Saturday, October 03, 2009

Who is this Sir Critic?

Once upon a time ... or maybe twice ... there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland.

Yes, I know, that may seem like a strange way to begin a movie blog, although people who know me and know what I'm referring to are either smiling knowingly, or rolling their eyes.

For those of you scratching your heads in confusion, however, let me explain, and introduce myself. To paraphrase John Ford, my name is Eric Robinette, and I love movies.

My  opening line is from the movie Yellow Submarine, the very first film I can clearly remember seeing in a movie theater. The year was 1975, the place was the Victory Theatre in Dayton, Ohio (now the Victoria Theatre), and the rest ...

... well, I'd love to say the rest is history, and thus was born a film buff, but that's not quite how it happened. Like most kids of my age (nearly 39) I was more of a TV creature at first.  Coming of age in the 70s, I was silly enough then to believe The Dukes of Hazzard was a really great show, and I'm silly enough now to throw some credibility out the window.

By the time the mid-1980s rolled around, however, my interests began to change. I remember getting sick, and to keep me busy, my dad brought home copies of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Taxi Driver. Both movies immediatly engrossed me. Not long after, I saw A Clockwork Orange and After Hours, which, you may notice are another pair by Kubrick and Scorsese. Immediately I realized just what it was a director did, and I began noticing how certain directors made movies certain ways. I noticed Kubrick's cold, clinical eye and Scorsese's restless energy, with his forever darting camera. 

In 1989 I took a creative language arts class at Bellbrook High School that emphasized film (got an A+ on my Kubrick paper at the age of 18) and by then I was hooked.  Even though I hadn't heard the quote at the time, this very much applied to me:

"'Film is a disease,' Frank Capra said. 'When it infects your bloodstream, it takes over as the number one hormone. It plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to film, is more film.'" - Martin Scorsese, from A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies.

By that time, I had also discovered a talent for writing. It seemed only natural to want to merge my talent with my love for film and become a critic. From 1991 to 1993 I was one of the film reviewers at the Wright State University student newspaper, The Guardian, where I created the Sir Critic moniker. (That's a story for another post.)  I went on to a career as a reporter, and in 2002, after working at the Middletown Journal for four years, I was lucky enough to be allowed to review movies. Beginning in 2006, my writings moved to the blog Sir Critic on Cinema, which is still online here.  I was always surprised and especially pleased to get the recognition I did. 

Just recently, however,  my duties at the newspaper changed so that I became the Arts and Entertainment reporter for all of our coverage area. The enlarged responsibilities meant that I could no longer devote time to that blog, a fact I recognized with more than a little regret. Wanting to keep my movie writings going, I decided to take Sir Critic "private" and move him here.

Although I am no longer reviewing movies for the newspaper, I still see them  quite frequently. Long before I started working for a newspaper, I was averaging more than 100 titles a year - in the theater. I will bring you reviews of those films as I see them, and will also review ones I see on the small screen. I will also opine on movie news and whatever cinematic flight of fancy sparks my interest.

You might wonder what kind of movies I like. I like one kind: good ones. I like films from any genre and any age, so long as they're compelling.

But I don't want this blog to be all about me and my thoughts. One of my favorite things about the newspaper blog was interacting with my readers, and I very much hope to continue that tradition here. I welcome and any comments and suggestions, and constructive criticisms. Most importantly, I thank you for reading and hope you enjoy my musings. Coming soon: Reviews of Bright Star and Capitalism: A Love Story.

Because after all, as Steve Martin said in Grand Canyon, "All of life's riddles are answered in the movies."

1 comment:

Bette P. said...

I'm glad you will continue to write reviews. I enjoy reading them, and I'm sure you have quite a following by now. I hope you're added responsibilities at the paper are reasonable and you don't work yourself into the ground. Take care. Looking forward to your next reviews. Bette P.