I was actually going to write something…

26 08 2015

So I had grand plans to write either my Criterion Top 10 list or a piece about Marion Cotillard today, both of which tied into the Criterion Collection release of “Two Days, One Night” on Tuesday.  (Side note: Amazon.com, you need to get me this disc now, I don’t know why you can’t just put it in my darn mailbox.)

But then, something out of this world happened.  The video essay I posted yesterday popped up on IndieWire, a site that I check multiple times a day.  Needless to say, the excitement kept my mind sidetracked for a while.

Click the picture to be taken to the post itself.

The Playlist - Two Days, One Night video essay

It wasn’t just a link, either.  I hate to toot my own horn, but they gave me a truly flattering write-up as well.

“It’s hard to think that a pair of filmmakers who have won two Palme d’Or prizes at the Cannes Film Festival could be underrated, but the extent ofJean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s talents still feel insufficiently realized. Their latest work, ‘Two Days, One Night‘ — which is now available through the Criterion Collection— showcases an area of their acumen seldom discussed when praising their work: shot composition.” Marshall Shaffer’s 7-and-a-half-minute video essay begins with that big thesis.

What follows is extremely well edited video that deftly delivers on its premise, showcasing Shaffer’s astute eye for dissecting the latest work by the Dardenne brothers, known for movies like “L’enfant,” “The Son,” and “The Kid with a Bike.”

Watch below for Shaffer’s perspicacious analysis, including what he deems to be “the masterpiece of camera work and character blocking” in the Dardennes’ film.

So you could say I have been floating on cloud nine today.  Sorry if you were craving some juicy content or analysis today.  Sometimes it’s nice to just take a step back and appreciate that all the hard work pays off in some way.

But the reward is not in the recognition.  It’s in the work itself.  I love producing these video essays, and this certainly gives me some motivation to keep churning them out.  But the thrill I got from seeing my name on IndieWire does not measure up to the immense satisfaction of exporting the final cut of the video essay itself, knowing that I have truly wrestled with a film’s meaning and produced something enlightening for the benefit of the discourse around cinema.

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Random Factoid #571

30 12 2014

2014, for me, was the year of the typo correction.  For whatever reason, I felt emboldened to act as copywriter for the world.  (Just not for my own work, which I often find full of errors upon reexamination.)  Much of my Larry David-esque perceived need to correct other people’s harmless mistakes or typos stems from an empowering NPR segment about a book called “The Great Typo Hunt.”  Yes, I am enough of a nerd to call an NPR story about grammar “empowering.”  Get at me, world!

It began as early as January, when IndieWire ran a story called “The 20 Best Films of 2014 We’ve Already Seen.”  This highlighted festival films from the previous year due for release in the upcoming calendar year, and the original list inexplicably omitted “The Immigrant.”  Foreshadowing (or stemming from) my being a warrior for this film, I commented about this egregious exclusion.

IndieWINNING

The post is now called “The 21 Best Films of 2014 We’ve Already Seen,” but the URL still says “20.”  Point, Marshall.

It continued with the website for “Obvious Child.”  I was trying to find a poster to add to my PowerPoint aggregating all the films I saw in a year (as chronicled in Random Factoid #200) on the website when I noticed a pretty egregious typo.  I emailed the admin listed on the Tumblr, and I wound up getting a personal response from the film’s producer, Elisabeth Holm.  The correction can be seen below.

Obvious Child Email

Then, as I am often prone to do, I was scouring the pre-order section of iTunes to see when I might be able to rent certain titles I missed.  I noticed that “Laggies” was up – and that its star, Keira Knightley, had her name misspelled on the cover.  I sent the studio a quick email and, sure enough, the cover changed!

A24 Laggies

 

And the gentle, metaphorical red pen did not limit itself to spelling errors.  I also tackled factual inaccuracies, such as one that I found in a piece by Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst at The Hollywood Reporter.

Feinberg

Now, just so we’re clear, I am far from perfect and actually made plenty a pretty embarrassing error while thinking I was correcting someone else’s error.  See that comment from The Dissolve?  It was in reply to a comment that I deleted, which was calling them out for misspelling “Slave” when it was referencing the video’s misspelling.  Had I watched the video, I would have known that.  Had I really been paying attention, I would have also noticed that they also “misspelled” Brad Pitt’s name.

Salve

I decided not to let the comment live on and shame me, like a coward.  Perhaps in the new year, I will limit myself in my quest to make the world a safer place for proofreading to only correcting errors which I am completely certain are wrong.  Or, rather, I can just shake my head in dismay at every typo I see online (cough, IndieWire – you’re the worst offender) and hope they feel the same shame that I experience when I realize a similar gaffe in my own work.

P.S. – How can I tell AT&T about this bad typo?

Gaurdians