June 9, 2010

Random Musing: Update/Official Announcement

The announcement first: We Have the Stars ★★★★ is going on hiatus.

This may come as a surprise to many of you, my loyal readers, but at this point in time, I think it is only fair to inform you of this weighty decision. I could excuse myself by saying I have been busy (fairly cliché, though not altogether untrue - more on that later), but I would be more genuine in saying that my heart is not completely in this project right now.

To catch you up on the details of my life, I shall indulge you with the major events of the past year. After last summer, I took the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and began applying to graduate schools, such as U.C.-Berkeley, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Bordwell-Thompson Land!), University of Chicago, Indiana University, and the University of Iowa. I decided after the Spring of 2009 that I wanted to pursue film studies in an academic setting (as opposed to a mundane setting), and so to gain entrance into one of these prestigious universities would set me on the course to scholarly success. In late January, I learned that my #1 school, Indiana, had almost immediately accepted me (or so it felt), so my path was set. All I had to do was graduate from college, which transpired this past May, as I obtained my B.A. from Vanderbilt.

In the meantime, I continued writing for "Out & About Newspaper" in Nashville, a rewarding experience that permitted me to luxuriate in the critical reviewing of LGBTQ films. However, I must confess that the Spring of 2010 awakened me to an existential crisis, one of whose ramifications I have still not felt the full weight. After enjoying films such as "Showgirls" and the John Waters' trash entries "Female Trouble" and "Pink Flamingos," I realized that my critic's eye has dulled. I was surrounded by friends during these film screenings and realized afterward that I was the only one who enjoyed them. What did this say about my own tastes? Granted, I was never a film critic like Pauline Kael - who notoriously lambasted more films than the measly amount she actually enjoyed - but I liked to think that my interests could account for and speak for the taste of film-going America.

As a result, I realized that my own film studies heads in the direction of film analysis rather than criticism. I can still critique a film like anyone else (like when I watched "Who's That Girl" a few weeks ago - woof!), but I find myself preferring a film for the ways it makes meaning rather than for the value of its content. In this way, I probably am ready for graduate studies. I knew that to switch gears from being a film critic for a living to being a career film scholar and professor would entail its consequences, but I did not realize in what ways. (By the way, I should note that I also have recently tendered my resignation from "Out & About," an amicable separation as I go to grad school and pursue different interests. Hence, I will no longer be "Queer Movie Tutor"-ing for them.)

In closing, I want to ensure you, my dear, dear readers, that this is not the end. (Cue the introduction to "Apocalypse Now," featuring superimpositions, nauseating colors, and The Doors' "The End." Just kidding.) My film studies, like Céline Dion's heart in "Titanic," will go on - but more likely in an academic setting. My blog postings will likely be infrequent, though, as they have been for the past few months, something for which I wish to apologize. In fact, my hiatus is, in its own way, a formal apology to you and a formal acknowledgment of my absence from the site. Nevertheless, I will continue to post in the future, so have no fear! I had a posting about "the death of cinema" (à la Gregg Araki's "The Living End") lined up, so hopefully you will at least see that one before the end of the summer.

Post-script: In my absence, I did not formally recognize the passings of Gary Coleman, Rue McClanahan, or film legend Dennis Hopper. Rest in peace.

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