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Final Thoughts on the Oscars — and a Likely Outrage
The Powerful Muddle of Phoebe in Wonderland

The Projectionist Reloaded

  • 3/5/09 at 11:51 AM

With some fanfare, this blog, the Projectionist, made its debut in the fall of 2007 and has averaged one post every six weeks — one every twenty if you don’t count the Oscar chats, expanded reviews, and obits of people like Paul Newman, Sydney Pollack, and John Leonard. That is, by any reckoning, pitiful, and while I certainly worked my butt off in that same period (weekly film columns packed with sparkling insights, etc.), the time has come to charge ahead or fall on my sword.

The problem is that not every person is psychologically equipped to be a blogger. (Not every blogger is psychologically equipped to be a person, but that’s a topic for another day.) After a confident start, I found myself apologizing in nearly every other post for things written in haste or intemperance or under the influence of drugs. I became, frankly, ashamed. And so the design for going forward would seem to be … elevating my shame threshold. Thus, the Projectionist Reloaded.

There is another reason to blog: the contraction of space in the print magazine, a reality of our time and industry. I’d like to cover more movies and have room to chase the odd tangent. Among the many reasons to miss the late David Foster Wallace is that he taught us just how invigorating the footnote can be.

A comments section is still down the road because I’d like to control this space, at least for a while. I want feedback and dialogue, but it’s scary how fast Plato’s Republic can turn into The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Many of our most flamboyant bloggers — the ones most gleeful over the flameout of New Republic blogger Lee Siegel when, pushed to the brink, he contrived a “sock-puppet” to take on his comment-section critics — have no comments sections of their own, let alone ones that begin directly under the text of their posts (so that the first thing the reader’s eye falls on after the writer's carefully wrought conclusion is, "You're a fucking dickwad loser"). Please e-mail me and I’ll be pleased to quote good stuff, even (non-obscene) remonstrances.

New York has a double issue on the stands now, so I’d like to cover some films (and events) opening this and next week — especially Phoebe in Wonderland, a flawed but fascinating drama about an unstable young girl and her attraction to theater that has one of the more subtle portraits of a conflicted parent (played by Felicity Huffman) I’ve seen. Watch this space — now and tomorrow and next week and...