Well, thank you to Kristina Dijann of Speakeasy for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I'd never heard of this award before last night but it sounds like quite an achievement.
I'd certainly say I am a versatile blogger. I mean I've done all kinds of things, just look at the sections I've got: there's the reviews of course but also the essays, character profiles, analysis of various movies, my pieces on film history and how movies have changed with society, my abridged versions of academic papers, and all kinds of other stuff I'm probably forgetting. I've discussed everything from the influence of Georges Méliès to that 15-minute horror film by an old classmate I saw last weekend. It's certainly hard to argue that I don't deserve it.
So I'm supposed to thank the person who nominated me. I did that at the beginning so that's out of the way. Then I'm supposed to find 15 other nominees. This is the tricky part and to be honest I'm not sure if I can come up with 15, but let's get as many as we can:
Alright, so I'm then supposed to offer up seven interesting facts about myself. Here it goes:
1. So far I have met two major directors. The first was John Carpenter, who I met at Fan Expo. I had him sign my DVD copy of The Thing and for added awesomeness I gave him a copy of the documentary I made on his films back in high school. I left my e-mail address on the disk but I never heard back from him so I don't know if he ever watched it, though.
The second auteur I have met (well... sort of) is Atom Egoyan. Though I have yet to see him in person, I conducted an interview with him over the phone for The Newspaper. The funny thing is that before I agreed to do the interview I had never heard of his work, and it was literally the night before I found out just how big a name he was.
2. As far as I can remember, the first black and white film I ever saw (or at least the first film that was shot entirely in black and white, I'm pretty sure I'd seen The Wizard of Oz before this) was the 1945 adventure film Captain Kidd. This was somewhere around Grade 5 or 6 and while it was a little bit jarring the first time I saw it, it grew on me with each viewing and at the time it would have ranked among my favorite movies. Several others (among them Zulu and 2001: A Space Odyssey) have knocked it down the list since then and I haven't watched it in years (though I think I still have the disk somewhere), but I do have fond memories of watching it as a kid.
3. I'm not particularly fond of dogs or cats, although when forced to choose I prefer the latter. However, I do quite like birds, and a lot of small animals. Also I'm quite fond of dolphins and whales... and seals... and certain types of fish... and actually just about any form of life you could find in the ocean I have some sort of fascination with. That's probably why I'm so easily attracted to nautical stories.
4. I'm somewhat averse to anime, and for that reason you'll probably want to savor this moment because it may well be the only time you'll here me discuss this field. It's not a personal grudge or anything like that, I can respect the medium even if I don't have a whole lot of interest in seeing weird characters with big eyes and hair colors that never happen in nature (seriously, why do so many characters in anime have blue, green, purple or pink hair?).
It has more to do with this one time in Grade 6 when I got mixed up in an anime series called something like Battle B-Dimon or B-Daman or something like that (normally I'd get the correct spelling but I'd rather not look it up right now). It was really a silly show but somehow I got hooked on it and ended up getting into a lot of trouble as a result. I was actually scared out of my mind when my cousin made me watch Grave of the Fireflies last summer because of my experiences with anime, but that turned out not to be too bad a film so maybe there's hope for me yet.
5. I'm a huge admirer of H.P. Lovecraft and his writings. I've brought him up before here and there though I've really only discussed him at length in my article on Midnight in Paris where I refer to him on a more personal level than with regards to any of his work. He's an interesting figure to discuss in the cinematic sense as there is a fair bit of dispute over whether it's possible to put his stories onto film while still retaining the atmosphere of the books. I've just found a lot of his ideas to be extremely fascinating. The monsters he creates are interesting enough but more intriguing is the theme of our own insignificance in an uncaring universe.
I have thought about trying to discuss some of the efforts to adapt Lovecraft to film. Maybe that would be a good thing to save for October.
6. I have practically boycotted any firefighting-centric movies or shows outside of Fireman Sam. This has to do mainly with the issues I've been raising awareness of regarding the treatment of women in such media, particularly the lack of female firefighters. The reason why Fireman Sam is an exception is because that is the only show I've found to actually have a positive image of a woman working as a firefighter. So the next time you want to invite me to watch a firefighting movie you'd better find one with a well-written female firefighter in the main cast. On the other hand, I've been working on trying to make a dent in the trend myself with a short story centered around a female recruit in the fire service.
7. I like a lot of rock music from the 80's, particularly female singers like Pat Benatar and girl bands like The Bangles and the Go-Go's. I'm a huge fan of Kate Bush (I thought I might do a piece on her short film The Line, the Cross, and the Curve once I finally get around to seeing The Red Shoes), and I have several of her albums. I've also recently developed a peculiar interest in Celtic music, specifically the likes of Enya and Clannad.