Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy 8th Anniversary Unseen Films

Tomorrow Unseen Films turns 8.

Happy Birthday to us.

Frankly after 8 years of daily film reviews, interviews, essays and news posts I’m kind of surprised we are still here and still chugging along. The amount of work that goes into all of this should have killed us (well me) long ago- and considering some twists and turns it damn near almost has…

Actually I’m more amazed that we’ve exploded all over the place. In the last year our readership exploded to the point we now have hundreds of thousands of visits every month. Apparently you and a good number of other people like what we are doing. Thank you for coming along.

As I did last year I’m not going to speculate where we are going. I don’t have a clue. The long planned switch away to a dot com or in this case a dot net just happened by accident. And we lucked into all sorts of really cool things like interviewing some of our favorite filmmakers (Yoshiro Nakamura, Eric Tsang, Bill Pullman and Patrick Meaney), and being interviewed by publications from around the world. None of it was planned it all just happened.

As we slide into our ninth year the future is open. Anything is possible. Right now the only plan outside of continuing what we’ve been doing is to try and do some of our old theme weeks. Not so long ago, before the weight of new releases and film festival coverage over took us, every week had a theme. We’d do, for example, all comedies, a whole film series or films with a director or performer in common. We’ve gotten away from that- but upcoming I have weeks planned for several series in the future. And are discussing making a stab at the entire Godzilla series, the remaining 43 Bowery Boys films we haven’t reviewed and the Dr Gillespie series which continued the Dr Kildare series.

Actually I want to move back slightly and cover more older titles. Since the New Year I’ve been reconnecting with cinema past thanks to TCM and my huge backlog of titles from Sinister Cinema. Every night I’ve been reaching into the cases where I keep the Sinister DVDs and watching two, three and four before bed. I’ve got stuff planned into July at this point- actually I have things planned in one way or another into 2019 because of theme weeks. I need to remind everyone that there are thousands of titles off the radar that need to be point out- things like THE DEMON from Italy that we reviewed last week need to be seen and appreciated. The website is called Unseen Films and I can’t tell you how many films we’re going to be uncovering in the upcoming weeks and months that I'm guessing the vast majority of you have never heard of.

I know that my reconnecting with the older stuff has slightly reduced the number of newer films being covered. I apologize to the PR people and those who just want the newer stuff, but my sole New Year’s resolution was unless I could find a reason to see a film, if it doesn’t float my boat I’m not going to look at it. After 8 years of constant film watching I was burning out and in the period between December 2016 and December 2017 almost everything I watched was programmed for me by PR people or festival programmers. I can’t do it any more- I have to see what I want for a while which is why I am doing TCM and Sinister Cinema and what ever I pull out of the ten thousand or so DVDs I own. I need to find the passion that made me want to do Unseen at the start.

Trust me I’ve seen the next five months of reviews and god damn there is some great stuff coming.

And as I write this, as we head into our 9th year things are afoot. I have all sorts of irons in the fire- I’ve been busy trying to get all sorts of interviews lined up and I have tons of festival coverage up and coming. How everything will turn out I don’t know but we’ll find out together.

As I wind this piece down I need to first thank everyone who is part of the Unseen Films family. Not only is it the writers listed in the sidebar but it’s also a cadre of unlisted people like Ariela Rubin (a festival shock trooper), Lauren Humphries Brooks, Elizabeth Whittmore, Leslie Coffin all of whom help shape what happens at Unseen either by filing reports from the road or providing endless discussion over dinner and advice from afar.

I want to thank the friends of Unseen we’ve made over the year- All the writers we share the trenches with, all the filmmakers we regularly correspond with, all the people we kibbutz with on twitter and all of the wonderful people we meet at screenings and festivals. You are all great and you give me and the rest of the Unseen crew so much to chew on that we should just deputize the whole lot of you.

May our circle of friends and family continue to grow and grow- and just a reminder that all of you are always welcome at our table.

And lastly I’d like to thank everyone of you who reads our reports. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and see what is up. If it wasn’t for you we would have given this up years ago.

And now it's time to go off and see some films and file some reports.

Happy Birthday to us....