Friday, August 20, 2010

On the Occasion of Six Months of Unseen FIlms

On the day you are reading this it will have been six months since I started this blog. I'm saying it because I'm actually beginning work on this post on August 7th. I'm starting this in advance because there are a few things I want to say and I'm hoping this will allow me to remember everything I want to express.

First off if you've been reading this blog with any regularity I want to thank you. Its nice to know that the work of my contributors and myself has found an audience.

I need to thank you for keeping us honest correcting us when the facts are wrong or I do stupid things like spelling Kay Kyser's name wrong throughout a post or calling a film German when it's French. I also want to thank you for giving us suggestions, we'll get to them trust me.

If you're just coming upon this blog, hello and welcome. Why not take some time and look around.

As you may or may not know the mission statement of this blog is to point out the films that are flying under the radar or are so buried that they are forgotten. Its not just American films, but films from everywhere in the world...and it's every type of film, not just dramas or comedies or documentaries. To all of us at Unseen a good movie is a good movie; it doesn't matter where you find it, and we're happy to try and point you to where you CAN find it.

We've given you at least one movie a day, every day, for the last six months. Sometimes we've grouped the films together in weeks and weekends with a theme and sometimes its just been a random selection of films. The point is not to do deep criticism, rather to show a passion for the films. We want to make you want to try these films and explain why we like a particular film, not analyze the deeper meaning of the color blue in all of the scenes. Sure some of the pieces are more detailed than others but that's simply because that's how the words flowed in the throes of passion for the film we're talking about.

If you've been reading you know we've also provided on the ground coverage of several of the film festivals that have played in New York since the blog started. We've done The New York International Children's Film Festival, Tribeca, The New York Asian Film Festival and we'll be covering the New York Film Festival soon. In our coverage we've tried to give you a taste of what it's like on the ground and in the seats with the real people who pay to see the films. Filmgoing is more than just the film and I hope we've manged to give you a you are there feel. In addition to telling you about the festivals now we've also done flashback reviews of films from the festivals from earlier years. If you want to see what the coverage has been like just click on the tag in the sidebar and you'll go off to a selection of films.

You'll notice that I'm bouncing between I and we, and that's kind of intentional and kind of unavoidable. Back on February 20th when I started this blog I was by myself, unsure of what I was doing. After a few days I contacted some people whose writing I really admire and whom I'm lucky enough to call friends, and I asked them if they would be crazy enough to join me in this mad adventure. Amazingly they said yes. I can't thank them enough.

The contributors are- in no particular order:

Reg is based in Australia and has encyclopedic knowledge of film that is scary and a writing style that is like being in a giant comfy chair. When he gets going watch out.

Randi is a librarian who has acted as pointer and source for several of us. She's currently putting the finishing touches on her first written contributions. However it should be pointed out that she has been invaluable behind the scenes.

Eden is best known as the comics blogger Comicsgirl. She also writes on music, restaurants and assorted other things. Regrettably I'm selling her short, all you have to know is that she is one of the best writers I know. Period. I'm very lucky when I can get a piece or two out of her because she is so busy elsewhere.

Ken is a man with a sharp sense of humor, a keen eye and biting wit (which will show up in a couple of posts he has coming up in the near future). He has a knack for pointing things out that you never thought of before, and will never be able to forget afterward.

Bully is also a comics blogger with a unique way of viewing things. I'm guessing that comes from his being a little stuffed bull. His posts are illustrated lectures that have many hidden joys (hint: look at the pictures). He is also wickedly funny.

(Better words of praise can be found elsewhere in the blog)

And then there is me, or is that I? The crazed Master Of Ceremonies, who's got a rambling style, has seen more movies than is healthy and is insane enough to think that he can post a review or two a day and not not go off his nut.

We are a fun bunch, and hopefully there will be more since I'm trying to bring at least two more mad men into the Unseen fold.

Over the course of the last six months I've slowly been trying to figure out where we've wanted this blog to go. I'm still not sure we've worked it out, other than we're going to continue to give you more movies to try and see. I know that I've got notes for things I want to do, like a page for sources and perhaps trying to reformat the blog and change the colors, but simply trying to write up a movie a day-even in advance and even with contributors- is a daunting one. Worse; I still haven't figured out a way of dealing with the suggestions we've received other than to dribble them out.

As I, we, stand looking out for the next six months I'd like to take the time to talk about the future in more concrete terms.

Being realistic I don't think the format is going to change much over the next six months; a review a day, two on Wednesday (matinee day) and a theme every weekend. I think the look is going to remain the same at least for the foreseeable future, black background with white letters. I think any changes will come once we make it past a year of films.

However over the next couple of months we're going to mix some things up, try a few new things and we're going to keep giving you some really good movies (mostly good) to see.

Since you've been so nice I'll give you a taste of what's in store:

Labor Day weekend and week we're going to do a The Belabored Day Marathon. This is seven days of films that we like, but which we feel have been overly lauded (or in one case reviled). We're calling the series On Further Review and it will be where we take the classics off their top shelf and put them a little closer to where they belong. (Teaser: Ken is hard at work on something truly special for this and...well you'll have to see it to believe it.)

As September turns to October the New York Film Festival arrives. We'll have some coverage of some of the screenings.

We're going to be doing 10 days of movies from comics at the start of October. This will be during the time that there are two comic conventions in New York City on two consecutive weekends. (I've been talking to Bully about doing something special for this and I'm hoping it can be pulled off)

After that I'm going to correct a glaring error and really do justice to one of my favorite filmmakers, Werner Herzog, with a week of his documentaries. Herzog is the man responsible for pushing my love of film into mania and I'll leave it at that.

For Halloween we're going to do something radically different. Normally we're trying to unearth treasures and show them to you. During the week before and up to Halloween Unseen is taking the opposite track and showing you the horrors that really should remain buried. These are not the so bad they are fun films, these are the ones below the bottom of the barrel and are on replay in hell.

Some political films for Election Day.

Some World War One films for Veterans Day.

We're trying to work out exactly how to pay tribute to a certain legendary Turkey Day Marathon for Thanksgiving. This should be a blast so keep watching.

Some truly unseen and almost totally forgotten films will be getting a week in early December, with a second week sometime after that. What I'm talking about is DVD extras. Think about it, how many special feature films on DVDs have gotten lost because no one is watching them after the first time through? We're going to start to correct that situation because frankly there are so many great films, many better than the film they accompany, that it's a shame no one is paying them any attention.

That will bring us toward the holiday season and we're still working out what we want to do. There are a large number of holiday films out there and its nice not to have to watch the same old movies and specials. (Don't worry the idea of a Christmas Carol every day in December isn't going to happen, though I suspect the classic tale will be represented)

After that New Years and who knows what that will bring.

And this brings me to the end of the post. I've talked about where the blog has been and where it's going. I've also done the most important thing; thanked you our readers.

All that's left at this point is to remind you we love your comments, we want your suggestions and we really do want to thank you for reading.

Thank you...

And now its time to go find more movies to share.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your 6 month old movie blog! Keep up the great work & promotion of movies that are undercover that the public should know about to appreciate. There's already a few movies that I want to see because of you & your contributors writing including memories of matsuko & The Evil.
    Keep up the good reviews!
    -Mr. C