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Thursday, August 23, 2007


The Fab List: Getting To Know GreenCine

There may be bigger film sites on the web, but I'm not sure there's any better than GreenCine Daily, the addictive film newsblog that grew out of the web's premier DVD rental site. DGC, however, excels on its own merit; editor David Hudson doesn't discriminate between well-known and obscure writers for his vast clearinghouse of film criticism, but he does ensure a quality level that makes it absolutely essential for any cinema fan. How does he do it? We decided to ask, and thankfully, he decided to answer!

Thanks for being on the Fab List, David. Give us the bio sketch that would appear on your IMDB page.

My father's a pilot and we moved all over the US throughout my childhood, but when I hit junior high, we settled in Texas. My parents' roots became mine: I'm a Texan who's now lived about half my life in Germany. Many of those years in Berlin, where I live now. The media junkie in me was always on the lookout for ways to get my hands on American papers, magazines and books, so I was an early, pre-Web Internet user. Combine that with a love for film and you can easily trace the line to GreenCine Daily.

So when you're searching the web for great film news, what's playing on your sound speakers?

Weird thing going on these days: as the "album" fades, and I find myself picking singles off blogs (including yours of course, via the Top Ten Songs in the Universe, and no, I'm not just saying that), I'm finding myself less "attached" to artists and bands than I nearly always have been in the past. I used to have favorites that'd last for years! Now, they come and go with the weather.

But one song iTunes tells me I'm absolutely in love with is "You Sang Along," from Sparrow House. For one thing, yes, you really can sing along, too - in fact, I challenge anyone to resist - and the horn at the end slays me. One album that's shown, to me, a really surprising longevity on my playlists: Brian Eno's Another Day on Earth. It simply does not wear out, and I have no idea why.

Okay, enough fooling around. Let's talk movies. Do you have a favorite?

I do have a favorite movie, but it'd be exceedingly boring if I were to go on about it, since everyone always does: The Godfather, Parts I and II.

So instead, a bit about another: As a final exam for one of the film courses I would have been taking in the early 80s, the prof showed a film he was sure none of us would know about. You have to keep the time frame in mind: this is before Terry Gilliam came along and remade it, before the DVD, before any form of home video at all, really, and the prof was right. None of us had ever seen it - or anything like it. We saw a series of black-n-white shots - it was practically a slide show! - heard French and read subtitles. And then, one moment, eons or minutes into the story, a woman blinks, comes to life, is on film, breathes, moves, though she doesn't. What's more, the story takes a horrific twist and - the end.

Lights go up. We all look at each other: Omigod! - and then we had to write about it. If only he'd given us a day just to get over it, but no, we had to write about it immediately. At any rate, it was an intense and unforgettable experience, in all the best ways, and the film was, of course, Chris Marker's La Jetée.

What an excellent choice! I actually saw that film for the first time a number of years ago, on a DVD rented from GreenCine. I could watch it over and over and over. But that makes me think...you must watch a LOT of movies. What do you do for non-cinematic fun?

This is going to sound very fab indeed, but honestly, when I'm not watching, reading about or blogging about movies, I head to the gym. For the very simple reason that watching, reading and blogging don't do a whole lot for the body, which, after all, is essential to the mind; neither can be healthy if the other isn't.

Do you have heroes, heroines, people you admire? Who do you consider Fab?

This is cheating a little bit, but basically, the Moderns. I've had a thing about them all my life. Virginia Woolf once wrote that "on or about December 10, 1910 human nature changed," and while we can quibble about the seeming flippancy of the specific date, from about then to WWII, when it comes to just about anyone alive during that period, I'm fascinated by their stories. I'm ravenous for the poetry, painting, design, architecture, science, politics and, of course, movies of that era. The lure may not have so much to do with actual admiration, but there you go.

Dude...that's deep. And I'm deeply superficial, so let me ask you a follow-up. Who's the very model of a modern major hottie?

Sophia LorenSophia Loren. Of course, a zillion other names come to mind, but when all's said and done... Sophia Loren.

Excellent choice again! I knew I liked you. How about blog recommendations...you read so much online, what should we know about?

Bookforum's new blog is relatively new, and I'm hoping it'll carry on doing what it's been doing...

And finally...I ask everyone for a deep, dark secret. Tell us something that no one else at GreenCine knows. The more scandalous, the better.

I was almost expelled from high school - a mild punishment, all things considered - for strangling someone... fortunately, the stranglee survived, and my grades tilted in my favor and life went on for all concerned as if nothing had ever happened.

How very Sharon Stone! I'm almost afraid to ask why...well, we'll save that for next time. What's next for you and the site?

The idea for a European arm for a new DVD distribution company has been floated. Let's see... and hope for a happy ending.

Previously on the Fab List: Glitter For Brains

If you've got a blog you'd like to see on The Fab List, drop me an email at the link in the sidebar.

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