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Pausing at a Milestone a.k.a. The 5,000 Blog-Fingers of Mr. T

Posted by martinteller on February 21, 2014

Well, WordPress tells me this is my 5,000th post on this blog.  That’s a whole mess of posts.  I started blogging about movies in January 2003.  Although I was already in my early 30’s, I was really just starting to explore the vast world of cinema beyond the most obvious classics like Hitchcock and Kurosawa.  I’m still exploring, and still feel there’s so much out there that I haven’t looked into.  In a way, despite all that I’ve watched, I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface, that I’m not adventuring far enough or deep enough, that there are hundreds, maybe thousands of interesting directors and films out there yet to discover.

At least, I hope so.  In the past year, I’ve given a score of 90 or above to only seven films… and only two of those above a 95.  Surely there are still great movies out there for me discover, movies that will thrill me and dazzle me and make me fall in love.  Maybe I’ve gotten too grumpy, too critical.  Or maybe I’ve gotten too even-handed.  It’s something that worries me lately, that I’ve become too invested in being “fair”, seeing both the good and the bad in everything.  I’m not letting myself get swept away by a powerful narrative, a grand performance, a distinct visual style or original idea.  I’m also not letting myself just hate a movie that rubs me the wrong way, I’ve gotten too cautious about acknowledging whatever positives exist.  Too often I’m worrying about the feedback I might get if I’m too extreme in either direction.  The result is my reviews have become rather wishy-washy, I’m afraid.  It’s been on my mind a lot lately, and I’d like to change it.

For many years this blog was just a personal hobby on my personal website.  My reviews were short, some only a few words.  They weren’t meant for “readers”, really… they were just for me, a few quick impressions for the record.  Slowly, very slowly, my reviews began to take on more depth.  When I decided to move my blog over to WordPress a couple of years ago, it’s because I finally felt that maybe what I had to say was finally worth sharing with the outside world.  Some days I’m not so sure, but on rare occasions I’m quite happy with my writing.  There are thousands of voices blogging about movies on the internet.  My voice isn’t special, but it’s mine… and it’s nice to be heard, even when (or especially when) I’m not feeling very certain about whether I’m worth listening to.

Thank you to everyone who ever read a post on this blog.  Thank you to everyone who ever “liked” a post or commented on it.  Thank you to my subscribers… I don’t know why you do it, but it makes me very happy.  Some of you are bloggers yourselves, and I wish I spent more time reading and commenting on your posts.  I’d like to change that, too, though I have less time for the internet than I used to.  I also have to make time for movies, and when I discover something great I want to come here and share my enthusiasm.  This is my creative outlet and 5,000 posts in, I have no inclination to stop now.

10 Responses to “Pausing at a Milestone a.k.a. The 5,000 Blog-Fingers of Mr. T”

  1. Evan Staats said

    As someone who has been reading your blog since almost the beginning, I can say that it’s always been fun reading your reviews, especially as they’ve grown in depth and insight over the past few years in particular. I was also just seriously getting into film when I found this blog and it’s been a companion as I’ve become a cinephile and fell in love with movies. And don’t doubt yourself as a reviewer! I truly do think that you have a unique voice and find myself drawn to your reviews for that reason. You’ve also just seen more movies than almost any other blogger out there. I can always trust your website for a review of a little seen film that is barely written about elsewhere. Congratulations on your 5000th post! I look forward to many more!

  2. Dan Heaton said

    Congrats Martin! I just passed 600 posts, and not all of them are even reviews. That’s awesome.

    • Thanks Dan! Not at all of mine are reviews, either. I have 76 in my “non-review stuff” category: a bunch of various lists, the monthly recaps and a few other random posts. Plus, the first 4000 reviews or so are mostly really short. Few of my reviews are as substantive as yours.

  3. stevekimes said

    Congratulations Martin! It’s been great reading as many of your reviews as I have (although not close to 5000!) Your insights have been fantastic– you are a great asset to the community of unpaid film critics!

  4. JC said

    I’ve been reading your thoughts & reviews ever since joining SA in 2008! I was scared at first when I thought you were writing a farewell letter, but then realized it was simply a “thank you” note and you’re going to continue. You always write very articulate and thorough reviews, and greatly respect your vast knowlege of film. Thank you!

  5. mountanto said

    I’m just getting started (I’m about 30 posts into mine), but I’ll tell you, you are an inspiration. I’ve been reading you for a good 10 years now, and seeing your work evolve (and getting ideas, or simply contrasting my opinions to yours) has been a rewarding experience. Keep it up. You’ve got a loyal reader in me, and your exploration of East Asian and Indian cinema in particular is a constant reminder that I have barely touched that particular cinematic sector.

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