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Archive for October 4th, 2010

by Sam Juliano

     Note:  This is the fifth entry in an ongoing series that honors creative bloggers who have really made a difference, raising the bar for quality and productivity on the cultural front.

     One of the blogosphere’s most renowned film communities, Living in Cinema, was launched in April of 2007 by Los Angeles native Craig Kennedy.  The forty-ish Kennedy, who was an active blogger at Sasha Stone’s Awards Daily for several years before the advent of LIC, was born and raised in the Seattle area before heading south to the “City of Angels” in 1995.  Kennedy, a low-key sort who seems to have been born to be a moderator, admits that he was motivated to start up his own place “out of frustration over the content of many of the professional sites I read at the time. There was too much focus on box office and celebrity gossip and too often they put the awards cart before the movie horse. Film festival coverage seemed to consist of sticking fingers into the wind to anticipate what was going to be the next Little Miss Sunshine. I wanted a site that approached movies with movie enthusiasm for its own sake – one that didn’t judge the quality of a movie based on how much money it made or how many awards it received, so I started one.” 

     Almost by design, Kennedy’s formula for an alternative blogsite immediately began to attract fellow movie lovers, many of whom have stayed on tenaciously for the three-and-a-half years the site has been thriving.  The site’s core supporters include close friend Joel Ehly, an Oregon native who in the three year duration of the site has commented on over 90% of Kennedy’s postings, and has triggered many lengthy discussions in the unique cummunity-style discouse that often escalates into what can rightfully be refered to as “live discussion.”  Jennifer Boulden of Arkansas, Alison Flynn of New York City, New Zealander “sartre”,  Daniel Getahun of Minneapolis (himself the proprietor of the popular and long-running bogsite Getafilm), Don Haumant (a.k.a.”Pierre de Plume”) of Minnesota, Slant critic Chuck Bowen, San Francisco-area film writer Alexander Coleman, and the Big Apple’s Dorothy Porker have stayed with Kennedy since the site’s inception, spending countless hours rendering verdicts on their recent movie viewings in the theatres or at home, and in contributing thoughtful commentaries on coming attractions, passings or happenings in the lives of the site’s other regulars.  A number of others have recently appeared, as Kennedy’s affable demeanor and flexibility has accomodated (and indeed has attracted) those with a passion for the movies. (more…)

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Cap from Mark Romaneck's 'Never Let Me Go' based on celebrated Kazuo Ishiguro novel

by Sam Juliano

October.  For those who reside in the northeast, this is pictorially and temperately the most appealing time of the year.  It’s also the start of the Metropolitan Opera season, the Major League playoffs and the contuation of the NFL schedule.  It’s a time when orange comes in strongly in the seasonal spectrum, and a period where the young ones wear their masks and dye their hair.  It’s also a time when all of us with a hankering for horror films, move ahead with special fervor, knowing there is something right and proper at this particular time.  Indeed, the state of mind at Wonders in the Dark is slanted on this very genre, which has remained in filmgoer’s affections since the very birth of film as an art form.  Jamie Uhler, Troy and Kevin Olson and Robert Taylor have continued to post terrific essays and moderate memorable disscussions in presenting the countdown of the best horror films ever that will end -logically enough- on Halloween.  Waiting in the wings are Stephen Russell-Gebbet, Peter Lenihan, Bob Clark and Maurizio Roca, who will be chairing the animation, western, science-fiction and film noir pollings respectively.  Yours Truly has tentative plans to proceed with the musical poll after that line-up has run through.

The big news on the movie front of course is the weekend opening of David Fincher’s The Social Network about the founder of the phenomenon known as ‘Facebook’, and the continuing controversy surrounding Waiting For Superman, the documentary hit about failing schools and ‘incompetant’ teachers who are recipient to powerful union protection.  The American rendition of the Swedish vampire film, Let the Right One In, has also landed some surprisingly decent reviews.  Down at the Film Forum, the three week “Heist Festival” began over the weekend.  While I have a few double features targeted (Melville, Huston, Kubrick, Dassin) I will attend sparingly, as October offers a lot more on other fronts. (more…)

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