Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The One Year Switch Postgame Show


There was a time when I had wanted to change WSW into a classic film blog. I had been a member of The LAMB for awhile, and I was still getting to know some of the other bloggers, which wasn't easy, given the size of the group even then. (It's much bigger now.) I don't recall the exact point when I began to favor the company of the classic film bloggers, but once I did, I can't deny the influence they had on me. I liked learning about old movies, and I liked the fact that many of them - the ones who are part of CMBA, at least - were and are so close-knit.


The piece on Jean Arthur was one of the
most popular ones of the year.
Switching to all-classics, all the time seemed like an extreme measure, though, since I didn't start off that way, so after some thought, I came up with this compromise instead: to try it for a year and to see how I liked it. I think it's been time well spent. I did my best to immerse myself in the Old Hollywood era (with some concessions to the 70s and 80s), while at the same time, I attempted new ways to write about them, no matter how silly or unconventional, because there's no point in doing this if I can't have some fun every once in awhile.

That said, now that I've reached the end, I gotta say that as illuminating and challenging as this past year has been, I'm glad it's over. In the halftime report, I talked about how dedicated the classic film bloggers are to this era of film history, how devoted they are to it and how deeply it's ingrained into their lives, and that's great. I love the old stuff too; I wouldn't have participated in this experiment if I didn't, and old movies will always have a place here at WSW.

At the same time, I believe it's necessary to compare the past to the present, side by side, to understand both of them better. I say this with all due respect to the friends I've made among the classic film bloggers, who do such a superlative job week in and week out of documenting those golden oldies, but there came a point last year during my experiment where writing about the old stuff felt incomplete.

Analyzing one scene of Double Indemnity
was a great challenge.
Yes, I talked about the new stuff too, in a more abbreviated form, but that wasn't as satisfying. There were times when I wanted to say more about certain new movies - and while I realize there are no rules to this except those I set up for myself, I was trying to emulate, to a certain degree, the bloggers whom I look to as inspirations, almost all of whom don't even write about the new stuff.

Bottom line: I don't feel comfortable sticking to the oldies. Certain bloggers grew up with them all their lives, regardless of age, and simply have a passion for them. Others are as much in love with the Old Hollywood era in general - the fashion, the history, the memorabilia - as the movies themselves. Those conditions don't apply to me. I first became a cinephile through learning about classic film in college, true, and as a video store clerk for over seven years, I explored the studio era much further, but it was the 90s indie film movement that I identify with more, and it helped shape my film tastes to this day. Writing about movies doesn't feel right without the modern ones, the big studio extravaganzas as well as the indies. 


The Cinematic World Tour didn't fly so well, especially
the post for The Young Girls of Rochefort.
So that's why the Switch is temporary. In fact, I'm going to put the oldies on hiatus for the next couple of months, to regain a sense of equilibrium, you could say - with one exception: there's a Barbara Stanwyck blogathon coming up this month, and I certainly can't stay away from that!

I think the Switch went well overall. Naturally, there are things I regret not doing. I think I spent a little too much time on mainstream American studio movies. I had wanted to dive into some fringe material, real left-of-center, psychotronic cult stuff, though I kinda came close during my classic horror month in October. Also, I would've liked to have done a little more with Westerns and musicals. So now I know what to aim for this year.

Some of my more experimental posts worked and some didn't. The profiles weren't that different from the regular posts, but they're the ones I'm most proud of now. I'm glad I met my goal of 24, though there were times when I came close to missing that mark. I knew from the start that I didn't want to write only about movies; I wanted to write about the people who made them as well, so this was an integral part of my plan from day one. I tried to be as diverse as possible with regard to race, gender, occupation and level of popularity.


I had to initially post the Spartacus piece without images
when my computer needed repair.
I'm still amazed at the turnout for the CinemaScope Blogathon. One last time, I gotta say thanks to everyone who participated, and to ClassicBecky for being my partner. This year's blogathon will happen later in the year, because the person who I'm hoping to partner up with has travel plans and plans for other blogathons.

As for why there was no December banner, well, when I got my computer repaired, I also got a software upgrade, and while my Photoshop program is still on my laptop and is unchanged, I don't quite know how to open it. See, I originally got it from my old roommate and he walked me through it, but now... well, it's hard to explain.

So that's the end of The One Year Switch. Hope you found it somewhat entertaining. This year, as I've already mentioned, is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, and once each month I'll talk about its influence beyond the shows and movies, in other movies and in other media as well. September will be "30 Days of Trek," in which I'll talk about the people, characters and episodes that made Trek great. This month, we've got the Stany blogathon coming up, plus the Oscar nominations as well, so stick around. Lotta good stuff on the horizon.

2 comments:

  1. I'm one of those who can't live without classic movies - I may even get a headache if I spend too much time without wathcing a black and white movies. I watch modern ones also, but the classics are my passion, my mania, my everything.
    You did a great job with this switch, and know that you'll be always welcomed back by the classic film bloggers!
    Cheers!
    Le

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  2. Thanks. I was a little concerned as to how folks like you would react to this - my perspective has always been different, after all - but it looks like I was worried over nothing.

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