Hey gang! So it’s been awhile since I’ve talked to you all. Remember the marvelous days where I updated Journeys in Classic Film daily? Yeah, those days have disappeared as I’ve become a full-time freelancer and pop culture writer. But in doing some recent articles on the site I had a revelation. Any writer will tell you burnout is a real thing, and it’s something that you experience different with film criticism. I get told all the time, “You get to watch movies for a living. I could do that!” No, you couldn’t. That’s not to sound disparaging but when I watch movies it’s not turning my brain off and enjoying. Many times I take notes and have to look at a movie critically. Even for a classic film review I have to actively engage in it and that can be hard when you’re trying to get a million other things done on a deadline. Oftentimes it takes me all day just to write a review because I want it to sound fun, pithy, and concise. When you’re analyzing the usage of every word, writing can go from being a fun pastime to a nightmarish hellscape.
Where was I? Oh, my revelation. I’ve been running Journeys in Classic Film for seven years. Seven years?! I thought I was still on five? Where have I been?! Anyway, seven years. I’ve interviewed countless amazing personalities involved in cinema and TCM, authors, podcasters. I’ve started – and dropped – many a column. But as I was writing my most recent postings over the last week I had, dare I say, fun? I enjoyed writing again. A lot of this has to do with me forcing myself to only cover things I had definite thoughts on. In the past I’d review anything in front of me; now, I only review things I love or hate. But it was just fun knowing that you guys would read it and wouldn’t judge me on whether it was pithy, funny, or if my writing was verbose enough. (I’m sure someone will leave a comment telling me all those things.) All of you who read my site understand and enjoy my work. So, that left me thinking, “Maybe it’s time to do more.”
With that, I came up with a burst of inspiration and slew of ideas that I’d love to present to you and ask what you think. First off, one of the big things I’m contemplating is finally changing the name of the website. The URL would stay the same but Journeys in Classic Film was always meant to be a placeholder for something better, or just there whenever I decided to stop writing. Now, I’m thinking of something that’s a bit catchier. What do you think?
I also came up with a trio of new column ideas. Kristen Recasts the Classics is a staple and that will always be around. I’ve also received a lot of appreciation for my new series, Boulevard of Broken Stars and I have several ideas for future installments. (If you have a star you think would be perfect, send suggestions.) But I came up with a series of ideas that I can’t really decide between. I can’t guarantee I’ll be on time with anything, but I’d like to get back into enjoying writing and classic cinema in a way that you’ll enjoy reading. So, here are my ideas:
- Mysterious Hollywood: We all love true crime and mysteries, particularly when it comes to Hollywood. Similar to my Boulevard of Broken Stars (or maybe in conjunction, I don’t know), I’d like to look at Hollywood crimes, mysteries, conspiracy theories and give my own take on them. Why do these stories compel us? Examples include the death of George Reeves, Thelma Todd, the Wonderland murders, Dorothy Stratten, etc.
- Franchise Focus: This would be looking at a film series in its entirety and discussing it as well as ranking which order you should watch everything in. Examples include the “Mexican Spitfire” films, Ann Sothern’s “Maisie” series, Tarzan films, etc.
- Celebrity Dopplegangers: Honestly, this is the most ill-formed of my ideas. I spend a lot of time discussing which modern celebs could play classic film stars if a biopic was made. Think of Kristen Recasts but with celebrity stories.
There’s a poll below for you to vote on which idea sounds the best. Feel free to leave any feedback, recommendations, etc. in the comments! Or, if you’re attending the TCM Classic Film Festival feel free to tell me in person!
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.