Kinosaur: Post One

I started blogging back in college, and did so pretty regularly between 2002 – early 2004. For me it was — as with a lot of bloggers — equal parts catharsis (diatribes), analytical/observational (music, film, art), and just a general writing repository. That, and the occasional obligatory posting of some stupid quiz results (like what character from Battle Royale I was; Kiriyama – Boys #6, naturally).

So, I enjoyed keeping the journal a lot, but stopped pretty abruptly. I got too busy for it, mostly trying to figure my life out the way one does after college: moving to another state, changing jobs, starting new relationships/friendships. However, if I can say that I’ve kept up anything in my life with any regularity (other than eating rice), it’d be watching films. I spend a large part of my free time watching films, reading about them, and sometimes conceptualizing/making my own.

I started watching in a fairly serious way back in high school. At this point I mostly had exposure + access to a somewhat limited range of available movies (i.e. the programming at chain multiplexes + the selection at blockbuster). Like a lot of people, it wasn’t until college, the web, and the advent of DVD that I could really get my hands on the old, obscure, and bizarre stuff.

Simultaneously looking backwards (into the last century), at the present, and future of film is pretty time-consuming. A film instructor once told me only half-jokingly that he’d started watching movies in fast-forward, so he could watch twice as many in an evening. Despite having seen + read about a lot of what’s out there, I still always feel that there are large viewing gaps in my short lifetime of pursuing film, studying and watching it. I’m constantly trying to change that, or at least narrow the gaps as much as possible.

Anyway, fresh into 2009 is my attempt to maintain some sort of film-related blog, Kinosaur. It’s my intent to write about a random + wide sampling of stuff I’ve seen, that I enjoy/dislike, and perhaps anything I’m working on myself. Occasionally, I’ll try to include mention of any local (Chicagoland) goings-on of special interest. I like to look at specific films critically, technically, and regarding any trends + movements into which they may fall, but I’ll try not to bore readers with a monotonous series of similar posts. I’m going to try and maintain some sort of variety.

Hopefully I can also steer clear of things I feel are, unfortunately, way too prevalent on the web and elsewhere: fanboy-ism and one-sided viewing. I.e.: sure, I liked The Dark Knight, but you won’t hear me claim it’s the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE like a lot of overzealous folks. (Think about it…with over a century of cinema, it’s empirically impossible that our best film would have Eric Roberts in it!) And as for one-sided viewing (and uninformed opinions), if you want to read people make proclamations like “…this is why all movies from the 70s fucking suck,” or “Almodóvar films are way too gay for me” — people who can’t tell story from plot — then you’re better off on those IMDB message boards.

That said, I think a lot of movies suck, but I feel like it’s more constructive to write at least somewhat intelligently (or even humorously) about why I think they do. I welcome and encourage comments and counterpoints, though I’m mainly interested in writing posts that reflect my opinion, and less so defending said thoughts against your own (in some unecessarily drawn out argument within the comments section). It’s totally cool to disagree, but I probably won’t keep responding if you’re trying to pass off your opinion as fact. That’s what the aforementioned IMDB pissing contests are for.

Regardless, I hope you find it interesting and thanks for reading.

– Jim Vendiola, Chicago

"Planeta Bur," 1962

"Planeta Bur," 1962 / Soviet Union


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