"Film is not the art of scholars, but illiterates" -- Werner Herzog
Hello and welcome to the Seventh Art. This blog will be a place for me to dump a scattered back catalogue of film writings that I have built up over the years, and it will also serve as a location for news, essays, and reviews of films both new and old. There is no format. I cannot even promise that I will always confine myself to the subject of cinema, nor will I focus only on new releases. This will more or less be a directory of things that are new and interesting to me, in whatever random and chaotic order that they may present themselves. In other words, there is no grand or overarching purpose for all of this, other than to provide insightful commentary on things that I consider worth talking about.
All film writing, as any person who has seriously practiced it will tell you, is shamelessly masturbatory. As Mr. Herzog points out, cinema doesn’t require educated people talking about it to be affecting or important-- it doesn’t even require education to be understood, as writing does. Films are self contained, they exist in their world even as they draw from and imitate reality. They instruct one on how they are to be viewed even as they unfold in time. I have little doubt that people who had never heard of persistence of vision and had never seen a camera would understand fairly quickly what a film was if one were shown to them. It is that intuitive a medium, and therein lies its beauty.
This caveat recorded, I write about film anyway, because in its all-encompassing way it provides the perfect window for exploring so many of the mysteries and truths of the world. The seventh art, as it is sometimes known, is a kind of amalgam (some would say bastardization) of all the others that preceded it. Photography, poetry, music-- all have a place within the confines of film, and film criticism is often the best way to reveal how these disparate entities are all working together to provide some kind of illumination. Therein lies its purpose. Movies don’t require commentary to have worth, but commentary may very well illuminate some dark corner of experience that would otherwise remain in the shadows.