Saturday, November 7, 2015

Six Years Later...

How do you like the remodel job?

It took a lot of going back & forth, decision making wise, but I felt like after six years of sticking with the same template, it was time to give the blog some new decor. Black has always been my favorite color from a design standpoint (what white is to Apple) and I like the dark new look of the blog. I'll be tinkering around over the next few weeks, tweaking certain pieces of the sidebar, the header photo (which I plan to swap out weekly or so) and adding & deleting certain widgets. You may have also noticed that I changed the name of the blog. No longer are there 1001 Movies that I (apparently) must see before I die - as I've seen them all. Now, this is simply a film blog titled: FROM THE MOON TO THE GRAIL.

Actually, that's not true. This isn't "just a film blog" - not exactly, anyway. As I've been foretelling for a couple years now, the endgame of this blog is about to change. No longer do I have a list to work from, 1001 mandatory reviews to write or a routine to follow. That's the "out with the old" part of this equation. The "in with the new" is that this blog will now shift gears, as I begin to create my own 1,000 list (because 1001 is just stupid). What you'll see is random reviews and weekly newsletter style pieces that fill you in on what I'm watching, movie wise, as I spend the next several years compiling my own "book" - it just won't be in book form. Instead, you can access MY 1,000 list, which is titled: FROM THE MOON TO THE GRAIL: A PERSONAL, ONGOING CANON OF MY FAVORITE FILMS on various sites, such as IMDB (here), iCheckMovies (here), Letterboxd (here) and Listal (here). Instead of a text, my list is 100% virtual and weach film I watch from here on out will be CONSIDERED for inclusion. Every time I watch 100 films, I'll peruse those 100 titles and choose ten (or twenty - still ironing out the details) and they will be added to my list.

So....going forward, the blog will serve three main purposes:

Will be written when I feel like I have enough to say, to fill out a review. If I have a strong opinion (good or bad) then I'll make the call as to whether the film is "full review worthy" or not. Some months you may get 10, other times I may go months without doing a single one. We'll see. I'm trying to get away from having to write SO MUCH. It's nice being able to just watch a movie and when it's over, it's over.

I feel like at this point, we've developed a relationship. There are those of you out there (few, I'm sure) who will want to know what I'm watching and what I thought of it. So, since I'm not committing to anything concrete, review wise, I will commit to stopping by once a week and banging out SOMETHING. The goal is to make it every Saturday, where I run down the films I saw in the past week and maybe talk about other stuff too. The goal is to make this a newsletter style piece, a one stop shop, where if you read nothing else, you'll be able to stay up to date on my viewing habits. I'm tinkering with the idea of adding other features, maybe a "Blog Post of the Week" where I feature another blogger's work, maybe even a guest piece or two. Like I said, this will come out once every Saturday, starting tomorrow.

3. THE 177
Yes, there are still 177 films, that were included in other editions of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, that I need to watch and give formal reviews for and I'm committing, right now, to doing those. I can't say at what frequency you'll get them. Like with the random reviews, some months you may get ten and other months you may get zero. It's going to be on an as I feel like it basis. If it takes me another six years to watch and review the missing 177, then so be it.

So those are the three main bullet points going forward and yes, I'll probably be updating my 1001 Music page a bit more often as well. I'm finding it very uneasy right now to have so much free time on my hands, so it's going to take some adapting. Right now, it's still unfamiliar for me to finish a movie and NOT write about it or even just to be choosing ANY MOVIE I WANT, which is really exciting and yes, there have been a few Netflix sessions with me adding movies to my queue like a madman.


In addition to my future plans, I think I also need to thank a few people:

Thank you to Eric Lax, at Barron's Educational for being gracious enough to send a no name, small town blogger review copies of the three newest U.S. editions of the 1001 Movies You Must See book to be released. I am forever grateful.

Thank you Karen Burroughs Hansberry. For you comments, for being so polite and for being a friend. Thank you for Seven Shadows a couple of years ago. I still remember sitting at work and reading your "about me" post, on your wonderful blog and finding out that you were interviewed for Mysteries and Scandals and thinking "My goodness, I'm friends with a celeb!".

Thank you to Ray Milner. My first and most frequent commenter. Any time I ever contemplated quitting, I always thought of you and how disappointed you'd be. I tend to picture you sitting down in front of your computer with a cup of hot tea and waiting to "chat" about my newest offering. My quitting would have taken away your morning reading material and I couldn't have that. Also thanks for loaning me Utu and Chronicle of a Summer.

And really, thank you to everyone whose ever commented. If you were nice enough to read something I wrote and then even nicer to write something to me, that means a lot. Thank you all and I hope we can continue to communicate going foward.

Thank you to Tommy Wishloff for having me on your podcast. I only wish Big Kahuna Burger podcast was still around. That was a lot of fun!

And last, but not least, thank you to my wife, Ruth, for all of the nights you gave your blessing to ignore you and watch a movie. Thank you for tackling so many of them with me and thank you for a thousand other things that have nothing to do with this journey I took. I love you.


My head is blank right now. I can't really think of anything poignant to say, so I'll just wing it. Sure, it's just watching movies. But to do ANYTHING for six years, to have a goal and to reach it, no matter how minuscule, it's a big deal. I was always the guy who didn't finish what he started. When I was young, one thing I'd always find myself doing was going through old notebooks, that I'd filled with some project that I was hell bent on working on and then abandoned it after a few weeks, maybe a month. I always liked the planning part of a project, but not the execution - I guess that's why I always gave up. I remember about a month prior to starting this project, becoming even more involved in film - wanting to bone up on classic and foreign films, as that's where I lacked the most experience. In my head, there was a whole world of movies out there that I wasn't experiencing, all because I "couldn't do old or subtitles". Now, six years later, 1001 movies later and I find that a lot of the movies I'm actually wanting to watch, for fun, are classic or foreign - meaning this project worked. The project was meant to open my eyes to all sorts of world cinema, all decades, all styles, all everything. I wanted a sample of everything and I wanted to broaden my horizons. Mission accomplished. It's nice to be done. It's hard to believe, but yes, it's nice. I still don't know what to do with all this free time, but it's nice to finally have free time again and not knowing, in the back of my mind, that there are still 462 movies that need watching and I better get on it.

I'm sorry if that was anti-climactic, but like I said, I really don't think it's set in that I'm done - even a week removed from finishing. However, this is the official end. I thank you and I look forward to more blogging. Thank you.

November 7, 2015  12:30am


  1. Awww .. thanks for the mention! I'm running a bit late this morning, but my tea is here ...
    I've had a quick look at your list on iCM .. I'm 6 missing. One I have (127 hours - I may have that number wrong), but I am avoiding watching. I don't think I'll cope with it well. 'Bunny Lake' I keep meaning to track down.
    I very much agree that the big gain was introducing us to films I never would have done.
    For me .. I learnt that there are some damn fine westerns. I used to dismiss the entire lot. I discovered there was a LOT more to Japanese cinema than Samurai films.. If for nothing else, I thank 'The Book' for making me watch 'Woman in the Dunes' Glad to get to know Ozu films ..I will even thank the book for some experimentals.Mayan Deren .. I even bought a (Ok, admittedly cheap) DVD of her stuff. OK, no thanks for oh .. I've forgotten the name. Move on.
    Let's thank the book for having us watch a Warhol other than 'Empire'.
    Anyway.. I may be back on this one later .. I need breakfast.

    1. So I'm curious what are the other four, besides 127 hours that you're missing from my list?

    2. So that will be .. err .. Closer, Jagten, Chloe in the afternoon, and Dressed to kill. Non of which I know that much about.

    3. Are you an Eric Rohmer fan. If so, I think you'd like Chloe. Dressed to Kill is an 80s, kind of cheesy thriller, but I've found recently that I kind of like those. Sort of in the same vein as Sea of Love with Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin, do you know that one?

      Jagten is really good, I'd be surprised if you didn't like it. Sort of comparable to Doubt, in that it raises big moral questions. I know you liked that one.

      Closer is Mike Nichols and is very dialogue driven. Some of the best onscreen arguments I've ever seen.

  2. Congratulation on completing the list. It is an awesome achievement. And congratulation as well on the new blog. This is a good occasion to reinvent it.

  3. Congrats, Andrew. I'm glad that you'll continue to write about movies. I read all of your reviews and I will do it in the future. For me, the Journey with the Book will start next year, so I'm sure I will come back to your blog to read your thoughts about some movies. I mean, even if you don't write new stuff, I will come here to read your old posts, so thank you for keeping it here on the net. And have fun with this feeling now, that you can watch whatever you want :).

    1. Thanks Eandra. Good luck on starting THE BOOK next year. I'm flattered that you've read all my reviews and I'm even more flattered that you'll use my reviews next year. You know, I may be looking for some guest contributors to my blog....Drop me an email sometime and maybe we can work something out.,,if you're interested, of course.

  4. I like the new name you picked out! (I'm prone to darker colors as well, so I like that you stuck with that too) Nice work!


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