Sunday, May 15, 2016

Nightcap 5/15/16- Floor Wax or Dessert Topping:What is Unseen Films, some things upcoming and Randi's links

Poster in a coffee shop in Brooklyn
Is Unseen a film Website or a Blog?

Its a question that keeps popping up again and again.

What exactly is the site? Its hosted by Blogger so it must be a blog right? It  doesn't have a  dot com so it's not a real site? We take a conversational attitude at times so it's not a serious website?

Its a a problem I keep running into. I had hoped to settle the question by going to a dot com earlier this year but life has gotten in the way.

Frankly I don't know why it matters. I think it's in the minds of some people that unless I'm a dot something I can't be serious, but after about 5000 films in six years time I think we're serious about what we do.

Seriously we've reviewed 5000 films in six years that's more than many other more serious sites have over their longer existences.

And still we don't get respect in some places.

We have trouble connecting with some of the bigger PR firms. Since we are on Blogger we are a blog and worth throwing information our way, 42 West ignores us out right because we are not a certain size and because are a "blog". Grated they ignore other people who aren't at major outlets frequently but Unseen is completely ignored. (And because we're ignored they will never read this so I can call them out)

What exactly is Unseen Films?

To me we are a film website. Period.

Unseen Films is a site that I run, that is written by a bunch of film fans who like to talk about films and who have their own opinions. We see what we want. We cover what we want and we don't answer to anyone.We don't take advertising or anything and so we are no beholden to anyone. We simply state our opinions and run with it. We want to engage others with our thoughts and get a dialog going.

Unseen is a site that for the most part doesn't trumpet the big releases. Partly because we are more often than not invited to the party (or in the case of Disney uninvited after a bad review). Yes we will get to an occasional big release (I did CAPTAIN AMERICA last weekend) but more often then not its after the smokes cleared (weeks or months later) and we're attacking with fresh eyes to see it differently.

We do tend to dwell in the inde tracks, travel to foreign film locations and seek out the off beat. We're a site that is being sought out by small filmmakers and by festivals and by people who don't want or can't get the main stream to give them notice or their opinion. But they are coming to us NOT because we will give them notice because no one else will, but rather because we will give them an audience- we will will get them seen- our numbers double and triple when we do festival coverage. When people know we are doing heavy festival coverage, say of Oxford, or Tribeca or DOC NYC readership rises

We are slowly growing and we are getting on people's radar.

Somehow at this point  I think we're beyond being a blog.

Do we take a conversational POV at times? Yes. We do it because that's how the review comes out.

I do it too because I want you to know why I like or hate a film. Being academic or clinical is nice at times but movies are not clinical or academic they are living breathing things that exist to move us on a human level- relating to them like that makes the reasons for liking or hating  or connecting to a film all the more intense. Being human gives hand holds for people to connect.

And it also gives you my voice, and the voices of everyone else who writes here their own time in the sun.

Seriously- go to a bunch of film sites where there are multiple writers- read several pieces from several writers and odds are they all blur together. The writers don't have a voice of their own. Yes some are better than others- but in most cases people all sound the same. Even in their interviews.

Now look at Unseen's writers- look at my voice, and compare it to Mondo's or Mr C or Ariela's or Eden's or Hubert's or Peter's or John's and you'll find it them all to be completely different. No one writes the same way.

I love that.

We are people discussing film on a website. And the fact that we are not on a dot whatever doesn't change that, nor does the fact we're not on Rotten Tomatoes, or in a critics guild.
A couple of upcoming things-

As you know I have seen the new Neil Gaiman documentary NEIL GAIMAN DREAM DANGEROUSLY and I've fallen in love with it. A review is up. I'm toying with a second piece on it and I'm in the middle of interviewing director Patrick Meaney about it.

We will be running a couple of pieces on THE SAD & BEAUTIFUL WORLD OF SPARKLEHORSE. Eden is the fan of the group and will be taking lead and getting first crack at the film. I will be doing a second follow up piece as someone who was seeing the film essentially knowing nothing about the group.  it should make for interesting reading.

This week look for some new releases and the final films in the Webb and Chinook series from Warner Archive
Randi's links:

What makes Pixar relatable
Walken talks everything including cow bell
Ursula Lea Guin film is coming
A place for Georges stuff
Helen Mirren on women's roles and Shakespeare
The most insane amusement park ever
Plot points Marvel won't deal with
Taxi Driver at 40
Crazy people review a monster bag
TV show status
Play a theremin
Hanging with Al Jaffee
Homer Simpson stop breaking the 4th wall
Giant Ant
This makes Randi want to know French
A personal trip to Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Painting the 4th dimension
Antique Roadshow Whoops
Making the 1980's HBO intro


  1. I really enjoy your blog. My only criticism is that you really overuse the the word "great" in your reviews.