Jonathan Poritsky

Todd McCarthy, Welcome to the Ether

Just wanted to jot down a few quick thoughts on Todd McCarthy’s recent announce­ment that he is join­ing the indieWIRE blog net­work. As you may recall, Todd lost his job as Variety’s chief film critic the day after the Oscars this year. As a result, the press exploded with opin­ions on the death of film crit­i­cism, with the usual cul­prit being the online blogger/critic. Now, Todd has found a home online, the very land that sup­pos­edly caused his undoing.

Bet you idiots feel pretty stu­pid now.

There really is no bet­ter fit for Mr. McCarthy than indieWIRE, a net­work that has defined and rede­fined the online cin­ema magazine/trade pub­li­ca­tion time and time again. The real loser here is Variety, who has taken nearly every mis­step pos­si­ble in the age of inter­net jour­nal­ism. Their pay wall will even­tu­ally be their undo­ing, but by lit­er­ally hand­ing their golden boy to the free com­pe­ti­tion, Variety seems to have put the nail in their own coffin.

Mainly, I would like to say wel­come, Todd; the ‘net is happy to have you. I have no doubt that you will enjoy an online career as excit­ing as Roger Ebert or David Bordwell. Film jour­nal­ism, and espe­cially crit­i­cism, is not dead but alive and well online. If ever we see a weak­en­ing in the art of film writ­ing, we can only blame our­selves. The inter­net has noth­ing to do with it.

(If you’ve been won­der­ing where I am, all my film writ­ing is at the can­dler blog, but you can also see my work pep­pered on Greencine Guru, Heeb Magazine, and NachosNY.)

What Put Me to Sleep Last Night

Sleep Mix Album Covers

I know playlists are so 2002, but hell, what do I care? Here’s the playlist that lulled me to sleep for a few hours before I awoke to my fast-paced Manhattanite lifestyle.

Overture Selmasongs Björk
Postcards From Far Away Prospekt’s March EP Coldplay
Take Off Your Cool (feat. Norah Jones) Speakerboxx/The Love Below OutKast
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. Illinois Sufjan Stevens
Sodom, South Georgia Our Endless Numbered Days Iron & Wine
La Plage Les Retrouvailles Yann Tiersen
Yesterday Help! [UK] The Beatles
The Scientist [Live] Lost In Space Special Edition (Disc 2) Aimee Mann
Canceled Check Mutations [IMPORT] Beck
All Of My Life But Seriously Phil Collins

Big Changes Coming

As part of my plan to be a bet­ter blog­ger in 2009, I wanted to let you all know that things are going to be chang­ing here soon. I’ve been tran­si­tion­ing things to a new site, so hang in there and I’ll be back soon. Thanks!

No Best of 2008, Ready for 2009


Me Behind a Tree @ flickr

Last week I sat down to com­pose a top 10 list of the best films of 2008 when I ran into a bit of a prob­lem. When I resolved to do the same things last year, at the end of 2007, I was sim­ply able to pull up my blog archives and re-trace my thoughts from the year. Not so this year, as I had only 40 posts in 2008 to 2007’s 50. What’s more, after perus­ing a list of film releases from the past year, I had seen only a frac­tion of the films released, espe­cially when com­pared to the amount I had seen in 2007. So how could I come up with a top 10 list? Well, I couldn’t.

Bummer that 2008 was such a lame blog­ging year for me. I started doing this as a means to orga­nize my thoughts, orig­i­nally on Myspace. Back then I kinda kept things sim­ple, say­ing only what I needed, but in 2007, thanks in part to hang­ing with a writerly crowd, I got a tad ambi­tious with my reviews, fash­ion­ing them after the work of my favorite crit­ics. This of course takes a great deal more time than blurthing out my thoughts, hence the reduced post count over time.

Anyway, it’s a com­pletely new year. My drafts folder is over­loaded with half-written reviews from through­out last year. Maybe I’ll fin­ish them, maybe not. In any event, I am com­mit­ted to mak­ing this blog, and maybe another, work in 2009. Even if it means short­en­ing my thoughts down, I really want to cre­ate a bet­ter account of my thoughts, a place to share them with the world. I look for­ward to the new year with you.

Where Have I Been?

Magritte's BathroomDear Readersip,

I know, you have missed me over the last month or so. Fear not, I’m still alive and well, in case you thought maybe a crane fell on my head or some­thing. It’s been a rather wild month, though none of it may seem excit­ing to you. Just very busy at work and spend­ing lots of time with the girl­friend (which I’ll take over blog­ging any day!). Anyway, I’ll do my best to make a come­back soon enough.