I’m surprised and honored that the writers of Film Comment (in association with The Film Society Center of Lincoln Center) think Cinebeats is worthy of being included in their list of “The Top Film Criticism Sites.” Benjamin Shapiro has written a nice if somewhat backhanded appreciation of Cinebeats that I’m very (despite my use of the term ‘backhanded’) grateful for and I can’t thank him enough. I’m also in some amazing company so it’s a little intimidating.
I’ve never really considered what I do here at Cinebeats to be “film criticism” since I tend to focus on my personal preferences, obsessions and interests. I personally find film history much more rewarding than film criticism so I often weigh down my own writing with lots of facts and little tidbits of information that some people probably find rather dull. When I started self-publishing zines with my own pennies in the ’80s I was motivated by an overwhelming (and often impractical) need to share my discoveries and passions with others. That feeling has never went away so I’m thankful that blogging has given me the opportunity to continue doing a similar kind of “personal reporting” online. I’m also proud of the fact that 75% of the films I write about here at Cinebeats have gotten very little – if any – attention or press anywhere else. I’ve lost count of how many times my write-ups were the first & only review link available for a particular film on IMDB.
Of course any “Top Blog” list is always problematic since they tend to exclude many great blogs that are also worthy of inclusion so I have a suggestion. If you like what you see here please take a moment to pursue some of the links I have listed on my blog. Just scroll down until you come across “Film Links” and start clicking on titles that grab your attention. I guarantee that you’ll discover at least one or more film blogs written by talented folks who are also well worth reading.