By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall October 16, 2004 at 6:41AM
Wow. I haven't written in a very long time, and it is nice to be back in the swing of things. I will admit, I have taken a couple of half-hearted stabs at blogging in the past couple of weeks-- an aborted essay about THE WORLD (loved it) which begged a second screening that my schedule couldn't facilitate, and a very short piece about the unphotographable face that I have been wearing to all of the NYFF events... Much of this goes back to the season itself. I have spent a lot of time this fall hustling and bustling around the city, seeing friends and family who have come to visit, and getting work done for my film programming gigs. But mostly, I have been walking these past couple of weeks, reconnecting with my neighborhood and taking the opportunity to clear my head. Park Slope in the autumn, you can't beat it.
I have also almost reached the saturation point for film viewing. Toronto and NYFF have been exceptional this year, and I plan on writing quite a bit in the next couple of days about some of the films I feel ready to think and write about (Sideways, Palindromes), and some that I want to see again and do a little more research for (Cafe Lumiere, Keane) before writing about. This is the terrible problem of my own conception of my blog... If only this were a professional space, where I could use my work time to do the research and still be timely, to polish my writing and not keep posting first drafts. Blogging has been an exceptional tool for me to think about things and discipline myself to write more frequently. Needless to say, I have not lost my enthusiasm for it. I have only had trouble finding the time to create and write about films and experiences that I truly believe in. Finally, I have noticed a trend among some of my friends and colleagues in the film business. Right after a film festival, or even during, lots of us dive into books (fiction or non-fiction, doesn't matter) as a way to re-calibrate our relationship to stories, to take a break from the visual barrage and language of film. I have certainly done this as well. In the weeks since I last wrote, I have read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and found it to be the perfect respite from cinematic overload. The book is exceptional, but I don't have the gumption to write a review. Needless to say, its great, complex, and delivers the thrills that only a good book can. Sometimes, you need a sabbatical from the things you love in order to re-discover their magic. I feel better. More very soon.