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"R, and G, and B", a well-curated (and seemingly undiscovered) film blog
March 15, 2009 9:58 AM   Subscribe

"R, and G, and B" is a very well-curated — and, seemingly as yet undiscovered — film review blog by the video artist Blake Williams covering pictures by filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Carl Dreyer, Michael Haneke, Stanley Kubrick and, best of all, Abbas Kiarostami.
posted by colinmarshall (17 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's a film blog that consists of reviews of films by critically acclaimed directors? You're kidding me! I mean, where else would I find reviews of Kiarostami films?
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 10:17 AM on March 15, 2009


I suppose this blog reviews plenty of interesting movies, but the writing style is too solipsistic to do them justice. He should practice writing reviews without using the word "I" or "me".
posted by dydecker at 10:40 AM on March 15, 2009


one would conceivably get much more out of the Watchmen story if they had actually been patient and just adapted the 12 issues one at a time (this is speculation, I haven't seen the film, looks awful, won't see it)

Knowing what you like before you see it simplifies the job of the critic.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:00 AM on March 15, 2009


Every time I think I'm going to steer right around this weird, bitter Metafilter negativity, and every time I come to find I have deluded myself.
posted by colinmarshall at 11:05 AM on March 15, 2009


Well, I like it. The selection of films is unusual and the reviews I've read through interesting and provocative. Thanks, colinmarshall; I've already adjusted my Netflix queue.
posted by mediareport at 11:14 AM on March 15, 2009


I'm not bitter! But writing engaging reviews is very difficult, and many more fail than succeed. My problem is that this blog, by its own admission, is not even really trying to engage & entertain readers. From the Celine & Julie... review:

When I started this project of immediately writing my first reactions to every film that I watch, it was purely for personal use. I wanted to have some kind of a log for the films I was seeing, and I wanted to log these films in a less lazy way than making a list of titles.

Right, so that explains the I-centric tone: this blog is more a journal of personal reactions to films than formal reviews. A step up from lists perhaps, but he even admits it is mostly for himself and his friends:

...so that some of my friends can read what I think about the films I am seeing, what I recommend, etc. I'm not a film journalist...

All this is fair enough, mind you, and what blogs are for. The question is though: why would anyone who is not particularly interested in whether he likes a film or not bother?
posted by dydecker at 11:37 AM on March 15, 2009


I don't know; I'm unconvinced that a reviewer should adopt an un-I-centric tone. It's not as if an objective review is desirable — or even possible, really. What is a film review if not the translation of one's subjective experience of a film in a form accessible to other minds? Certainly that's the perspective that many respected film critics seem to have on their craft: Roger Ebert and Jonathan Rosenbaum, to name only two, hardly shy away from the personal pronoun. I believe Ebert's even written directly on this issue. Why pretend that a review isn't about one's own reaction to a work and one's own reaction alone? I like that Williams makes no bones about his I-centrism; the only other choice is pretending it's not there.
posted by colinmarshall at 11:46 AM on March 15, 2009


colin, your reviews are much more interesting.
posted by dydecker at 11:46 AM on March 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suppose my previous comment could be kinda-sorta reduced to this: "whether he likes a film" is, I would submit, the only thing a film critic, from the most exalted columnist to the lowliest blogger, can write about. (Well, whether and why.)
posted by colinmarshall at 11:47 AM on March 15, 2009


Regarding me-centric reviews, I'd say it's not so much about whether a writer uses pronouns as such but more the "opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one" thing: it's very easy to overemphasize your own subjective reaction and treat that as the be all and end all, and you end up with a very experiential piece of writing, ie writing in the past tense about your reaction to watching a movie, rather than doing the difficult work of putting in context with other art, its genre, factual details, the industry, etc.
posted by dydecker at 11:54 AM on March 15, 2009


Fair enough.
posted by colinmarshall at 11:54 AM on March 15, 2009


I concur with lydecker that Colin Marshall is a better and more astute writer than the author of the blog linked in the FPP. The first review I read here was that for 2001. One paragraph vacillates between wondering if it's overrrated or underrated, before saying it is pretty good; the second paragraph mentions the writer watched it with his mother, who enjoyed it but didn't understand it; the third mentions an odd reading of an unrelated film by another reviewer and mentions again inconspicuously that 2001 is pretty good.

This is something, surely, but it it is not a review.

I used to edit the arts and entertainment section for a paper: among other things, I would assign movie reviews and edit the stories filed by reviewers. If somebody brought me this as his first movie review, he would never get a second one.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:15 PM on March 15, 2009


This guy picks good films to watch, but the handful of reviews I've read are just about decent. You can tell that they are reactions from a fairly astute viewer—I'd just rather read reviews or commentary that were thought out a bit more, as well as reworked and edited. These sort of come of as first drafts. With that said, I'm still glad you posted this; I'm always looking for new viewpoints on film.

Either way, dydecker is definitely right about one thing: this is an FPP where I would've preferred the self-link.
posted by defenestration at 12:19 PM on March 15, 2009


"whether he likes a film" is, I would submit, the only thing a film critic, from the most exalted columnist to the lowliest blogger, can write about. (Well, whether and why.)

That's true. And I'd say you can get away with a lot if you write well, too.

But I guess I also like to learn stuff from reviews. I think Johnathan Rosenbaum does do that well, like you say, he gives you what he thinks of a film and that's important (i often read film reviews after I come home from the movies just to compare reactions), but even if you disagree with his take (which i often do), his writing is worthwhile because you finish reading knowing more than when you started. It's a pity he retired.
posted by dydecker at 12:21 PM on March 15, 2009


This seems like a good place to recycle this sampling of cinephile blogs from a deleted thread about film criticism.

Day for day, David Hudson's IFC Daily provides the most comprehensive overview. Other good places to start:

GreenCine Daily
Indie Eye
Movie City Indie
Salon: Beyond the Multiplex
Some Came Running
The Projectionist
Bright Lights Film Journal
Chained to the Cinematheque
davekehr.com
Film Experience Blog
Filmmaker Magazine
girish
Invisible Cinema
Jonathan Rosenbaum.com
Lessons of Darkness
Like Anna Karina's Sweater
Lost in the Frame
Observations on film art
Shooting Down Pictures
Slant Magazine
Spout
Thanks for the Use of the Hall
The Auteur's Notebook
Twitch
Vinyl is Heavy
Pullquote

...and of course, The House Next Door as well as my own humble efforts.
posted by muckster at 1:08 PM on March 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


muckster brings it again. Thanks dude.

Nice list... some favorites, some new to me.

Observations on film art and FILM ART is fantastic. Bordwell is a great writer, and with his blog he's found a way to explore aspects of film and film theory that don't make it into the books. Also, for a blog, the posts are nice and long—in the best way possible. I'm not sure the man knows how to half-ass it.
posted by defenestration at 1:16 PM on March 15, 2009


Oh yeah, I can't forget to give his wife Kristin Thompson some props, too. She writes for the blog and her posts are always interesting reads.

It must be neat to be married to someone who works in the same field as you—especially when you collaborate on projects. That sounds like an ideal situation to me, but I can also see how things could go awry.
posted by defenestration at 1:28 PM on March 15, 2009


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