Saturday, January 06, 2007

Almost There... Maybe

This damn blog. It still barely works, and only for half-hour intervals every few days, for some mysterious, unspecified reason relating to mandrake roots, bubbling cauldrons, salamanders, FTP entropy, Beta software, and the great black-hole abstraction that is Blogger Tech Support. Those of us on externally-hosted blogs, i.e., Blogger-supported blogs that aren't hosted directly on Blogspot, could not possibly be a lower priority for the obviously overworked and yet patently neglectful and unresponsive staff at Google.

So, do not reel with astonishment if I bag this whole blog in 2007 and institute a major site overhaul at my main site in order to consolidate all of my writing on a domain that I can administer myself, without all the Blogger hocus pocus.

BUT! This, at least, is a start. For the time, please enjoy the now-outdated posts that I wrote four weeks ago, and don't believe anyone, especially Owen Gleiberman, who tells you that Sweet Land is an overlooked masterpiece. It's an agreeable film, and in the modern climate of exhibition, it's a miracle that anyone is seeing it; still, the movie resides firmly in that Tender Mercies tradition of reticent, simple films that mistake quiet for eloquence and natural beauty for artistic communication. C

Meanwhile, DO believe anyone, including Owen Gleiberman, who urges you to take a chance on The Good Shepherd, the exceedingly rare film about ubiquitous duplicity that keeps a tight hold on its tonal register and doesn't pump itself up into too many false climaxes. The treacheries here are constant, profound, and often quite upsetting, but neither the superb screenplay by Eric Roth nor the editing nor the score nor the director limns them with bombast or distracting rhetoric, and both the movie and the characters force themselves to soldier on, almost unflappably, every time another rug is pulled out from underneath them. In a person, as the film so clearly knows, this is called emotional stuntedness, as well as—for a CIA operative, at least—professional necessity. In a film—with this premise and these characters, at least—it's called intelligence and conviction. B+

(Image © 2006 Universal Pictures)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two things: first, there was a post just yesterday on Blogger Buzz about externally hosted blogs like yours being able to transfer over to Beta now. I have to admit, it's a different world over here in BetaLand...much better.

Second, completely agree about SHEPHERD. It's got more going for it than most people give it credit for. A perfectly competent B+, indeed.

12:38 PM, January 06, 2007  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

So glad that we agree again about The Good Shepherd!

As for the Beta transfer: the problem is that Blogger invited those of us with externally hosted blogs to transfer much earlier than they should have, since they seem not to have prepared for any of the problems that these transfers would cause us. Technically, I've already been "on" Beta for a month now, so even though it's now easier for ftp-blogs on Old Blogger to transfer over, those of us who did it when we were asked and got our blogs all scrambled up are still up a creek, from what I can tell... at least until some pour soul on the Blogger staff fixes the scrambling in each of our blogs by hand. (A lot of the fancy advantages in Beta won't even apply to us, like direct posting - we still have to publish and republish - so I'm hoping that somemthing about this Beta transfer might work out right in the end.)

3:17 PM, January 06, 2007  

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