Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Introduction

Hey! My name is Brian and welcome to Musings from the Middle Seat. Thanks so much for coming. I could get extremely wordy and verbose here but I'll try to rein it in and keep this relatively short. This is a blog of the cinema. In it I'll be sharing my thoughts on all the many films I'm fortunate to see. I'd been brainstorming for over a year on tackling some sort of movie-related project. And if I were to write I grappled with exactly what to write, be it standard criticism, capsule reviews, etc. I've decided upon a format I feel should be fun for readers and myself alike. A loose, informal conversational style where I share of myself, my thoughts and feelings. Everyone interprets a text differently and gets something unique from them so I want this blog to reflect my own perspective.


A little background on my interest and experience with cinema. As a child I was more into action figures and professional wrestling. As a pre-teen I'd wander the horror aisle at the local video store but I didn't start really widening my field of knowledge on film until around the age of 16. My first job was at a movie theater. I would go on to work at a total of three different movie theaters and three different video rental/sales stores. It was around that time via being able to see free films at the theater and discovering the treasure trove of free movies through local libraries and inter-library loan systems that I really started my own personal film education. I'd devour whatever I could. In high school I entered into the Broadcasting Arts program my Junior and Senior years. It dealt with production,  mostly of radio and television, but was more relistically a large chunk of time for other rascals and I to act wildly without much supervision. In college I went on to become a Mass Communications major and a Film Studies minor so I was able to learn a ton about film. From being behind the camera, to editing, dissecting movies, and so on. Two classes that really stand out from the pack are Holocaust and Film, a sobering but eye-opening course, and Alternative Traditions in Cinema, likely my all-time favorite, which introduced me to stuff like Stan Brakhage and other experimental film. As an adult now I've continued exploring the far reaches of movies both of the present and past. Through lists like the TSPDT Greatest 1000 (and their 21st Century's Most Acclaimed list), film books and essays, podcasts, the blogosphere, etc. I'm continually learning and finding more movies to seek out.


If you don't know me personally it'd probably be of note to know some of my tastes and favorites. I'm a Terrence Malick obsessive. I find his work truly transcendent and beautiful and I could go on and on. Some of my other favorite directors would be Kelly Reichardt, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Robert Bresson, Andrei Tarkovsky, Noah Baumbach, and the Safdie brothers. Listing favorite movies would be opening a can of worms, I'll just mention a handful: any Malick, I may say this week To the Wonder or The Tree of Life are my favorite, ask again next week and it'll be The Thin Red Line, Killer of SheepMarketa Lazarov√°, Real Genius, House PartySymbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One, This Is Martin Bonner, All the Real Girls, The Station AgentCold Weather, Lost In Translation, Before Sunrise, Red Hook Summer, Gerry, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, and Old Joy.


I consider myself open-minded when it comes to movies. I try to be open to anything. I try to pay sharp attention and give movies my full focus if at all possible. I've always felt it's a disservice to both the film and yourself if you aren't giving yourself over to the experience fully. Lastly, this blog's title, I was aiming to go with Days of Cinema, as a tip of the hat to Malick, but the domain wasn't available and whenever I'm at movie theaters (which is several times per week) I try to sit in the center of an aisle (usually 1-3 from the bottom of the stadium-style seating) so the image fully fills my field of vision, thus "Musings from the Middle Seat". I hope through this project I'll further ignite my passion for cinema, learn more, about watching and writing, hopefully offer some entertainment to others, and make some new friends and peers to share in our mutual love of the movies.


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