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« Book It, Donno | Main | Happy Music »

November 29, 2007

Some New WebStops

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Hey, some high-quality bloggers you may already know but who I've just begun catching up with:

* Jeff Sypeck. Jeff is the author of an excellent recent book about Charlemagne. Evocative, informative, and beautifully-scaled, it's first-class intellectual entertainment. As a blogger, Jeff loses none of what makes him a remarkable nonfiction book author: he's friendly, perceptive, and humorous; he puts on no airs; yet he's completely unapologetic about the pleasures and benefits of brains and knowledge. That's a nice, and all-too-rare, combo. Check out Jeff's very sharp thoughts about John Gardner's "Beowulf"-inspired novel "Grendel" -- "one of the most reactionary novels an English major will ever read." And on viewing the film "Beowulf," Jeff reverts to his 12 year old self to review it. Talk about an appropriate response!

* Joe Valdez. Joe runs an ambitious-yet-relaxed blog about movies where he maintains a very high level of moviechat. Generous and sympathetic, he has an interesting conception of how moviechat should be conducted. He recounts the story; he nails the genre; he researches how the film came to be; he shares his own reactions; and he passes along the reactions of other fans and viewers. I'm pleased to see that he's no hero-worshipper of directors, but is instead alert to the many people (writers, producers, performers, etc) who contribute to movies. But my favorite aspect of Joe's multifaceted approach to the movie-thang is this: He doesn't let himself be tied down by studio release dates and instead follows his own muse, exploring new movies, movie history, and DVDs as the mood strikes him. That's movie-watching as a real movie-lover does it. For an especially good example of how rewarding Joe's approach can be, check out his beautiful posting about the 1978 Dustin Hoffman / Ulu Grosbard / Edward Bunker crime drama "Straight Time." Joe's site includes a very cool movie poster gallery.



posted by Michael at November 29, 2007


Michael, thanks for that spectacular shout out. I wish there were some way I cut your article out and mail it to my grandmother. She doesn't have Internet access, but would be pleased to know her "me hijo" has amounted to something. Thanks again!

Posted by: Joe Valdez on November 29, 2007 4:17 PM

Michael, thanks for your generous words! After reading your recent post, I had a feeling you'd enjoy my Beowulf "review."

Posted by: Jeff on November 29, 2007 4:34 PM

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