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OVERWORK, DEPRESSION, RADIATION

by
in Filmmaking
on Dec 8, 2006

The last time I linked to Tim Lucas and his excellent Video WatchBlog Lucas was dissecting the psychological motives and emotional pitfalls of DVD collecting. Now, in a post entitled “The Trouble with Blogging,” he is similarly ruminative about the film blogging rat race, realizing that his blogging compulsion has not left him enough time to dig into the new Thomas Pynchon novel.

At the very least, Lucas’s post makes me feel better about my semi-frequent blogging breaks and sometimes sloppy proofreading.

From the piece:

“The trouble with blogging is that, at some point, you discover that you have become a blogger. As with many things, I knew this from the beginning but only on the level of language; in time, however, one begins to know the meaning of these words on a more experiential level and they acquire a different, somewhat more oppressive, weight.”

And then, later:

“In a nutshell, then: Blogging means overwork, neurosis, depression, radiation. Plus, as I’ve griped before, there’s no money in it.”

Still, Lucas perserveres, as in this long post in which he discusses his evolution as a film critic.

An excerpt:

“The experience of being on a film set and gaining insights to the actual process of making films is invaluable to anyone who writes about films. Of course, the critic is writing about the end result, but it is important to know that (for example) performance often has less to do with what is accomplished on-set than shaped in the editing room, and the extent to which budget can restrict the fulfillment of what is on the page. Too many critics blame faults on the writer, director or actors that would be more correctly laid at the door of the producer, the editor, or even the cinematographer. (I won’t go into details, but I know of one occasion where I was less than impressed by a certain actress in a certain role, and I later realized that my response had more to do with the way she was photographed than her actual performance. I later heard gossip from the set about how the actress and the cameraman had not gotten along, which just goes to support the maxim that it is a wise actress who stays on the good side of her cameraman.) Thus, one of the great dangers of writing film criticism is saying the right things while innocently giving the wrong account of them, which turns the positive into a negative. One of my own key definitions of a good critic is anyone capable of making such fine distinctions.”

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