Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Necessary Hiatus

I have been forced away from this blog for so long that Blogger has changed its interface completely since last I used it. I feel like I've walked in the door from a long, out-of-town work assignment and come home to find all of my furniture rearranged!

 Thanks to everyone who has written to ask if everything was okay, or if anything was okay. Short version: I'm gearing up for the year-long process of having my tenure case considered at Northwestern, which means that for the past six months I've been working even harder than normal on academic writing, document preparation, manuscript revisions, conference presentations, and all the other ducks that need to be in line on my end so that multiple sets of undisclosed reviewers can consider my case and make a determination that will only become final around this time next year. A sufficient number of fellow academics are regular readers that I'm guessing a few of you know how much work this process entails; others are welcome to ask offsite, and I'll peel back the mysterious curtain of assistant-professorhood without scaring you all away. Anyway, that's the explanation for the radio silence since that pre-historical era when sentient life was still congealing in the primordial ooze, when dinosaurs were stepping on each other's heads at creekside, and when we all still thought Viola Davis might get the Oscar.

Dispatches will remain irregular through the summer, I'm sorry to say, but the glass-half-full version of that statement is that you'll start seeing some movement around here.  For example, Daniel Stamm—the director of 2010's The Last Exorcism, a spidery, effective horror film that's really stayed with me—has recently premiered his first film, A Necessary Death, on iTunes and DVD and has sent me a review copy. I had as great a teaching experience as I did a viewing experience with The Last Exorcism, so I'm eager to screen its predecessor... and since the premise of the film makes it virtually impossible to discuss without inviting spoilers, I absolutely urge you to rent it and save up your responses for a discussion in the Comments.

I have also been shipped some Blu-Rays from Warner Bros. that they have asked me to review—a range that includes some of your favorites and mine, some of your favorites that I sort of hate, and some movies movies you hated that I found sort of interesting. I won't be reporting about every disc that makes its way here (sorry, folks, but under no circumstances whatsoever), but I'm enjoying the chance to revisit films I haven't seen in a while, or wanted to say something about recently but didn't, or am hoping to find a fresh angle on... especially since the Warners folks have been absolutely wonderful to deal with and have made very clear that they don't expect me to adore everything that's coming my way. (Though sometimes adoration is the only sane response).

And yes: more actresses, more birthdays, some redesigns, and even a Top Ten list for 2011. Because until hell freezes over, there's always time. Stay tuned, and thanks for hanging in there with me!

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11 Comments:

Blogger GHJ - said...

Looking forward to the upcoming content!

1:17 AM, June 12, 2012  
Blogger James T said...

I got really tired from all that stuff you have to do!

Really, people, it's Nick f**king Davis; of course you want to make him a tenured professor or dean or emperor or whatever. Who's better for the job? He's taught me how to think about movies (and not only) in ways I didn't even know existed. Imagine what he does for his real students.

Consider that paragraph a letter of recommendation by a very important person... moi.

Anyway, thrilled that we'll have anything by you in the near future and best wishes on getting what should be yours already.

1:58 AM, June 12, 2012  
Anonymous Kristina said...

Hey Nick! I'm going to be on campus end of June/early July - will you be around? Also Katy's moving back to Chicago! So much going on! Either way, I wish I could help, with...like all the copying Emily will have to do. Or the English department folks. Whoever.
Anyway, hope I get to see you?

6:29 AM, June 12, 2012  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Obviously, being one of your great and long-standing fans, I am 100% behind your tenure case. Please let me know if I can offer you any kind of support over the next year (short of a place to stay in the next six months, since I am going Nomad!).

LOVE to you and Derek. xoxo

10:15 AM, June 12, 2012  
Blogger Middento said...

Yaay! You're back! And best of luck as things move forward!

12:57 AM, June 13, 2012  
Blogger Tim said...

I'm so glad you're not dead! And good luck on the tenure front, not just because you deserve the hell out of it, but because I selfishly want you to be tied down to Chicago for ever and always.

Plus, very excited to read whatever you feel like writing about, whenever you write about it.

12:30 PM, June 14, 2012  
Anonymous BVR said...

Hope you get it, Nick. you're an excellent writer!

Please finish your year-end awards for 2011. I'm looking forward to the rest of your acting short-lists.

Also, I love the Birthday blurbs you do for the Oscar-nom actresses. don't stop.

Good luck

8:10 PM, June 26, 2012  
Anonymous Arkaan said...

I saw A Necessary Death at the Edmonton Film Festival in 2008, and it pretty much ripped my heart out.

10:33 PM, June 27, 2012  
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Anonymous Paolo said...

That's an interesting defense of The Last Exorcism since most of my friends were trashing it.

Also, if I had a million dollars minus taxes I'd give half to you just so that you can write a definitive cannon. I need your guidance! And I can't wait for the Actress book to come out.

1:45 PM, August 19, 2012  
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