Il blogger prodigo

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Buongiorno, dear readers — the prodigal blogger has returned! (“Prodigal” being a word I’ve here misused, as I’m sure many of us do, thanks to that Biblical story. Though as it actually means “spending money freely and recklessly”, anyone who’s seen the size of my unwatched DVD and Blu-ray collection might consider it fitting after all.)

So, I’ve just spent two weeks in Italy, much of it during a heat wave (Jesus wept, it was hot), so at least I got to laze about doing next to nothing. I certainly didn’t spend it learning Italian — almost the entirety of the vocabulary I picked up has already been used in this post. I didn’t spend it writing blog posts either, as it turned out (I favoured reading books instead) — so that’s why there are no new reviews just yet, but instead this brief post to note my return.

Anyhow, I’ve got plenty of blog-reading and review-writing to catch up on now, so if you’ll excuse me again…

May, pictured

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I’m never quite sure who gets notified or where posts appear when I set the format to ‘Aside’ (as I have with this, because that’s what it is)… but anyway, if you’re seeing this and you’re interested, my monthly review of May 2019 has now been updated with my usual style of header image, should you wish to enjoy that.

Oops

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If you’ve arrived here because you got notified of a post called “the end of 100 Films”, then fear not, gentle reader — I made an elementary error. 100 Films is going nowhere.

(By-the-way, if you read a bit of the text that was included automatically in an email, a fourth thing happened — namely, I cocked up.)

“Monthly update, monthly update, wherefore art thou monthly update?”

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Leaving aside my misappropriation of Shakespeare (“why are you a monthly update?” doesn’t make much sense), September 2015’s recap is going to be a few days late due to circumstances beyond my control — it’s a pretty big one and there’s been no time to finish it. Very frustrating for me (it’s so nice to be on time), and I’m sure you’re all absolutely desperate for it too.

100 Films is away…

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Unfortunately I’m going to be away for the rest of the week, which is primarily of note here because it means no monthly update on Friday.

Probably. I reserve the right to gain access to a computer with rudimentary image editing software and knock one up nonetheless (because the header image is the most essential part of those updates…)

The final end of FilmJournal…?

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It looks as if FilmJournal.net may have finally shut up shop.

This is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. One, this blog survived and thrived there for a number of years, so it has definite nostalgic value; most of the blogs I pay attention to were ones I discovered there, too. In terms of my personal use, I co-posted my reviews here and there for a while even after I ‘officially’ made the transition to WordPress; then I posted links there for each new review; only recently did I abandon that practice altogether, because the site seemed to be slowly fading even further.

On a still-continuing note, however, a lot of my older reviews link to the comments that were posted on them back on FilmJournal. If the site is gone, those are now lost forever. I suppose that was inevitably going to happen someday — an inactive site isn’t going to remain online indefinitely — but it’s still a shame. Some of the comments sections were nothing to write home about, but at least a few were good, solid discussions of the film(s) in question. I’d occasionally, by chance, wind up revisiting those. I’ll miss that.

And similarly, it’s thrown a bit of a spanner in the regular reposts I’ve been doing. Fortunately I have offline versions of everything I’ve blogged (or, at least, everything significant — some of the more minor editorial-type posts may have been online-only), but many of these are incorrectly formatted or have spelling, etc, errors that I’d fixed online but not on the offline versions, so I’d been basing all my reposts on the FilmJournal versions. I suppose this is a selfish concern, really: I can still go forward with reposting everything, but now it’s a bit more effort! Especially as some of the images featured in the reviews were hosted on FJ too, so I have to re-source those ‘n’ all…

Sadly, that’s kind of my overwhelming thought at FilmJournal finally going away for good (I presume). I very much enjoyed my time there, especially as the community ended the feeling that I was blogging pretty much in a vacuum; but with everyone’s gradual move away from it, I’d already “let it go” in that sense — now I’m just frustrated at the inconvenience of its final passing. Which is a shame, but there you have it.

Pretty pictures

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Look, up there! It’s a pretty new header image! Look at the blues and the lights and the… other stuff… I mean, there’s a lot going on. It’s pretty, right? Well, I like it. I hope you do too, naturally.

I’ve been meaning to replace the plain logo-on-white since I got this WordPress. Really, I just put it there as a temporary measure, and because I had no good ideas I just left it. Fastforward two years or whatever it’s been, and I’ve finally pulled my finger out. My original plan had been to do a thumbnail-montage, like what I had atop my old blog, but I think this is less cluttered.

At the same time, I’ve finally added header (aka featured, aka banner) images to my “list of reviews” and “reviews by director” pages. Both are pretty self explanatory, though note the selection process for the latter is not arbitrary: those are 20 of my most-reviewed directors (a mass tie for 13th meant there were 24 to choose from, so four 13th-ers had to be dropped). Can you identify them all? I’ll tell you for nothing: I couldn’t if I hadn’t Googled them to find the pictures.

For all this new prettiness, there’s still no picture on the “coming soon” page, however. Obviously that changes frequently and I have no desire to be updating the image every damn time I see a film, so I won’t be doing any kind of titles-based thumbnail-thing there. Other than that, all suggestions welcome!

Apologies to my email subscribers

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Apologies to everyone who has subscribed to this blog for the flood of post notification emails that follow this one. I appreciate you signing up to follow me and have tried not to inundate you with this kind of thing — I still have the best part of 600 posts to bring over from my old blog, and have yet to find a way to add an old post without it sending out a corresponding email. If you happen to know of one, please let me know somehow — comment on this post, perhaps.

Thanks for your patience.

Speed Racer review preface

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Sometimes, I get fed up with myself for being so far behind with my reviews. So this week I’m going to post five reviews hastily bunged together from my viewing notes.

Yes, I’ve admitted to doing something like this before — once I even just posted my notes (for a reason, at least) — but I intend to be even more straightforward about it this week.

I fear, however, there’s a depressing inevitability that some or all of these reviews will turn out to be indistinguishable from my regular reviews…