Friday, December 04, 2009

The Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

Well, folks. My week has been spent only being semi-productive. I guess when you're unemployed, when you finish just a couple of items on your meager daily to-do list, you feel like you've accomplished something.

In between updating my resume, trying (with sporadic success) on adhering to a regular sleeping schedule, working on the final episode of Entrenched, and gearing up for rehearsals for the penultimate episode of said serial, I've been slowly writing my assessments of the films and movies I've seen lately.

That they've been slow-going is my fault: I've noticed that the best reviews (at least, the easiest reviews to write) are the ones that are written as soon after the viewing experience. The longer I wait, the more difficult it is to finish them, since a.) the emotional experience begins to fade (though fortunately not the actual plot details, just my enjoyment or disgust with the work becomes more diluted with time) and b.) the delay makes me feel compelled to make up for it with a longer, more impressive review. I can't be a week gone from the viewing experience to come back with a 400-word review; it's got to be 900 words now. This, of course, makes me choke, and I delay another week, which in turn makes me feel I need to now make it a 1500-word review.

Ah, yes. These are the neuroses that fuel and paralyze me, dear readers.

Anyway, while I've been delaying in posting some entries on the few movies and plays I've seen in the past month or so, I actually stumbled across this entry from Mr. George Hunka, who I think hits the nail on the head when he writes:

"...[C]ritical acumen is not unlike any knife blade; with each use the edge grows imperceptibly duller somehow, and you don't realize this until, a year down the line, you want to cut a clean slice of tomato and end up with a seedy, pulpy mush. You've used both the laudatory superlatives and the snarky takedowns, then you're faced with something much better or much worse than you've seen before. And what then? Well, then the honest reviewer is obliged perhaps to withdraw from the arena for a while, to rewhet the knife or direct his attention elsewhere for a time."

I, too, have found that writing reviews can actually become more difficult with experience. The challenge to avoid repeating oneself becomes increasingly greater with the more reviews one writes. Seriously, how much enthusiasm, disdain or indifference can one person maintain over the days, weeks, months and years?

Or, to put it another way, how many times can I write some variation of, "This was a charming show I had a great deal of fun with," before I convulse with despair from the realization that I've finally become a bore to myself?

Anyway, next week I hope to post these freakin things and move on with my (currently stagnant) life. Have a good weekend, folks. I'll catch you all later.

Charming and a great deal of fun,

James "Unemployed Sulk" Comtois


Blogger Froggeh said...

Holy shit, it gets *more* difficult?

4:20 PM  

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