What’s the motivation behind any writer? Why does he insist in communicating with a blank screen? I’ve always seen two paradoxical forces. On the one hand, the writer only produces text because of an urge to talk to others – there’s this essential need to test some truth against the outside world. His sole intention behind expressing feelings or passing on some truism is to receive feedback for such ideas. Unsure if anyone else agrees with him, the writer basically tries to validate what he perceives as the accurate description of the world.
On the other hand, there is a significant side to every writer that insists on writing mainly for oneself. Almost as some kind of reflex action, content creators are supplying the world with material they want to consume themselves. I started TOWARDS A GREATER CANON with that stimulus in the background. Excellent film blogs do abound on the internet, but I simply wanted to focus on a collection of magnificent films from around the world: an ambitious list that, with time, would evolve to give us a truly great canon.
Obviously, my limitations as a film enthusiast will necessarily show through the choices I make – not only on the movies chosen but also on which specific aspect of such films I decide to talk about. I hope however that the list of the greatest films is of sufficient high quality and broad enough (both in terms of time and space) to satisfy the reader who is interested in the best that cinema can offer. It is with mixed feelings that I celebrate the blog’s anniversary. I’m fairly satisfied with its writing quality, if not always with every stylistic choice.
The most frustrating aspect of such rewarding activity is the huge gap between the quality of my writing and the quality of the films discussed. It irritates me profoundly that such masterpieces are not done justice by me. There’s no cheap modesty when I say this. I know that, for instance, Paths of Glory or A City of Sadness are genuine works of great art – valuable beyond their cinematic merits – and although I’m fairly satisfied with my writing for the last year, I’m also aware that I’ve got a long way to go before I reach a certain level of proficiency.
But you know what, this is a frustration that I gladly embrace. I know it’s an old cliché, but it is nevertheless true that this whole writing experience is a learning curve. My overall knowledge of films might be still very deficient and my writing style might persist with its awkwardness, but in relative terms I’ve learnt so much in the last two years. Furthermore, I’d like to think that somehow I’ve become more tolerant and less arrogant just because I’ve seen some wonderful movies from exotic, faraway places, where people are just like us.
I guess the thing that would bother most bloggers is the site’s limited audience. Honestly, I don’t mind that at this learning stage there are not thousands out there judging my output. I’d like to think that this has nothing to do with fear, but simply reflects a sense of realism. It might as well just be me deluding myself about remaining into a permanent safe realm, free from any criticism, never having to face up the possibility of success… I just want to improve the quality of my writing and the ability for insight, and hope to captivate more readers.
It’s an unforgiving world out there that sees some astonishing cinema resources on the internet struggling to keep afloat. With magnificent, in-depth essays, Cinephilia & Beyond is at risk of dying from the lack of financial support. Thus, great acts of pure love pushes forward many film blogs. One of these, They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? is a favorite of mine for sometime now. Lastly, I confess to having become obsessed with The Masters of Cinema Series, which boasts a collection of Blu-rays worthy of the attention of any serious cinephile.
Then, for the last ten years there’s the exciting new world of YouTube, where film enthusiasts upload videos from movie lists to classes on film techniques; from debating the merits of some great directors to running over the history of the medium. By editing bits and pieces of great movies, sometimes these amateur auteurs create a mosaic of thematic relevance. This is what Jonathan Keogh has done with his video about Steven Jay Schneider’s 1001 Movies You Must See Before you Die. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading!
* Clip sourced from Jonathan Keogh’s YouTube Channel, presented for educational purpose. No copyright infringement is intended here. *
August 2016. ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo ooooo Ricardo Pizzeghello.