Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 26, 2014: My Ten Year Online Anniversary

Now I have been rating and ranking movies since I was a little kid. I remember sitting on the floor of my aunt and uncle's condo, probably around ten or so, watching my uncle's all-time favourite film, The African Queen. Looking back, I am sure I didn't get all the sexual tension that was going on in the narrative, but I was still amazed at what I was watching. Scary and tough, Bogart epitomized the classic movie star for me. I have been hooked on movies ever since. Filling notebooks and more notebooks with my thoughts on the films I watched, the younger me was a born film critic. And I kept this critical mindset up all throughout my teen years and all throughout my twentysomethings. My first actual published film review came in 1998, at the tender age of 31. It was a review of Run Lola Run, and was written for and published in a  little local film mag called Film Speak. I would do some other stuff for Film Speak over the next year or so, as well as writing about our local film festival (and a side jaunt into poetry, as both a published poet and the co-editor of a nine issue run on a poetry magazine), but it would not be until March 26, 2004, that I would finally enter the cyberworld of online film criticism. It was on this day, exactly ten years ago, that I would first enter the world wide web as a (soon-to-be) known film critic. It was on this day that The Cinematheque was born.

But just what is this Cinematheque, buddy-boy? We thought this was All Things Kevyn! Well it is guys. It most certainly is, but this ain't my first trip to the rodeo, ya know. You see, The Cinematheque was my first attempt at creating a film site.  It was first done on a platform once known as Geocities. Anyone remember those guys? Yeah. Well, eventually Geocities collapsed and I was doing my site on Yahoo. Now this wasn't a blog, mind you. No, this was a website full of HTML code cracking, and all that jazz. Well, after teaching myself how to do HTML (it really isn't as difficult as it would seem when first looking at that crowded backstage area of the intrawebs), my site grew and grew and grew. For nearly five and a half years, The Cinematheque was the sole place where I laid my critical bent upon the world. Then, in the Fall of 2009, I created what was meant to be a companion blog to my film site. I had tried another companion blog in 2005-06, called Film Lovers R Sick People, but it went kaput after thirteen months or so. This new place, this fresh new blog would be a place to showcase anything I felt like writing on the cinema. Less of a structured place than The Cinematheque. This place was called The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World. This is where I would start making real headway into the world of film criticism - and become a much better writer in the process. Yay me!

After a few months into my new blog, it would turn from companion piece to the main place I did what I did...and do. Meanwhile, I would start getting some other gigs around this time too. I did a few reviews over at a place called Plume-Noire, and a few more over at a place called The Vigilant Monkey, and some more over at a place called MovieZeal. There was also a site called Gone Cinema Poaching (silly name), and one called Anomalous Material, the latter of which is where I plied my stock trade of creating movie-themed top ten lists. I don't think any of these places are around anymore, so don't even bother looking for them. They fell into the obscurities of cyberspace, just like so many other places on the web. The internet is a fickle place after all. I also did a recurring series for the fine folks over at Forces of Geek. That place is still around, but they probably aren't worth looking up either, as my pieces may not even be around anymore. You see, even though I did some deep film history writing there, I only lasted a few months before being told my services were no longer needed. Something about my pieces on the history of science fiction cinema not being entertaining enough, or something like that. Oh well, I digress.

After a few years of tending to both The Cinematheque and The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World, using my first site as merely a film review spot, and the latter as a place for everything else cinema-related, I decided to shut down my original site, and concentrate solely on The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World. So, in early 2012, after almost eight years "on the air," The Cinematheque went dark. Oh, it's still out there somewhere in cyberspace, but all it has going for it is a note reading how one must go elsewhere to find yours truly. So, as our story trudges on, this brings us to the Most Beautiful Fraud in the World days - and in case you were wondering just where I came up with that title, go ahead and google Jean-Luc Godard. Go ahead. I'll wait. Done? Got it now? Good. On with the show. So, as I was babbl...er, saying, this brings us up to the Most Beautiful Fraud days. Fraud was one of those froo-froo film sites, where a blogger (yeah, that would be me) pontificates about all things cinema. It was a place where high brow film snobbery met low down movie buffdom, all tangled together in one big heaping spoonful of giddy cinephilia. It was also a place that first got me noticed, as it were, by others in the film criticism community - some of which I have even met in actual person, when attending the New York Film Festival. Yeah, that's right, some people on the internet are actually real people. Some of 'em.

Which reminds me of another thing that happened during this era of my online life's work. There is a place somewhere on the internet called the LAMB, or more understandable (but less concise), the Large Association of Movie Blogs. It is a place that pretty much explains itself in its name. So, being a movie blog, I went and joined up (so-called proud member #678) and got some fresh new faces checking out my writing. Not many oddly enough, but still a few. The thing is though, this is a very cliquey group, and outsiders are not all that welcome, other than to fill their ranks so they look big and fat and full of love. Each year the LAMB does an awards thing, where all LAMB members vote on other LAMB members in a bunch of different categories, ranging from Best Blog to Funniest Writer to Best Film Critic to whatever and whatever. So, for three years running (2011, 2012, 2013) I entered myself and The Most Beautiful Fraud into this contest, and each year I came up empty-handed. No awards AND no nominations. Of course each and every year, it is the same handful of blogs that are nominated, with a sprinkling of newcomers thrown in to look good. Apparently sprinkling me in was not in the cards. So there ya have that. 'nuff said. Let's move on to the (almost) present day.

Back in early Summer of 2013, upon returning home from the only vacation my wife and I were able to take in nearly five years of running our little local arthouse cinema, we were fired from said arthouse cinema. But allow me to backtrack and give a bit of backstory on this event. Ya see, for nearly five years, my lovely wife and I managed a place called Midtown Cinema. It was a choice gig for sure. Not only showing movies to the supposedly adoring public (we still very much miss many of our regulars) but just being around the movie biz, even just our small slice of it, was fun fun fun. Then, in late 2012, the cinema owners, a local urban development firm that seemed like a group of good people at first (boy were we wrong) put their receptionist in pseudo charge of us. This receptionist also happened to be the owner's wife's best friend. Yeah, that's right. Needless to say, this back-stabbing, conniving woman decided she wanted to run things, and did everything she could to get us to quit. Meanwhile, Amy (that would be the little missus btw) and I were denied pretty much everything we asked for, from days off to vacation time to much-needed remodeling to hiring more staff to everything else. So, after finally getting our vacation (and it was just four days mind you), we returned from our time in Las Vegas to find all our personal belongings bagged up (and some of it even in the dumpster) and our pink slips handed out. Yup.

So, we found ourselves out of work (as did most of the staff, save for one particular staff member who had went behind our backs to save her own ass - later losing her job as well) and living in our newly minted Summer of Leisure. So, with unemployment checks in tow, I went about trying to find something else to occupy my time. The first thing that came to mind was art and comic-making. I had always been interested in doing my own comics, and had doodled away most of my life, so decided to make it official. Bringing back the comics company I had first created back in 1989, Brain Tumor Comix, I began publishing some online doodles. Comic strips with names such as La-La & Lu-Lu, Famous People Attend A Cocktail Party, and Smiley-Face Land Adventures. After several months of this, the fun began to wane, as did my creative output. I do still do the occasional La-La & Lu-Lu's (a blend of Matt Groening's Life in Hell and David Lynch's The Angriest Dog in the World), and they appear now and again on this very blog (new ones coming in just a few weeks!!) but mostly Brain Tumor Comix is a stationary entity these days. So, with my comics going bust, my writing at The Most Beautiful Fraud at a surprising all-time low, and no job to speak of, I needed something else. Something fresh and new. And thus was born the blog you currently hold in your hands, or in your lap (or in your proverbial lap) or on your desk, or whatevs. Thus was born All Things Kevyn.

I'm not sure how or why, but at some point in mid November of 2013, I came up with the idea of writing, of blogging, on more than just cinema. I decided it was time to include such things as TV and music and comic books and pretty much everything else of a pop culture nature. And what better name than All Things Kevyn. This blog also works as a hub of sorts for everything that is encompassed within The All Things Kevyn Entertainment Network. Yeah, that's right. There's even a Facebook page for such a thing. But seriously, this is the hub for all I do online. Not just the oh so witty things I post here (and they are damn witty dammit), but also links to all the other places for which I write. My comic book reviews over at ComicSpectrum. My top tens over at Geek League of America. My everything, everywhere - all conveniently linked in the tabs section at the top of this blog. It's all here, baby! So yeah, that is the story of my first decade on the air. Hopefully the next ten years will bring such things as my book being published (or more than one) and/or my work as a regular over at The Nerdist (seriously Hardwick, give me a job already!) and/or pseudo celebrity status (i'm not totally power hungry). Yup, here's hopin' for the best. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


2 comments:

  1. Hey buddy boy - congrats on 10 years on the line! Wouldn't know how to react if you weren't there. Take it sleazy, old pal O' mine.

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  2. Thanx buddy boy. Glad ya stopped by. It seems kinda lonely 'round these parts with nary a comment these days. Maybe when I make it big, people will deem me worthy enough to comment on my blog. Until then, it's good to have old friends around. Now I'm gonna go and end this comment before I start sounding too weepy-eyed. Enjoy the Left Coast. See ya 'round the web.

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