Tuesday, March 20, 2012

7x7 Link Award

Thanks so much to Tyler, Sati, RuthDiana, and Dan for their kind consideration in giving me the 7x7 Link Award. To say I love their blogs is a grand understatement, so to be linked by them is really quite an honor.

  • Tell everyone something that no one else knows about you
  • Link my personal posts to a variety of categories
  • Dish out the honor to seven other blogs

 Something You Don’t Know…
In addition writing this blog, I’m a freelance reporter for several publications, and I’m the Editor in Chief of a quarterly magazine run by the company I work for. But as writing is concerned, what I take most pleasure in is screenwriting. I’ve written a number of scripts, one of which I’m shooting in LA next month (I’ll start blogging about this as soon as The Week of Mamet is finished).

But as for the thing people don’t know: my creative writing is always motivated (or influenced, or propelled) by music. I’m an insatiable fan of indie rock and electronica, and most every script I’ve written (or have thought about writing) incorporates at least one song into its story, usually in the final scene. The movie I’m shooting next month, for example, was partly inspired by a Radiohead song (the title of which I’m not going to reveal). Point is, I get an immeasurable amount of inspiration from music. As of late, M83’s album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming has sparked as intense a creative burst as I’ve ever had. It's one of the best albums I’ve ever heard.

And So it Begins Superlatives…
Most Beautiful Piece: “Beautiful,” hell I don’t know. I’ve always thought I articulated myself exactly how I wanted to articulate myself in my comparison of Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line.

Most Helpful Piece: My list of 101 Things the Movies Have Taught Me certainly inspired many of my fellow bloggers to draft similar lists, so I suppose that was helpful…?

Most Popular Piece: That’s easy, my list of Nine Worthy, non-Animated, G-rated Films is by far the most popular article I’ve ever published.

Most Controversial Piece: This is a split: both my list of Movies I Hate That You (Probably) Love and my essay on why The Help is a worthless piece of shit both sparked some welcome controversy.

Most Surprisingly Successful Piece: Another easy one, the post about my brother was met with ecstatic praise that still confounds me. I can’t thank you all enough for that.

Most Underrated Piece: I’m never dismayed (or bummed, or…whatever) when a post doesn’t receive a lot of hits and/or comments, because people are going to read what they want to read. It’s all good either way. With that in mind, my write-up on Erland Josephson was by far the least-read In Character I’ve done yet, which was a tad surprising.

Most Pride-Worthy Piece: Tough one, because I’m not at all boastful of my work. I was definitely proud of my review for Shame. It’s one of the finest films I’ve ever seen and, much like the Private Ryan/Thin Red Line post, I conveyed exactly what I aimed to convey in my review. One minor correction, that A grade should actually be an A+.

Passing the 7x7 On…
(For the record, I’m trying to honor blogs that have not yet published a 7x7 post, which does not make them any less deserving.)


  1. Well done man, I remember most of these posts quite well.

    I also listen to music while I write. One of my favourite albums is Rhian Sheehan's "Standing in Silence," which is my favourite album of the last decade. It's from my own home country too, New Zealand, but if you ever come across it it is definitely worth a listen. God, I love it.

    Other music I listen to is the orchestral work of Arvo Part and Zbigniew Preisner. Preisner is my favourite musical artist of all time, and I'm actually posting a writeup on his soundtrack for Three Colours today! Arvo Part is also great; his musical piece "Fur Alina" is the most haunting piece of music EVER recorded.

    Phew, I just rambled a bit, didn't I? Oh well.

  2. @Tyler Haha no worries at all, if the album is as good as you say, I'm definitely going to have to check it out. I do indeed listen to music while I write, but I was talking more about music directly inspiring the writing. For example, there are a few M83 songs on the album I linked that have directly influenced scripts I've written in the past few months. I'm not talking about the lyrics in the song, just the overall mood. Something about a song I love... it just gets the creative juices flowing.

  3. Watching The Help tonight so might give that controversial piece another look afterwards!

  4. @Pete Oh please do! Be curious to hear what you think.

  5. First of all, Thanks for Passing it to Me !! Last couple of weeks, since I joined LAMB have been really eventful in terms of Blogging.

    I don't remember how long I have following you, but somehow I remember reading every single one of these posts especially Movies You Hate post(You seriously don't like LOTR ?? haha)- Great Stuff Man !!

    Thanks Again Man !!

  6. @SDG Hey buddy, it is my pleasure. I've really enjoyed discovering and reading U, Me and Films over these past few months. Congrats on becoming a LAMB, just more encouragement to keep up the good work.

    Glad you like the posts I linked, even if we don't always agree!

  7. I don't own the Help, and haven't seen it. Sometimes I consider getting the DVD, but then I'm like 'Ehhh....nahhh....meehhhhh....' One day I'll see it and then I'll be able to comment on the controversy.
    Very cool post, excellent job!

  8. @Ruth Thanks! Yeah, The Help is uhhh... not for me. To say the least haha

  9. You're very welcome, honestly out of all the blogs I read your articles are ones of the most enjoyable to read and your 101 things the movie thaught me inspired me to do one of the most entertaining things on my blog yet. I'm frequently inspired by music too, mostly by giving title to my reviews, which frequently come from songs. M83 is an amazing band, there is just so much of sense of freedom and mystery in their work.

  10. @Sati. So, you dislike Return of the King and Gladiator AND you dig M83? Fuckin' awesome.

    Thanks so much for your kind words. Obviously, I am quite an admirer of your blog!

  11. Thanks heaps for dishing out the honor to me, really means a lot! I think you were one of the first ever people to stumble across my blog and you've been such a big motivator with your kind words!

    Shooting in LA next month sounds very exciting!

    Just looking at the movies you hated and I gladly didn't love any of them (although LOTR was ok in my books) so that's good to see ;)

  12. @Alex Thomas Nice, another basher of movies I hate! Love it.

    I really dig your site, and believe me, your content will only improve over time. I really enjoy Time for a Film just how it is now, so I am very excited to see what you do with it in the future.

  13. Great to hear you are producing a film Alex. Best of luck with that.

    Your Saving Private Ryan/The Thin Red Line piece is superb. I need to catch up with some of the others.

  14. @Dan Thanks Dan! I really appreciate that. Going to start blogging about the movie soon.

  15. I gladly gave you this award because you have one of the most interesting, eloquent, direct, beautiful writing styles out there and it is always a pleasure reading your blog. Plus, it doesn't hurt that you're a nice guy and your film knowledge is so superior than mine (I blame your posts and tweets for my ever-growing To See list)

  16. @Diana It's comments like that that make me value our friendship so much. I've really enjoyed getting to know you and reading your blog. Always happy to add to your To See list :)

  17. M83’s latest album truly had some epic tracks, lots to enjoy, "Reunion" and "Splendor" particularly I found memorable. The hyped song "Midnight City "just annoyed me interestingly. Of their previous work, a couple of powerful tunes if you haven't already heard them are: "Skin Of The Night" and "Kim & Jessie"

    Really in awe of how you manage to post long, quality articles day in and day out here at your site. Your energy levels must be a lot higher than mine! Interested to hear how the shooting of your script goes, will be checking back for news ( :

  18. @Chris Hey man, thanks so much for saying that. I do indeed have an abnormally high level of energy. But I equate writing, particularly about films, to the act of breathing. That may sound dramatic, but it's what I have to do to stay sane. That fact that so many people dig the blog is still something I can't get my head around. I'm deeply humbled to have met people like you. So, thanks.

    Now, M83... LOVE all the songs you mentioned. I've currently been spending most of my listening time with him on their older work, which is raw, but enjoyable.

    That said, there has literally not been one single say that has passed since Hurry Up, We're Dreaming was released in November, that I haven't listened to it.