October summary, and other thoughts

So it was a bit livelier here in October than it’s been for a while (I never wrote a review of September cos there seemed to be little point). Something similar to that blogging burnout that I know has affected a few other folks must’ve hit me for a while too, and I’m not sure it’s exactly passed, cos there’s still been quite a few days of inaction this month… Is it that the mood to watch isn’t upon me as much lately, or is it just the mood to write about what I’m watching? I don’t know. At times I feel I could maybe watch more in one day if I didn’t have to then think about what to say about them on the blog, especially cos that’s not always easy; some reviews flow fairly easily, others might take an hour and a half or more just cos I can’t figure out what I want to say.

Anyway, the ICM forum challenge this month was horror, obviously, and I stuck to that… interestingly, the horror challenge is the only one that permits rewatches—all the others are about trying to get people to watch stuff they haven’t seen—and so I thought, great, we’ll put a bit of life back into the blog, I can watch a bunch of new stuff, cos I’ve got a load of unseen titles from the Top 500 Horror list at hand, and a bunch of old stuff. And well. yeah, that didn’t really work out, nowhere near like I thought it would. One of my plans was to go through the whole “Val Lewton Nine”, cos I’ve got all those RKO horrors he produced and two of them I’ve never seen, and I’ve been meaning to review them here for months, and I thought great, none of them are that long, I can do the whole lot in 3-4 days… and, obviously, I never even did one of them, never mind all nine. (That said, I did rewatch The Beyond and Dawn of the Dead on top of the other stuff covered this month, but didn’t feel any need to alter or otherwise update my reviews thereof.)

It shouldn’t bother me, cos other people on the forum nearly always manage to do better than me in these things anyways, probably cos they’re not blogging about the films as well. And yet it does for some reason. It’s maybe a silly thing, but I do have expectations of myself about how much I feel I should be able to do in these things… still, when it comes to the crunch, best laid plans are all fine and well until I have to subject myself to carrying them out, and I just don’t have the strength required to watch that much film, not the mental strength anyway. And then again I don’t really envy the person topping the leaderboard with over 250 films… fuck.

Anyway, I think I’m going to sit out the November challenges, though I’m not sure what I’ll do instead… The eternal backlog has only got bigger since I last referred to it; as of this writing it stands at 624 titles, not including a few things I picked up at Title last week but haven’t catalogued yet, and not counting several dozen more items I’ve bookmarked on Youtube. And, as I’ve noted before, too much choice is actually quite bad for me… I really don’t deal well with having to pick from too many possibilities; it will often really hit me when I’m out shopping, and a wall of books or DVDs or whatever just becomes impenetrable and confusing, and I suddenly find myself unable to think about what it is I want. And so it is with the backlog, as I’ve indicated before.

That’s why the Italian horror blogathon was nice, as it did give me a bit of direction; maybe I need to do more of that sort of thing. I need something to tell me what to do, anyway, and I’m at least semi-seriously considering what someone suggested to me about using a random number generator to point me through the backlog. It’s a sort of direction, anyway, albeit an obvious unpredictable one. But that could be fun too, of course, it might be nice for me not to know what I’m going to be doing next… though I may not embark on that just yet, cos I’ve got a few loaners from Brendan I should finish off and return to him, and after that I might focus on some more rewatches for a while… get into watching stuff I already know I like rather than potentially be worn down by too much of the unfamiliar but ultimately unsatisfying, that might boost me a bit. Got a lot of stuff I need to see again anyway.

I do wonder if part of my problem is the fact that I’ve been watching a fair bit of horror lately and I need a bit of a break there… cos I did watch a fair amount of that sort of thing in July for the ICM forum grindhouse challenge. And I am sympathetic to those horror fans who complain that their beloved genre is always being judged—and dismissed—by its worst examples, but let’s face it: there’s a lot of horror out there, much of it is bad, and somehow bad horror seems worse than almost any other genre for whatever reason. So maybe I should cut that from the diet for a while and get back into some reputable classics. Or I could do something else entirely…

I don’t know, this is what I meant by “too much choice”. I have quite a number of approaches to what I should do next… and I’m not sure that all this “what to do next” thinking hasn’t been what’s really taking of watching stuff and blogging lately. As with various other things, my own stupidity is what really gets in my way… sigh. Still, let’s press on…

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