2012 was an incredible year at Above The Line:Practical Movie Reviews. A year filled with great highs and some lesser times, my 222th blog post at just shy of a half million words, reaching the 75,000 visitor mark with comments and casual passerbys, the regulars and the lurkers, other bloggers and the like. It seems like with each year things change and stay the same, grow and develop into new and exciting opportunities. I’ve met so many incredible artists and writers, movie folks and entertainment professionals, bloggers, actors, poets and philosophizers. I do my best to focus on this here and now against all the things in and around it, the challenges of staying on track when there are so many things going on. Ask any blogger and you’re likely to find we all struggle with the line between our personal lives and our blogging lives, when to detour and what to include, exclude, suggest and leave alone. I started this blog to keep my mind in the process work of making movies, writing about them as much as writing them, mixing the two, steering into uncharted territories and familiar ones for the ever elusive fame, fortune and biggest catch. Sometimes the mix has little to do with one another while being exactly the same thing. 2012 included some dreams that came true, writing for Warner Bros., big birthday news and big distractions too, really great excursions and the inevitable stumble that comes in the figuring out stage. I decided a wrap up was more than necessary and of course had planned on posting this last week, the week before – but like all blogs we’re living the moments and sometimes we just can’t stop to write about what’s going on until later, like now.
I write about movies in theaters and elsewhere, those just released and the ones that have been around a long time. I do what I can to catch films during their theater run too and in 2012 I caught some big ones, missed some I would have liked to have gotten lost in the big screen, was happy to miss others. 2012 was a varied year and I couldn’t help but put out my Oscar picks and others, words on art films and year before last films, editorials and diatribes. I wanted to include other excursions too, the art gallery shows and artists I know, my love and her blog Seventh Wolf, other people and filmmakers, the long-lost and the gone too soon. I covered incredible films like Lawless and blockbuster spectacles like Dark Knight Rises, big bombshells like Rock of Ages where it’s hard to imagine a film could go so wrong so far as that, but did. I wrote for an entertainment network and employment portal called Actors and Crew for a while, it was interesting and curious and then it was no more. I moved on and stayed where I was at, wrote some more and got out to see movies thankfully. I included the ATL 2.5 year in review covering some of this and the blogger’s life, much about my visitors and other blogs, about the places visited and just missed, always returning to the movies for this. It’s a strange place, all this constant contact with movies loved and less, movies despised for failing at almost everything but for the reason why.
Movies have a very special place in our lives, they greet us when we need them most, dismiss our tears and embrace our laughter too; they take us away to galaxies far, far away only to return to cherished sentimentalism, war stories and love stories with bombs for company and matters of the heart leading us into our own romances and misdemeanors. Movies are the motion picture soundtracks of our lives, constantly lifting us up and setting us down, taking us away at least for a little while. We need our movies as much as anything, everything; we need movie reviews to help us find the way or steer clear and come back another time. Movie review blogs show us more and save us from less, the reason I got started and the reason I keep on going.
In 2012 I wrote about curious independent films like Blue Like Jazz, got sidetracked with asides like I Write (2012) Not What You Think, Blue Print For Movie Review Diatribes and saw myself and my film La Maniere screened in Canada for Jean Luc Godard’s 80th birthday inspired film festival then later spotlighted in Splice Magazine. I was particularly excited about writing for Warner Bros., which included receiving an impressive collection of Blu-ray movies to keep, followed by a prize package of even greater titles to dazzle any movie collection. The year included The Art of the Work of Selling Your Work, about writing for a living and selling your living, the 24 hours-a-day job of selling what you make so you can afford to sell what you make. We lost luminary Tony Scott last year and I wrote about his many contributions to our movie soundtrack living, about his great vision and terrible loss. I’m reminded of how the great voices must contend with their own demons and ours, the pressure to be our heroes and matinée idols while living their own quiet tragedies. I posted an editorial about Mel Gibson, the madman and auteur for sure, Tom Hardy the gentleman brawler and my wife Melissa’s art shows that give us all hope we’ll one day find a place for our art or at least a place to commune about it. I wrote about Florida based multi-media artist James R. Wilkinson and his many dalliances, his trips of fantastic light and dark everything, something, anything that could and should but probably knows better to be so honest. In the end I wrote thousands of words rushing to December 31st only to come up short but happy with most, a lot to say and plenty more, I’m sure.
Half or more of writing a movie blog is the collective zone of movie blogs out there. There are hundreds, thousands really, from the crazy-crazies to the artful, the horror centrics and auteurs only, the associations like LAMB and MUBI, the aggregators like Rottentomatoes you love to hate and Metacritic that assemble opinions as easily as bristle brooms rustling up popcorn and soda cups. There are my regular visitors and comment leavers, the people I’ve come to know and their blogs that glow, the links to links and chain link fences, blogs about blogging and blogging about blogs. In no particular order, and with help because we all need a little help, special thanks to Rodney at Fernby Films, Nostra at My Film Views, Beer Movie at Beer Movie, Mark over at Marked Movies, Blake at Bitchin’ Film Reviews, Mark at Fast Film Reviews, John over at TDYLF (the droid you’re looking for) and Dan at Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews. Surely I’m missing a dozen more, at least two or three who deserve a comment or three. It’s a little web and bigger webs, depending on your visiting. The end of the year reminds me I’ve got so very much writing to do and visiting too, got to get over there and say hello, read more and comment more. Then you head out and start doing a search on your name, on your blog, and you come up with the oddest things. You find links to links and places to places, sites you’ve been often and others you can’t remember when. It’s a circle sometimes or better yet, a staircase leading forward, sometimes back, but always onward.
2012 for me was a year of change and staying the same, a year filled with greatness and much less status, professional and personal travels to and from tomorrow and the day after that. Movie review blogs are curious places filled with ideas and opinions and even dreams. They are here for our reading and stealing away, places we can find one another in the clear calm midnight hour, miles for hours on the clock that might say we’re in different times and different days but we find one another sometimes, here and elsewhere, caught in the light from movie theaters and living room entertainment centers, held in the forever glow from the movies we love and the dreams that keep us together, one in the same and sometimes one of many and even none, thankfully.
Related articles about end-o-year wrappings, trappings and ramblings.
- http://www.fernbyfilms.com/2012/12/31/from-the-editor-31-12-12/ (fernbyfilms)
- FrontRowGeek 2012 Review Roundup – The Watch (frontrowgeek.com)
- Totting up 12 months (thehindu.com)
- Dilemma (no not the film) (randomfilmmusings.wordpress.com)
- Retrospective:The Movies of 2012 (mibreviews.com)
- Tyson’s Roundup – 2012 in Blogging (headinavice.com)
- Top 20… err 23 movies of 2012 part 3 (Examiner) (moviejunkieto.com)
- My Filmyear: 2012 (myfilmviews.com)
- Is January Still a Movie Wasteland? 13 Flicks Hitting Theaters After New Year’s Day (rr.com)