write 500-1000 words on everything I see (which is something I have been doing more or less consistently for years, so full reviews and essays that find their home here or on CLAPPER will be a bit more targeted. Naturally, if you want to keep track of everything I watch, you can always head over to my LB profile and follow me there or just pay attention to my tweets, if you so choose.

In any case, what I think this place will eventually become is a permanent home to more thought-out retrospectives, which are both an opportunity for me to take care of some major blind spots in film history and a chance to write something sensible about a good variety of films. As you may or may not know already, there are currently three live retrospectives on here devoted to: (1) Michael Haneke, (2) Wes Craven and (3) Stanley Kubrick. Spotty as my release schedule has been about them, you can expect these entries to come out at a steadier pace. However, I do not want to commit to set routines of any kind (e.g. Kubrick Sundays) because I fear I would quickly cross the line between discipline and doing chores. And nobody wants that. I am going to include a fourth series to the mix – The Great Ghibli Retrospective – as this is a major blind spot for me that I need a serious incentive to finally rectify. I am not exactly sure if I want to commit to running four big projects at a time or wait until my Haneke series comes to a close (sooner rather than later), but this is something you can expect from me.

In addition to this and occasional instances of off-the-cuff punditry commenting upon recent developments in the world of film, you will of course find reviews and articles about newer films here as well. As a matter of fact, I am working on a review of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom that will make its way here. But to be completely frank, committing to consistently covering new releases wouldn’t do my mental health any favours. Therefore, at this point I don’t know if I will review Pieces Of A Woman and The Midnight Sky here, or if I will settle for an LB entry with a short blurb. I can’t promise anything.

What I can promise, however, is that I will be launching not one but two podcast projects this year. At this point I will keep you in suspense, but one of them is going to go live very soon in collaboration with CLAPPER. More details to follow. The other one I am still developing and conceptualizing, but I still invite you to keep your eyes peeled because this is something I am deeply passionate about.

And there we are. 2020 is a closed book and it’s only proper to use the first weeks of the new year to recalibrate and set objectives for the next twelve months. I think it is safe to say that my main focus for the year is to refocus and adjust my long-standing habits with regard to writing about films, which has been a long time coming. What this will precipitate in practice is a lot more older films being watched, discussed and written about, which is hopefully going to help me adjust my own bearings and take ownership over what should be my own journey through cinema that you are more than welcome to participate in with me, as opposed to a never-ending game of catch-up with stuff I convinced myself it would be beneficial to watch and review.

Take care and let’s make 2021 a year of great change!

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