Wednesday 26 November 2014

Blog Shout Out - Scott's Movie Comments

For this week's Blog Shou Out Scott Larson tells us about his movie blog. Discover more below

Hello, cultists of Michael!

I'm Scott Larson and I think I'm one of the oldest, I mean, longest running continuous movie bloggers out there. I've actually been doing it for so long that the word "blog" didn't even exist when I started. In fact, you could argue that the World Wide Web didn't even exist.

It all started back in 1987 when things were kind of slow at work and I made a deal with my boss. I would voluntarily cut my hours to half-time for a month because I wanted to see every single movie being shown at the Seattle International Film Festival during its 21-day run. He agreed, but on one condition. I had to write a review of every movie I saw and post them all on the company bulletin board every day.

So that's where it started. Years later, during my annual film festival binge, friends asked me to send my reviews out by email, so I started a mailing list. In 1995 I started putting them up on a web page, which eventually wound up a t and, as of this moment, it has accumulated 2,192 reviews of feature films, documentaries and shorts - not to mention 678 additional pages of musings, reflections and general rants and ravings about whatever was on my mind.

I have written about a fair number of big-budget Hollywood movies, but I have also covered a lot of low-budget independent films, foreign films and what I call cinema obscura - interesting movies that have been seen by hardly anyone. It's not unusual for someone to contact me about a movie they had been searching for and wondering how I had managed to see it.

Another major focus has become Irish films, since I married an Irish woman in 1998 and moved to the Emerald Isle in 2002.

One of the more popular features is my annual Academy Award predictions in which, just a day or two after the nominations are announced, I attempt to forecast the winners as well as the should-have-been-winners and the should-have-been-nominateds.

Interestingly, the pages that attract the most hits tend to be some of the oldest ones, particularly my lists of favourite Christmas movies, favourite war movies and favourite war-as-absurdity movies.

In terms of reader reactions, I think the post that keeps getting found by search engines the most and which has generated the most feedback was one I wrote about the Cannes Film Festival and my tongue-in-cheek description of the correct way to pronounce "Cannes." Apparently, it was a question on a lot of people's minds - and not one that all people agreed on. Another one that caused a fuss was a rant I wrote about the Lifetime cable TV channel in the US (tagline: TV for women) and how its movies always seem to make women victims. And for real controversy, there was the time I innocently opined that Rupert Grint was a better actor than Daniel Radcliffe - much to the rage of devoted Radcliffe fans. I have since come to reconsider.

People who have followed my blog for any amount of time also know that I cannot avoid frequent mentions of my favourite TV shows, which include Dark Shadows, Babylon 5 and Doctor Who.

While I will probably keep writing reviews of Hollywood movies forever, I get a fair amount of satisfaction these days from highlighting new filmmakers, who have been kind enough to let me view their work and who are trying to find an audience for their movies. Now if I could just get one of them to adapt the novel that I wrote!

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