Hello everyone! It’s been quite some time since I’ve written any kind of post other than my movie reviews. I can blame external factors for consuming all necessary creativity and energy; the main, if not the only, external factor in question was, of course, finishing my undergraduate education. Now, as I head into the great unknown– a summer filled with uncertainty and job applications, cover letters and existential crises, and perhaps most importantly, blockbusters and [attempted] bingewatching– I felt it was time to write a Redhead Temper post that reflects slightly upon my film studies education as well as the imminent one-year birthday/anniversary of this very blog. So, with that context in mind, here are the resolutions and realizations I’ve come up with as I head into that great unknown– and into my second year as a movie blogger.
Remain educated: Sometimes I grapple with whether I am an amateur film critic or an amateur film scholar or whether I’m just an average young woman who has a sufficient knack for writing and a zealous love for movies. Sometimes I question how much I do this for fun and how much I pretend it’s my profession. I think I maintain a pretty good balance, but the truth is, I kind of am a scholar at heart. I can’t turn off the things I’ve learned over the past four years about film history and analysis– when I review a film, I sometimes feel as though I’m (at least subconsciously) reading the film as well. So, I say, where’s the harm in doing so, and where’s the harm in continuing to learn how to do so?
Besides, there is so much my education did not cover, and I’m in no way bitter about that. Being a blogger has already taught me so much, just through being able to share ideas with other bloggers who know different things than I do, who have seen more films than I have, and who do such creative things with their sites, things I admire and aspire to emulate. Plus, in addition to the learning that takes place through writing and commenting, I think there are so many great websites and outlets for me to keep reading as well; the sort of meta structure and tone of this very post was inspired by Indiewire and Criticwire, for example. If it weren’t for those sites, I probably wouldn’t think about what any of this even means– what it means to have a movie blog, what it means to be a movie critic, the language that is employed by reviewers, and the ever-evolving status of a once-profession/now-hobby. So, even if I’m no longer reading scholarly articles and writing academic papers, I can still learn something new everyday, and continue to blend these different styles of writing and different modes of thinking into a distinct style that is funny, smart and accessible.
Don’t be afraid to debate: I’ve never been one for confrontation, and someone at an internship once told me (upon my asking for blogging advice, actually) never to get into an fight over the internet. However, I realize that film and television reviewing can be quite subjective and polarizing, and that when everyone is aware of the no-fighting-online rule (which not everyone may be, but for the most part, I haven’t had any problems with that yet) there can be really healthy debates here in the blogging world. I am fascinated by the different perspectives and opinions out there about pop culture topics, like I said before, and part of why I started Redhead Temper in the first place is to air some of those issues out, to get people talking (even if at the beginning, I was only talking to myself).
Watch as much as you can, and keep an open mind: As I mentioned before also, I often attempt to bingewatch and barely, if ever, succeed at it. This summer, I’m going to watch as much as I can, movies and television alike– everything from foreign films to indie gems to classics I still haven’t seen (which I’m embarrassed to admit to not having seen yet). I tend to re-watch movies as they are repeated on television, movies I’ve seen countless times already, and as a result, I waste a lot of my free time (which is often limited as it is) being able to quote movies to perfection, when that time could have been better spent branching out, browsing through Netflix, and discovering a new favorite flick– as fun as quoting old favorites may be, of course.
Take advantage of every opportunity: For someone who works at Film Forum in the summers, I often surprise (and disappoint) myself knowing how much film culture is around me and how little of it I truly take advantage of. But now that I’m done with college and staying put permanently, I am going to do as much as I can to soak up every little drop of film culture the world has to offer me; everything from film festivals, outdoor screenings, repertory, and the Critic Academy (a goal I’ve had since last summer– if accepted, and chances are slim just based on competition and selectivity alone, I’d be assigned to various NY Film Festival events in the fall, writing coverage and attending workshops and lectures with professional critics).
So, that’s all I’ve got for now, readers. I’m going to dive right back into writing Redhead Temper, No Particular Order, and Preview Review posts now that I’ve gotten all this therapeutic, liberating, self-reflexive stuff off my chest. Plus, I’m in the process of coming up with new features to add to my blog to spice things up even further, but with all my guest contribution commitments now, I’m not making any promises (or progress) on that yet. Thank you all for the support thus far, though– I can’t believe that I am a LAMB member, write for three other awesome sites, and that people follow, comment, like, and compliment me on the things I ramble about through the written word. It has truly been a pleasure and an honor, and here’s to whatever this next year of blogging (and my first year of real life, I guess) may bring!