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Micro-Criticism


As Leonard Cohen once said: Ring the bells that still can ring! After nine years of intermittently logging my excessive film viewing habits on the boutique streaming-platform MUBI, a comment I wrote last month has actually been spotlighted as a "popular review." Huzzah and indeed hurrah! The review in question refers to Gaspar Noé's most recent work, the flawed but undoubtedly visceral dance-horror-freak-out, Climax (2018).

Make no mistake, I'm not exactly bursting with pride or self-satisfaction or anything; I know these things are generally predicted by various algorithms and not much else; but as a writer with absolutely no critical credibility, platform or following, it was still nice to see.


Lights in the Dusk at MUBI:

I started using MUBI back when it was a film-related social networking site called TheAuteurs. In those halcyon days, when message board culture was still a thing, and the kind of in-depth film analysis that found a home on the so-called "blogosphere" had yet to be replaced by Twitter critics, with their hyperbolic "hot takes" (of 280-characters or less), or YouTube videos by (mostly) bearded white male millennials, begging their audiences for Patreon dollars to deliver yet another piece of warmed-over content on the problem with the modern blockbuster, it had seemed a good place to keep track of what I was watching and to connect with a likeminded userbase for discussion and recommendations.


Lights in the Dusk at MUBI: [https://mubi.com/users/224284]

The social-networking and discussion aspects of the site collapsed a long time, with MUBI currently existing as a kind of art-house rival to Netflix; however, it's still populated by many intelligent and informative cineastes that are kind enough to share their thoughts and insights on the various films seen. Like Twitter, MUBI restricts the amount of characters per-post (a more generous 420 to be precise), which rather than pose a limitation for the writer becomes a kind of challenge; an exercise in pared-down literary minimalism in which the individual must attempt to express or distil the bare impression of a film, its failure or success. I call it "micro-criticism." They're not really reviews as such, but something else.

While the blog has gone through many long periods of extended inactivity - its pages often becoming like the empty rooms of an abandoned house, where no life lives; its posts, like dusty heirlooms, there to be sold off or discarded upon their owner's death - I've always tried to maintain a semblance of activity on MUBI, as well as other sites, such as Letterboxd, and formerly the IMDb. If you would like to read more of this "micro-criticism" please feel free to follow the link to my profile, which is included above.

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