Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's Net-flixation's 4th Anniversary!

Four freaking years. Let me thank all of you readers and commenters right now - with an extra-big thanks to DJ for the posts he's added; the guy's a prince, I tell ya.

494 posts, 56 Questions, 100 Fan-made Gems, 83 News entries, over 200 reviews between the regular entries and the MRQs - even excluding 41 off-site reviews. All of this has transpired since the April 23, 2009 inaugural post. It has been/remains a pleasure and an honor.

So what are we gonna do today? Well, f--k, let's celebrate this. If it's after biz hours EST, I'm already drinking champs, or something with vodka/whiskey. On the right here, we've got a nice Fan-made Gem that I found two weeks ago, through geektyrant: someone called DrFaustusAU makes pretty pictures on DeviantArt, and his great wit gave us Seuss-themed Evil Dead images.

I can already start to imagine all the fun that could be had with this idea. It's one of the reasons I chose to blog about film - there's just an endless supply of news and movies to comment on, as well as so many fine creations by talented and passionate film fans.

And in case you never read my first post (link above) or this lowly site's about page, I started this blog to promote some movies you might not have heard of, as well as to burn off some writerly steam while I work on novels (and law, and photography and whatever the hell else it is that I do). It's pretty great to have people ask about your writing and say, "well, go here and you can check it out." I'd like to think this site also functions as a pretty nice writer's resume.

I tried to celebrate this month differently: my plan was to review pictures by Miyazaki, Hitchcock, and Craven, as a call-back to some of the filmmakers that inspired me in my childhood and teen years. I also wanted to flood this month's posts with new suggestions for TV shows and movies to check out. I aim high.

And I guess I fail high, too, as I haven't even watched those movies yet. Although I did keep to my 4+ per week pace, the last two months have been packed with big changes, and my real-world responsibilities get priority over unpaid on-line activities. I got things to do and bills to pay.

But enough talk, let's look at some more pretty pictures, shall we? A brilliant film fan decided to imitate Werner Herzog reading Curious George aloud:

Isn't that neat? Now I have to imagine what happens when George meets that ostrich for the first time.

I find it easy to write about things which inspire my curiosity and appeal to my passion. This last year as Half a Film Student has been incredibly eventful. I asked for George Lucas to be removed from the Star Wars franchise, and oh snap, it actually happened. I pushed my pace into the hundreds, and changed my style a bit. And it's not just a matter of changed jobs or having a new living situation - even the way I watch TV and film is different than it used to be.

Now I have some roomies to kick back and watch movies with; I'll have company for a lot of the indie movie reviews, but it won't be like the viewing parties I used to have. I am lucky in that, like me, they're in love with motion pictures, and have wide-ranging tastes. Hell, they have me watching Netflix via Xbox now, so I'm going to have to write my thoughts on streaming Netflix in a new way.

After the above Fan-made Gems, I might as well add a Recommendation: watch Mr. Show with Bob and David. Airing 30 eps from 1995 to 1998, this half-hour HBO sketch comedy switched between live performance and recorded segments. It's ridiculously funny and entertaining, packed with gifted comedians. Mr. Show is so good that I'm no longer upset that the cable channel cancelled it - I'm simply glad we got to have it at all.

Among the series' many fine points is the way skits blend into each other, frequently following some common thread, but often proceeding in a stream-of-consciousness way. The cast and writers weren't just smart and silly and absurdist, they played with the endless number of film cliches (one segment is a parody of Goodfellas with absurdly dubbed-over curses). They also put an incredible spin on Jesus Christ Superstar:

The pause before the golf swing is one of my favorite moments of anything ever, and it should be one of yours, too. Actually, this series is so good, I needn't say more; in fact, I assumed everyone already knew about it. Last week, one roommate's friend looked at my DVD collection, then stopped and gushed when they saw the Mr. Show discs. And right there I knew I'd get along with this guy just fine, from his delighted expression alone.

Dear readers, be you friend or stranger, I appreciate your stopping by to celebrate this with me. It's taken a lot of work, and I hope you've been enjoying what you've been seeing. I'm going to do even better during this fourth year - to change styles more frequently, to find more Gems, and to introduce you to even more fine movies that you may have overlooked.

I've ignored my milestone posts (e.g., the 450th) lately, but I had to make a big deal out of this one. I'm >300 hits shy of 100,000, 6 posts short of 500, and yesterday saw my 51st consecutive Question of the Week. They're all coming together at about the same time, and it's more than I expected when I decided to do this in '09. I might take another blog-cation in June/July, but I can promise you that there's no end of fun for us to have together. This has been a great ride so far, and I'm not stopping yet...

Before I go, I'll leave you with the same thing I posted in my first ever Fan-made Gem entry: The hilarious, horrifying, and inspired comic book, Muppet Wicker Man. It's beyond genius:

Half a Film Student


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