Wait, let me back up a bit.
Turns out there's this "Thinking Blogger Award" floating around the internets lately. Piper explains the recent history of it, which is convenient, since I don't feel like repeating it, but suffice to say it involves everyone's favorite quiz master, Dennis Cozzalio over at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, and several other of the best film minds the blog universe has to offer.
Anyway, so if you receive a "Thinking Blogger Award", you get to put up a cool banner/graphic on your site, like this:
Provided, of course, you follow some rules:
1) If, and only if your blog is one that is tagged on my list below, you must write a post with links to five other blogs you like that consistently make you think (hence, the Thinking Blogger’s Award).
2) Link to this post so people will know whose good idea all this was.
3) Proudly display the “Thinking Blogger Award” logo with a link to the post you wrote.
And that brings us back to Piper. You see, Piper was given this prestigious award and in the process of following the rules had this to say about yours truly:
As all who visit Lazy Eye know, I am a fiend for blog-a-thons and the very first blog-a-thon I wrote for was Lucas' Lovesick Blog-A-Thon at 100 Films. It was sort of a trial by fire for me because I really had no idea what I was doing or even what a blog-a-thon was. From there, I began to e-mail Lucas from time to time for advice. I consulted him often on themes for my first blog-a-thon. What I found most refreshing about Lucas was that he was honest. He cared enough to give me his honest opinion. May not seem like much, but to me, it's a 100 pounds of gold. But more than that, Lucas has given film blogging a purpose. A purpose much higher than just an outlet for film lovers trying to show how movie-smart they are. At 100 Films, you will see that Lucas has created the uber-indie project where he invites every independent filmmaker that has made a movie or short to send it in for him to review it on his site. This doesn't guarantee a positive review, but what it does is help give a voice to independent film. That's so much more important than anything I do or will probably ever do on my blog. And for that, I bestow unto you The Thinking Blogger's award to Lucas. Use it and continue to provide a lush valley for filmmakers to find safe harbor in which to thrive. But don't try to hock this award to help fund your recent movie gravida, which gets a Pittsburgh release July 12th by the way.
High praise, indeed. Although, to be fair, I should point out that perhaps Piper confuses my generally kind nature and rampant gmail addiction with real, actual concern, but I won't quibble over that. The fact is I'm always excited to get emails, but even more so if they have something to do with my writing. Oddly enough, it never gets old.
But enough of that. Who am I going to name? Oh, the tension! The drama!
1. No More Marriages!
Andy Horbal and I live in the same city. We walk the same streets. We see the same films at the same theatres, sometimes at the same screening (once, I had to keep moving in my seat because his big hat was blocking the screen). Strangely enough, we've never spoken in person. Still, Andy is the person who first comes to mind when I think of the term "Thinking Blogger". His now-retired blog was one of the very first things I read every morning (after my email, of course), and usually at least once during the day. It was a clearinghouse, of sorts, for the entire film blog community, and it's absence leaves a rather large hole in our group. You could argue that Andy's blog was the one that kept us all together. Here's hoping his upcoming Mirror/Stage is half as effective.
2. Last Night with Riviera
A long time ago, back when I was new to this whole blog thing, I was reading my meager Statcounter log when, lo and behold, I noticed a hit from Australia. Australia!. And not just a random hit, but multiple hits. Clearly someone I didn't know was reading my blog on a regular basis. As you might imagine, I thought this was pretty fucking awesome. That random reader in Australia was, of course, Matt Riviera, who read this blog so long ago that he might have the only non-"100 films" sidebar link left. Because Last Night with Riviera deals primarily with the Sidney festival circuit, it tends to get ignored by the rest of the film bloggers. While everyone is talking about whatever terrible horror film is in theatres this week, Matt's diligently writing about Hallam Foe, a film that won't see a theatre near you for a long time. You can't even imagine how far ahead of the curve he is.
3. Film of the Year
Also not writing about crappy horror films (well, at least not yet) is Thom Ryan over at Film of the Year. Starting all the way back in 1909 (earlier?), Thom is methodically working his way through film history, writing a thoughtful, educational post about one film per year. He's already up to 1936's Sabotage. If you're gonna jump on the Thom Ryan bandwagon, now's the time to do it, because he's starting to write about films you've heard of. But if you're lucky like me, you can always say, "Man, I used to read Thom back when it was 1909." We call that film snobbery for the indie aesthetic.
4. The House Next Door
You can't really have a discussion about thinking bloggers without mentioning Matt Zoller Seitz's The House Next Door. Has someone already mentioned him? Sure. Do I care? Nope. What Matt has created is something of a online publishing house where contributors such as Todd VanDerWerff, Edward Copeland, Keith Uhlich, and Ryland Walker Knight write about everything in the film and television universe. On any given day you can read about the latest DVD releases, or an in-depth examination of the Sopranos finale, or just a list of 5 things that peak Keith Uhlich's interest today. It's one of my favorite sites on the entire internet.
5. Drifting: A Director's Log
Dallas-based filmmaker (and uber-indie participant) David Lowery's blog is a candid look at the filmmaking career of one of the more interesting of the next wave of young filmmakers. David's posts are short, succinct musings about film and life, but the real value is on the sidebar where David has provided links to several of his short films. The best, if you ask me, is Some Analog Lines. Check it out.