Tuesday, April 30, 2013



Director/Screenplay: Thomas McCarthy

"The Visitor", I realize now, is one of the most absorbing films made in the last decade. It's both sad, yet beautiful, one of those rare films that you can get swept up in every time it's on. The story is so odd and the cast of characters so widespread and international, that it's one of those stories that can only take place in New York City. That's part of it's appeal, that even though we may sense or even know what's coming, it takes such a strange path to get there, that you keep watching, and wonder such things as, "How did they even think of this idea, and these characters, and who'd bring them together like this?"

Walter (Oscar-nominee Richard Jenkins) plays a Connecticut professor, who's wife, a former classical pianist, has recently passed. He's tried in vain to learn the piano, but even his teacher tells him that it's not worth pursuing. He's tired of being a professor, and spends his days, supposedly writing some book, and uses it as an excuse to get out of everything, and retain his privacy. One time, he can't get out of presenting a paper that he co-wrote in New York City. He's kept a never-used apartment in Manhattan, but when he arrives, there's people living there. Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) is a Syrian, who's lived in the country for a few years, and his wife, Zainab (Dania Guirab) is a Senagalese woman. They realize that somebody must've taken advantage of them, and begin to leave, but Walter, allows them to stay. He hasn't been to the apartment in 25 years either, and after he presents his paper, he won't remain there he figures. Then, he gets interested in the African drum, which Tarek plays. The straight tagline, of old college professor finds new life playing the African drum, alone, would make a very interesting film yet, "The Visitor", refuses to be that simplistic. It refuses to give us characters that simplistic. On the way back from a gig in the park, Tarek is taken by authorities at the subway, they're claiming that he's an illegal alien, and that he didn't renew his visa, and he's being detained, in this post 9/11 New York. Walter visits him, and gets him a lawyer to look in on the case. Tarek's mother, Mouna (Hiam Abbass) soon arrives, and begins staying at the apartment as well, as Walter begins a laborious back-and-forth from Connecticut, where he continues to try to learn the drum and rhythm of the African music from CDs,  as he sleepwalks through classes, before finally taking a leave of absence. There's a tender scene between Zainab and Mouna, after Walter introduces the two, and in that moment, we get two people who care deeply about the same person, frightened, worried, grief-stricken, as they both discover this other part of Tarek's life together. Walter and Mouna, don't begin a sexual relationship, per se, but an adult relationship, that's filled with dinners, Broadway shows and drinks, and both of them, coming to epiphanies about their lives.

Mouna: What are you going to do now?

Walter: I don't know.

Mouna: Feel good not knowing, doesn't it?

It's these quiet exchanges, and this quiet performance by Jenkins. Before this film, he was a go-to character actor, probably best known for playing the dead father on "Six Feet Under" occasionally. He can be an overly outgoing, rambunctious and exhuberant actor but here, there's not a single showy scene in Jenkins work, and the littlest movements reveal tons of emotions, and when he finally does implode, you can tell that he hasn't felt anything this emotional in years. All the actors actually are good in the film however. there's no showy performance. There's nothing bad in this film. The lighting is beautiful, as I realize on multiple viewings. It may be a paceful film, but the editing is damn near perfect. Every single scene and plot development in "The Visitor" is absolutely essential to the film working. It takes it's time, to tell it's story, but if you took one part out, or throw one extra thing in, the whole film wouldn't work. In a way, this is one of those miracle films, where everything had to go perfect, and did. The script is great, but it needs the right actors, the actors are great, but it needs the right setting, the right look, the right feel, at it's core, "The Visitor" is a tonal piece, musically and emotionally.

The film was written and directed by Tom McCarthy, who's himself an intriguing character. He's a character actor in roles so small and so innocuous, you could've seen everything he's ever been in, and still not be able to pick him out of a lineup of one. Insiders know that he's one of the best writer/directors in independent film today, and recently he got an Oscar nomination as a co-writer on Disney/Pixar's film, "Up". His first directorial feature was the wonderful "The Station Agent" with Peter Dinklage as a loner train enthusiast, who reluctantly befriends an eccentric food server, in Bobby Cannavale, and a suicidal painter in Patricia Clarkson, after he moves into an abandoned New Jersey train depot. His latest film was "Win-Win" with Paul Giamatti as an attorney an occasional wrestling coach, becomes a legal guardian of an Alzheimer's patient to collect the money, only to have the patient's runaway grandson look for him, who happens to be a skilled amateur wrestler. All three films, in a way, are comedies, but comedies of human behavior, but they all also have the plot, where characters from different life experiences, places and backgrounds, suddenly through unintended or unusual circumstances, end up together. This is probably why he doesn't choose the most well-known of movie stars for his movies, they wouldn't seem believable, and besides that, his characters are real characters, not some random, paint-by-numbers parts that Hollywood writes for actors. He gets the best actors, and gives them the parts of their lifetime. Watching "The Visitor" again recently for the sixth or seventh time, I realize how much we care about these characters, and strangely, how timely it is now. What happens to Tarek and Mouna, not just, whether they find each other back in Syria, but what's happening to them now, that there's a Civil War there? It's sad knowing that Tarek, now of all times, couldn't be allowed back into America. But I also feel happy, knowing that Walter, is probably still in that Subway stop, playing the African drum, not for money, but because that's who he is now. Maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit, adding this film to my Canon, but how many movies can you think of, that give us so many different emotional responses when we think about them?


Anonymous said...

Hey man, I just care across your article about the Lammy's and saw how mad you were, etc. - and I just have to say that the first thing you need to do is give your blog a makeover. The header is atrocious! Everything looks blocked together. It gives me a headache just trying to read. I am surprised you were expecting to get nominated considering your blog design looks to be run by a 3rd-grader...

I understand you want more followers, etc. and so I'd like to offer you a little unsolicited advice on how you can get started on making that happen...

1. No need to insult anyone - at least not anyone in particular. I know you already know this. You can be opinionated without being rude to others on a personal level; i do that all the time on my blog. I'm not suggesting you change your style and personality; just make an adjustment to your approach and learn to embrace people even when you don't agree.

2. Not sure how you feel about this, but my suggestion would be to scrap this blog and start over. Go to wordpress and look at all those layouts. This is one of the most poorly designed layouts I've ever seen. I can't even bring myself to read an article b/c the layout is just too crowded. The font is also terrible. And I tried to read that Lammy's article but you just would not use paragraphs - even when separating blogs you were referring to. You gotta separate your points.

And last, I am not sure what I think about your content and material b/c I can't bring myself to read it. This could be how others feel who may have come across this blog. It's disorienting to look at! Maybe this is why you don't have as much traffic as you like. I also saw on your profile that you write screenplays. I certainly hope they are not as congested as this blog is - b/c if it is I can't imagine anyone would read it.

Condense your thoughts!

My advice, although you didn't ask...go on a hiatus - and give your blog a complete makeover. Go to wordpress or some site with better layouts. Come back to the blogging world when you're blog is more pleasant to the eyes. Only then will people care about the content you write. No way would I follow this site even if your material was good. But do a makeover - and be cool with everyone - and I will be glad to read your content and give you a follow.

David Baruffi said...

First of all, if you're gonna put down any opinion, at least tell me who you are. I'm glad you're not SPAM, but I always put my name when I post something.

2nd, I never once, stated, that I would or should be considered in the design category. I am by no means, an expert in blog design, in fact I said that, in my piece. I have been working on the design, however I also appreciate the bareness of my blog. My intention is to be more focus on the quality of the work, over the design elements. If you want to come in, and help be my blog designer, you're more than welcome but unfortunately I can't pay you. Not that easy to find people who'll do that for free. As to scrapping it altogether, I've worked hard on this, if I'm scrapping something, that means, I'm done with it completely, and I'm nowhere near that, and I've no plans to go on a hiatus, unless my computer breaks down. If I know one thing about blogging it's that, once you stop for awhile, you're out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

As to my screenplays, they're written like screenplays. I don't know what to say about that. I've written good ones that were short, I've written bad ones that were long, and vice-versa and everything else in between.

As to condensing my thoughts, I did, and frankly this is where I disagree with you, the most. I have no interest in saying as little as possible, there's no point to that. This blog, as it says, in my poorly-designed header, is about "Intellectual, observant and thoughtful analysis of the film, TV and entertainment world." This is not a site for those who want to see what I think of the new action movie trailer, or who my Top five actresses are. Believe it or not, I do condense my thoughts. Occasionally, like my Lammys blog, it's intentionally overwritten, and given the feel that I'm writing it and shaping it as I go along, but I think a lot about what I write about, and I have a lot to say. My goals are to not say the same things as everybody else, and to look at things from a different perspective and to say something that no one else is saying. I don't enjoy blogs that can be written on confetti. If you want to hire me to write the sequel to "The Dukes of Hazzard", if you pay me enough, I'm gladly do it, but for this, absolutely not! I have a standard of quality in my work, and I have no intention of being like every other blog.

Now, as to insulting people, first, let me point out, that while my Lammys piece, is a reflection of my anger and disappointment, it's also intentionally exaggerated. Saying that, however, I didn't insult anybody in particular. Now, I understand, being a screenwriter, that it's a good idea not to insult people, very specifically in fact, 'cause you know, I might have to work for Michael Bay one day or something whomever. I get it, but I am a critic, and in my LAMMYs piece, I'm being critical. I'm not insulting. In fact, there's actually very few blogs that I bash at all, and most of them, I give legitimate and well-thought out critiques of their works, and most of the critiques are relatively positive, which the blogs were. Every blog I wrote about was my honest opinion of it, and I researched all of them pretty thoroughly, even when I was filling out my nominations, I didn't just put my name everywhere. I go into this much detail, and analysis, with everything I post, whether it's deadly serious, or exaggeratedly comical, or somewhere in between. If my posts are too long, or require way too much thinking and analysis from you, and maybe you have to spends a little longer reading them then most, well, then maybe this blog isn't for you. I may take some of your advice, on the design, which I think is critical and thoughtful, but that's it.

Thank you again, for your thoughts, but seriously, next time, don't be Anonymous.

David Baruffi

Anonymous said...

I typed anonymous on here b/c I didn't trust this site. I rarely even comment on blogs outside of wordpress at all b/c they all look like they will attract spam galore, but I felt compelled to offer you a little advice; my movie blog is on wordpress and all my comments have my name and blog info.

See, NOW I am transitioning into a different thought...so I separated the sentences. These are called paragraphs. USE THEM!!!

THIS is what I meant when I said "condense your thoughts"....

I was referring to breaking your sentences up to avoid a big jumbled mess!

Your reply was a little better than most of your blog entries, but you were still killing me...

What was so funny was you completely missed my point about condensing your thoughts and here was a hilarious line of your reply:

This is not a site for those who want to see what I think of the new action movie trailer, or who my Top five actresses are. Believe it or not, I do condense my thoughts. Occasionally, like my Lammys blog, it's intentionally overwritten, and given the feel that I'm writing it and shaping it as I go along, but I think a lot about what I write about, and I have a lot to say.

I didn't c&p the entire paragraph (it was way too long) but you should have broken up the paragraph after "I do condense my thoughts" and then started with "Occasionally, like my Lammy's blog" to refresh your thought...

When I said "condense your thoughts" was referring to the WAY you write them; not the actual content itself. I don't know what I think about the content b/c I can't make it out!! lol. It's a jumbled mess.

When I say scrap your blog I don't mean stop blogging. I mean scrap THIS blog AFTER you transfer the content to a new blog. And you don't have to pay for anything. Wordpress has many free blog layouts. I certainly didn't pay a penny for my blog - and when I say you need a new design I don't mean so it looks pretty and you impress people with that; what I mean is get a layout that is ORGANIZED and helps separate your entries - and when you write an entry BREAK UP THE PARAGRAPHS!!!

You think I have experience "designing websites"? LOL. I am not an artist, and have 0 experience in that area. You don't have to know what your doing to have a decent blog on wordpress; they do all the work for you.

Just go to wordpress and start looking at all the layouts.

When I said go on a hiatus, I meant it; shift all of your time and focus to making a new blog. Not many people are going to read this blog, as is, and you seem passionate and driven, so you want us to feel your passion you have to know how to deliver it and articulate it in a way we can understand.

And you do actually know me. I see you're following my wordpress blog. I write screenplays, too. It's not difficult to figure out who I am. I have a very clean blog and an attitude about analysis similar as yours. You must have liked my blog, or else you wouldn't have followed - but I don't think you've ever commented on any of my pages or entries. I think you'd like my "About" page as I break down the problems w/ Hollywood and screenplay structure.

I am sure you can quickly figure out who I am, but I still don't want to leave my name on this site that I don't trust.

Go to wordpress.com - give an email & create a password - then look at all the layouts; many different options and things you can do to make your blog POP! Not b/c you want to look good, but simply b/c you need your blog to look readable.

Make the "Enter-Return" button your best friend...

Break those paragraphs up...






See you on wordpress soon!! :)

Anony Mous

David Baruffi said...

Dear Anony Mous,

I think after I've posted and responded to this, you can certainly trust my website.

I'm not gonna pretend that wordpress isn't better than blogger, or tumbler, or whatever site you want to pitch, you may be right about that. I still don't believe that's a good enough of a reason just to switch, when I can, just as easily, change this website, to a different format on blogger that could, perhaps be easier for you to read. If sure there are blogger sites that you have enjoyed, and found to be jumbled and scrambled. Much of the site's design, yes, is against my control, or my preference in some cases, but I don't find that you've adequately convinced me that "blogger", is the problem with my blog.

Also, just because I subscribe to your blog, doesn't necessarily mean that I enjoy it. I follow, literally dozens, if not hundreds of blogs, including nearly every one of Lammy-nominated blogs from this year. They're competition, just like you are, so I should know what you're writing about. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy you're blog, but I follow practically all of them. Since I can't figure out you're identity this quickly, I'd request that if you reply again, and I wish you would, you'd leave a name, and/or at least, an address to your blog.

BTW, this blog has had it's most successful week ever, this week. Over the last 30 days, I've had 4,000 hits. Yesterday, was my biggest single day blogging, with over 230 hits. I had months were I had less than that, when I first started out, but over time, I have been getting readers and followers, and have become more and more read, usually on a monthly basis, and that even before I joined the LAMBs. Am I where, I want to be, well, no, but I certainly don't downplay my numbers, when they are generally on the continual growth trajectory, so obviously some people don't have a problem reading my blog, or at least, they aren't telling me. (That is one of my concerns, not enough people commenting on my blog. I'd rather the worse of the worse critiques from people like you than nothing at all.)

As to paragraphs and "Condensing", althought I think the word/words you're looking for is "Restructuring", or "reorganizing", which is quite different from condensing. While I do enjoy playing with essay structure, I can understand that to some extent, but I don't particularly agree. In fact, I completely disagree with the example you used, that should be one paragraph. It's all apart of a single train of thought, it's also written in a rhythm. If it was spoken out loud, it would come out as one thought, and not two; I like not having that paragraph being broken up, until it is. I can understand how on certain blogs of mine, I could be more liberal with it's use, but not in this example. I do allow myself to play with structure a lot, and I have certain tendencies in my writing, for instance, I often use long complexly-structured sentences such as this one, to be followed by an unusually shorter one. You see?

I also prefer that my blog be written as close to human speech as possible, so I often write in, utterances, like "eh," or "um", as though I'm still thinking, which I often do in my dialogue in my screenplays.

Anyway, sometimes, I have wished that I've broken up paragraph, but-eh, no, not in this specific case. I'll try to be better with it, but in the meantime, let me know which blog/blogger you are.

David Baruffi

Anonymous said...

Maybe I would reveal myself, but when you say that I am your "competition" makes me not want to; you want to look at my blog and size me up, and then search for my blog's flaws, etc. but the difference between you and I is that I don't see other bloggers as competition, and I surely don't care about some Lammy award. I have had 3 bloggers give me awards, and I didn't even post them to my site b/c they feel silly. I am a very competitive person, and I enjoy competition, but I don't try to compete with other bloggers. Instead, I enjoy interacting with them. If I saw every other blogger as competition as you do, then I wouldn't have taken the time to stop by and write and offer you the advice about your site and how I think you could improve it. And yes, I am quite sure that many of your readers who are not commenting would agree with my assessment, but just don't tell you b/c either they do not want to risk hurting your feelings, or they simply don't care enough to take the time to tell you. I think the main reason your hits went up recently was b/c of the way you went off on so many of the LAMMY nominees, and you claim that that post was exaggerated for effect and to draw in more readers, etc. but what's the point in drawing in readers if most of them don't like you? I mean it's one thing if you're posting a necessary truth and then people don't like you for it; that's fine if you're doing it for a righteous cause, etc. But when you're doing it b/c you're frustrated you didn't get LAMMY nominations, etc. it makes you come across immature and like you're pouting and when you act like that people are mocking you and laughing at you. Notice the way you got all those views but very few comments. And I meant what I said "condense your paragraphs" and I strongly feel you should as probably do a large percentage of your readers, but they probably just don't bother to say anything, and probably most of them just don't come back. It really is a headache to look at. I mean look at your header. You can't even read the whole thing b/c you've got white text blending in with white lights; and your header is supposed to be in a font that stands out. It's the first thing they see when they come to your site, and the header is disorienting to look at. But I am not going to keep repeating myself. You think it looks good, and you want to keep it that way, that's fine, it doesn't affect me. I was just trying to be a good samaritan and tell you what others won't take the time to. And I think it's silly to follow people's blogs that you don't even like; i guess you don't like mine b/c i haven't seen you drop any comments; maybe I'm one of the "competitors" you so desperately want to beat. So b/c of that I can't tell you who I am b/c for all I know you may try to sabotage me somehow. How do you like this reply in one block instead of breaking up into paragraphs? This is what it feels like to read your entries, and maybe you like it like this, but I can assure that most others don't. You can have your reasons and keep it the way you like it, but just don't be surprised if your stats start shrinking once folks stop checking out that Lammy article that people are criticizing and laughing at.

David Baruffi said...

Saying we're competition is not an insult; I'm saying we're competition, 'cause we're competition. I'm friendly with other bloggers, I just did a blog with a fellow blogger, I love to work with other bloggers, but we're competition. You're a screenwriter, too. Well, you should know that when we're trying to get that script made, I'm competing with you. We're friendly and helpful to each other and I won't bash your work, (btw, I follow everyone, 'cause I want to know what they're doing, and how I can be different, or inspiration, and I read other bloggers, to support them, comment on them and become part of the community, not to bash them!) but we're competition. There's X many blogs and X amount of readers, and we're trying to get those readers; we're competing. Just like screenplays. The studio gets ours, but they'll only make one, I fight for my script, you fight for yours. You may not want to think of us, as competing, I don't want to think about it either, but we are.

I also, don't personally care about the LAMMYs. I don't need recognition, to know how good I am, but it's a competition, and it's beneficial to win it. If you really want this, you have to fight for it, whatever it is. That's part of the business. You want to say it's not a business, ok, but I believe we have to approach it like that.

As to why I wrote the blog, lot of reasons, but the need to bash others, wasn't one of them. I like writing in different voices, characters and styles sometimes, I decided to write the blog as a P.O.ed heel blogger, because I thought it'd be a challenge; it'd be entertaining, and maybe people would read it and like it (Yes like it), also it would be a nice release from my LAMMYs disappointment, so I can move on. Write about other things I want to write about. I also liked how I'm revealing my thought process, and make light of how we give Awards out like these. It was part conceptual piece-part serious. Some people liked it, some didn't. It got a lot of hits, and I got more responses than usual. Whether they're positive or negative, I'm glad I got an emotional response. That's the goal! Some new people know me now, maybe they'll look a little closer, like you have.

I looked closer at their blogs, but I don't want to sabotage anyone. I don't think I changed one mind, or sabotaged anyone's blog. You think because I said a few critical words about, eh, "...Katzenjammer", for example, that they're going suddenly have no readers? Bull! I didn't sabotage anybody. I gave my honest critiques about the blogs, none that I would take back and most of them, were quite positive. I can handle your criticisms, the way other blogs can and should be able to handle mine. Maybe use it to improve themselves.

With that said, I've known about the header, long before you brought it up. I will look into it again. I'm not technologically savvy, but I like the background as a whole. It says, entertainment to me, and I'm an entertainment blogger. None of the other options, felt right. I've looked into changing it once or twice; what I really want to do, is change the font color to bright yellow, but I haven't figured out how to do that. I will, take that critique, and others under advisement, and look into changing it, or at least improving upon it. I really do appreciate you're critique.

As to my hits, I'm not worried, because I'll write something else tomorrow, and maybe it doesn't get as many hits, but maybe it gets more. That's the great part, there's always another blog to post.

As to the one block, I understand, but I can read it. I don't always write in one large block, I write in the blocks I think I need. I do like to separate paragraphs and thoughts, but sometimes, I like the large block.

I wish you let me know who you are, and that we maybe can work together sometime.

Anonymous said...

This reply was much easier to read; it didn't even make my head hurt. And you even separated the end into 3 short paragraphs, each representing a slightly different thought. This is how you should write all your entries so that everyone can understand. That is condensing your thoughts (into paragraphs).

At the end of the day it's all about quality of work much more than limited spots. If you put out a quality blog it will find readers - and if you write a quality script it will eventually find a home, sooner or later; this of course assuming you write quality AND push to get it out there. Most screenplays don't get sold not b/c it's that difficult to sell a script, but b/c most screenplays are complete garbage. If you write a great blog and it doesn't get many hits it's probably b/c you haven't pushed enough and if you don't push it then it may never find a big audience; but if one is pushing their blog and it still doesn't find many readers it may just simply be b/c the content isn't that good.

Point being if the content is strong and you push it hard then it will eventually grow an audience - therefore there are plenty of readers available for everyone; you're not my competition. I'm my only competition. You can't stop me from succeeding - even if you're phenomenal at what you do - you still can't stop me; only I can stop myself. Stop looking at everyone as "competition" and work on yourself.

There's plenty of room in the entertainment world for quality blogs and quality screenplays. The key is writing something high-quality in which only YOU can do and then pushing it and getting it out there in which only YOU can do. You've got to lose the mentality that a studio will only buy ONE quality script. That's BS! Studios want to STOCK UP on quality scripts! They don't buy scripts often b/c most scripts suck.

If you and I both write strong scripts and both push it then we can BOTH succeed. I don't see it as I have to beat another scriptwriter. I just have to be as good as I can possibly be and the rest will fall into place.

It's like on American Idol, a lot of the time the competitor who actually wins the contest is not as successful as another contestant who came in 4th place - like Chris Daughtry. Daughtry came in 4th place and Taylor Hicks won - but at the end of the day talent came through and although Daughtry didn't win the competition he became highly successful.

Jennifer Hudson came in like 7th or 8th place and she ended up getting a role in a musical film (Dream Girls; i'm sure you know already) and won an Oscar for her performance. None of the series winners have ever won an Oscar, or even been nominated for that matter.

Point being, true talent wins out in the end. Therefore I don't need to battle my fellow aspiring screenwriters and actors, etc. Sure, I may lose out a gig to someone else today, but if I'm truly talented and persevere then I will eventually get to where I want to go. It's not good ethics and morals to do anything to get ahead of your competition. I'm not going to sell my soul. My God-given talent will win out in the end, accompanied by my vision and faith. I fret not over what I can't control.

When you say you want to possibly work together I don't see that happening b/c I don't think you're trustworthy, and I could even see you potentially stealing my ideas if it suited you. You seem the kind to do anything to get to where you want to be, including selling your soul. I don't associate with people like that - they're like snakes in the grass - and I steer clear of snakes. I'd rather struggle to make it than to take a shortcut and go against everything that I stand for in the process.

David Baruffi said...

I done take shortcuts! The Lammy blog was not a shortcut, it was another blog of mine; I don't get readers by exploitative means alone. Yes, I've gotten more hits than before, but I've already been getting 3,000 hits a month, and since I began this blog, my readership has steadily risen. Only two months out of the last 20, have I gone done from the previous months. 200+ posts, 600+ movie reviews, dozens of commentaries. Blog not enough? B.A. in Film Studies, multiple scripts, I'm a produced playwright, I've had a film analysis that's taught at a college.... I don't take shortcuts to anything, and I resent your tone!

That script analogy, was my first day lesson of film school, and I know it's not completely literal. But now you're just belittling me! "The paragraphs, didn't give me a headache", you know what, the reason I don't separate paragraphs, sometimes is because they are one thought! You've read 4 of my blogs, maybe, and bitching about a header of all things, when the white on black is plainly visible to read. That's no reason to talk to me, like I'm some child, and you are doing that, just to be mean, something I don't do!

I have plenty of quality scripts, but few contacts and abilities to get them to studios, and I don't have the opportunities others do to go press my work, so I started this blog, to get my writing out there.

It isn't always the most talented who gets it. Talent gets you in the door, but there's dozens of talented singer/actresses who could've done Hudson's part. She had to earn that role, and most everyone has to earn the jobs they get.

Of course ,there's room for multiple bloggers, et. al, but it's also about developing a brand. I set a pattern of blogs to write; I stick to it, I have a level of quality, that determines what and how I blog on. My name means my brand, in this case my blog. I don't sell my soul; I don't do anything I don't want to do. If I was going to do anything to get ahead, I'd be ahead, now

As to my trustworthiness, I can give you my resume contacts. Still, I don't see why you insist on anonymity. If you're afraid of me stealing your ideas, you're way beyond paranoid, 'cause I have plenty of my own, and even if I borrow a concept or something from you, it would never be the vision you have.

That's what writing is, finding new ways to tell stories. Reconstructing, 'til they become your own That's how I wrote my Lammys blog. Saw an article where an Oscar voter revealed his ballot. When I didn't get a nod, thought I'd do the same. I hadn't talked about other bloggers much..., but since I'm blogger who's already been looked over, why not play with it, and write it from the perspective of the bitter blogger, who's now has to talk about these other blogs. I thought about old pro wrestlers who'd talk and call people out and brag about how they could take everybody. I couldn't go there completely, 'cause I had to vote, and I was going to critically evaluate the blogs, so instead of "THEY"RE ALL CRAP!...", it became "I'M BETTER THAN THIS GUY!, but he's still pretty good!...", adding a comic aspect, that even he doesn't buy his hype. Part me, part the id emotional part of me, part heel pro wrestler, and the concept, was a twist on another piece. It's all borrowed, but it's an entirely original and creative piece of writing, that only I, could have done.

Anyway, I can create my own ideas, thank you, and none of them are shortcuts!

Anonymous said...

But I don't want you to "borrow" a concept of mine! lol. That's as bad as stealing, even if you do dress it up differently in the end. My concept would then lose its originality if you "borrowed" it and then my script would look like it was borrowing from yours. That's not how someone with morals and ethics operates, which is why I'd be hesitant to even let you see my work; but I'm hesitant to show my work to screenwriters in general, for the very reasons I just stated.

Blog is looking better since you changed the header...but honestly you can take out everything in your follow-up paragraph after the first sentence. What you need is an "About" page to explain more of who you are and what you do. You put those details on your header when the only purpose of a header is to display the name of your blog and offer a summary in a line or two. Not only that, but the second sentence in your follow-up paragraph is the SAME sentence as your header! lol.

Can't you create pages on this blog? That's another thing you're missing are pages so you can elaborate on topics in further detail instead of trying to cram it into the top of your header. Your twitter link should be next to your Facebook link on the side panel, and not the header IMO.

If you don't have the option to create pages on this blog then you really should go to wordpress; you could bring your faithful followers with you and then start promoting to wordpress folks, as well. But if you do have that option then you should definitely create some pages IMO.

David Baruffi said...

I gotcha now! Not I know you don't know anything about writing! It's not as bad as stealing,that's writing. There's only four different plots, 16 different stories, and everything else is a variation on a theme, 'cause that's how writers work. Somebody once wrote a play involving a royal family and that involved the deaths of nine people throughout the play. The next year, Shakespeare wrote "Hamlet", and I can't remember the other play's name, but I think it was written by Ben Johnson, and it wasn't very good. It's not as bad as stealing it's writing. There hasn't been a completely original story since, probably Faust, and everything's a derivative of a derivative. Good writers know that.

I don't want an about page, when I can just use the header, and btw, that's my mission statement. The first sentence anyway, the rest, is a preview of what you'll find how and my twitter. That's what you're gonna get here, that's everything you need to know about this blog.

As to pages, I have a search engine, if you want to look something up, and on my blog, it's pretty simple. I'm sure I can, but I don't particularly like numerous pages on my blog, nor do I particularly care for blogs with numerous pages. Plus, I'm 200+ blogs in, it's gonna take a lot of time to organize, that I just don't have right now. Maybe in the future. I promised at the beginning of the year that I'd begin implementing changes to my look. I started by adding mor egoogle images to my review pages, and others, and now I've made alterations to the look. That's enough for now.

My twitter link, was next to my blog on the side panel, but then it stopped working, and for some reason, Blogger stopped carrying that option. I'm beginning to think you're just a shill for wordpress btw, which frankly, you don't want to be badgered by a salesman anymore, especially an Anonymous one.

Btw, all writers talk to each other about their work, it helps them get perspective, we help each other out sometimes, we give feedback, we do coverage occasionally..., you're the one with the twisted view of writers. If you know how rarely that stealing work actually happens, you'd be more forthcoming about it.

Also, I think I know who you are. I think you'r Knights of Mars Roundtable. If that's you, I graciously ask that you admit to it, but if you're not, I'd ask just reveal who you are already, 'cause I'm getting tired of this game of "What's My Line".

Anonymous said...

Nope, that isn't me, and I'm definitely not working for wordpress, nor am I playing any games. I was merely offering you my advice that I thought may be beneficial. You really don't need to know who I am; it doesn't make any difference. You're just going crazy over there at your computer b/c you want to size me up so bad that it's eating you up. You need to focus on yourself and quit trying to compare yourself with everyone else. It doesn't matter if you don't believe I'm a good writer.

David Baruffi said...

It's not eating me up, but it is disconcerning. You may very well be a good writer, but I was dropping hints to see, just how knowledgeable a writer you are, whether you've studied writing or not, or just somebody who works on celtx and calls himself a screenwriter. (Nothing against celtx, I write on that too, but that's because I can't afford Final Draft)

You seem so insistent on offering advice, and that somehow you're superior to me, and frankly, that doesn't happen often. It happens, but not often. Yes, some of your criticisms are valid, and I even, as you can see, adapted a couple of them. But that doesn't make you superior to me, and neither does continually berating me, without legitimate cause. I'm okay with criticism, when it's actual criticism, you've been crossing that line, and just belittling me, and that, I don't take to well to. So yeah, I want to know, who's so cowardly that he's more than willing to say all this, and continue to respond and instigate, but refuses to give his name. Or her name. (You might be Lady Sati? Maybe not.) That is something I would not do.

You may not be working for wordpress, but you're certainly shilling it strongly, so you definitely use it. You could've pushed tumbler for instance, but you didn't. And I don't compare myself to others, and I don't understand how you've come to that conclusion? I said that we're competitors, and you got insulted; I just figured that you understood that as a fact of the business, and not some kind of insult, or point about my character. My mistake, I thought you were more professional. It's not a matter of comparing, it's a matter of knowing. Wouldn't it simply make sense, if you're going to be an entertainment bloggers, to find out, how other entertainment bloggers work? It's the same process I went when I decided to become a screenwriter, I went to film school, took classes, learn structure, read hundreds of scripts, etc. Why blog, if you don't want people to read it? I can keep a journal or a diary for that. I'm here to get read. I know the rules of writing, and I know when I'm breaking them, including when I decide to have a paragraph break or not.

Believe me, there's no one I focus on more than me; if I focused my attention on other people, do you really think I would write a blog where I would attack them, for not being any good? Think about it, that might be the single-most selfish thing I ever posted! And I still did it, so others could read it. That's the truest sign of an artist, somebody who insists on doing what he wants, and asking everybody else to look at him. I'm not here to be like anybody else, I'm here to be me.

Yeah, stop giving advice like you're better than the person you're giving advice to. Nobody likes that. It's one to be a critic like me to do that, as a professional (a skill that I also studied for, btw, film criticism) but to do it randomly like you're doing. That's not cool, man.

Anonymous said...

The reason I pushed wordpress was b/c I was hoping you'd shift your stuff on a readable layout; that's it. You're making way too much of it. The reason I may come across with a superior attitude is simply b/c you insulted so many Lammy nominated blogs and complained how you should have been nominated when your blog looks like crap. You needed a dose of reality and I brought it to you. You needed to learn some humility and I attempted to bring that, as well. No matter what your intention was, not only did that Lammy article you wrote come across like scribblings on a computer screen, but it came across immature, spiteful, and mean-spirited. Instead of attempting a new writing angle and to see how many internet folks you could offend, you should have checked yourself and seen if there were some things you could do to improve your own blog. Since you didn't do that, and no one else took the time to do that, I decided I would. You don't appreciate my advice, that's fair enough, I won't waste anymore of our time. And yes you DO spend time focusing on other people; if you didn't you wouldn't have written that Lammy article. You spend too much time defending yourself when you need to take a little time and absorb what's being said. And, I have no idea what celtx is.

David Baruffi said...

Celtx, is a free screenwriting program you can download. It's not the best system, but for people who can't afford Draft, it's what they got.

I took offense to you claiming that I shouldn't have been nominated because my blog looked bad, when I specifically made the point, that I wasn't the best designed blog, and wasn't eligible for the award. I should know, I was the one who submitted my name, and I didn't put it in the design category. I didn't have a lot of hope that I'd get a nod to begin with, but at least I was considered. I also said I'd be making improvements on my blog's look, even before you brought it up, and had already started doing that actually. Yes, you helped convince me to rush some changes, and I'm mostly happy about it; I'll make more subtle changes later.

But the biggest problem I have is that you're judging me, as a person, based on my one blogpost. You were the only one who did that. Everyone else, criticized my blog, my posting of it, called me names, condemned my piece, but you single-mindedly went after me for it, because you read that one blog of mine, and thought that you can judge me as a person based on that blog alone. You wanna say my article was immature and spiteful, that's fine, that what I was going for, but you assumed, I only had this one singular point of view and emotion, and that I take great offense to. I have way more humility than you can ever imagine. I've been damn-near beaten to death with my humility, and that you assume that I didn't have it, is offensive to me; I demand an apology! The fact that you can't grasp that one person, can have such a widening range of emotions, that he can be humble, and still create a piece from an immature perspective, scares the hell out of me. You're criticizing, reviewing and even writing movies, with that narrow-minded of a perspective?

You ask why I spend time focusing time focusing on other people, well, that's what writers do. Especially movie bloggers. We're already focus on what other people do. Other people making movies, tv shows, plays, music, etc. We're reporting, commentating, studying, analyzing them! You study things that you write about; I don't see why you're criticizing me for that, and from, supposedly a screenwriter, I really don't get it, 'cause every writer I know, whether they write about dinner conversation or zombies, do the exact same thing. I'm dumbstruck you have that POV!

I can write everything from Shakespearean verse to scribbling on a screen, and in any genre imaginable, and I always try to come up with new things to improve my blog. New ideas, new looks, new kinds of blogs, new things to say, etc. I did absorb most of what you said. Some of it, I absorbed, most of it, wasn't worth absorbing, 'cause it was stuff I already had, like humility, that you presumed I didn't. I guess it's my fault too, I presumed that you had stuff you didn't; so I thought higher of you, and you thought less of me. You wonder why I'm offended....

And you won't even give your name! To say all this...- You know, I could've written the Lammys post, anonymously. Created a new blog, just for that post, and just be the actual P.O.ed blogger, that I pretended to be, and have no one be the wiser, but I didn't, I put my name down on it. Always do. "This above all, to thy own self be true." That was my work, that was my thoughts, it was my creation, it was my words. I put my name in the title of my blog! I make sure whether I get the acclaim or the blame, that everyone knows, it's mine. Go ahead, be anonymous, but I'll tell you this, you may be a good writer, but you don't have my respect. That's one thing I have for all my fellow bloggers, I respect them. You may find that funny, but if I didn't, I wouldn't bother writing about them.

Anonymous said...

LOL this is one of the funniest things I have read in a LONG time!!!

I about fell out of my chair when you said:
The fact that you can't grasp that one person, can have such a widening range of emotions, that he can be humble, and still create a piece from an immature perspective, scares the hell out of me.


I didn't mean to scare you! LOL.

And then:
Go ahead, be anonymous, but I'll tell you this, you may be a good writer, but you don't have my respect.

LOLOL!!! Oh, sleep where art thou be without David Garuffi's respect!

Aw man that was hilarious! LOL.

David Baruffi said...

It's Baruffi, not, "Ga-ruffi". I'm glad you got your laugh. No I really know just how truly you look down on others.

It does scare the hell out of me, you writing screenplays. Means god forbid, you ever get one made, I'm the critic, I have to watch it. Nothing scarier to me than that.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed your most recent blog entry. WOW! Are you serious? WHO is going to read that!? You wrote a long introduction that is around the length of what an entry should be - and then you added like ELEVEN movie reviews! LOL. And each review is one big block of text! Dude, no one's going to read that entire thing. I told you...CONDENSE! How about ONE review per entry - and if you're reviewing a film STAY ON TRACK of the topic-at-hand instead of opening up with a long-winded off-topic introduction. If someone manages to finish that introduction they're not going to want to read any of those reviews.

- write one review per entry

- if you want to write multiple reviews, that's fine - just save each of them, but don't send yet; send out one per entry, preferably only one review a day.

I'm laughing b/c it's funny...but I'm still offering you sound advice.

I think you really need to rethink the way you run your blog...

David Baruffi said...

Yeah, I got why you're laughing, and no, it's not sound advice, you're just a bully. I realize it now, you don't take this seriously, you mock people who actually put time into this, so you bully, and you disguise it as "Sound Advice", so I'm not listening to you anymore.

If you're asking however, I post every 2-3 days. Sometimes four, and usually I apologize for when I'm late. I have a Canon of Film Review, that's the only movie blog that I post one at a time, to distinguish it from my Movie Reviews. They're to take a closer look at Great and/or Essential Films. It's kinda like all the other posts people do on Great Movies and all that, I call it a Canon of Film, 'cause I like the idea, of putting film in terms of literature. There's the canon of essential novels and books, here's the Canon of Film.

I also write Commentaries, Two per cycle. (A cycle is Canon of Film, Commentaries, Movie Reviews, then I start over again. Sometimes the order is switched, but it's almost always those four) I just posted my latest one.

Then I post my Movie Reviews, and no, I'm not gonna post them one at a time. I don't want to be the guy who posts movie reviews everyday, like he's somebody who just watched it and wants to immediately tell everybody what he's thinks. I post regularly, but I post continuously, so it's not something that's just been writing ten minutes after watching a film or whatever (And BTW, I watch anywhere from 2-5 films a day, so I'd be posting forever, and I'm not doing that.) Anyway, I find that posting everyday cheapens blogs,besides that, I don't want to have only a few paragraphs per post; I want to have, as many as I need, whether that's one or a thousand. When I post, it's something I've been working on, I've taken the time to do it, if it's a commentary, I want to usually say something that hasn't been said much or at all (Like revealing a Lammy ballot), and when it's my movie reviews, they get posted at once, the same way movie reviews get posted in newspapers for instance. They're all there on Friday or whatever, and then you read them, together.

Or one at a time. No, I don't expect everyone to read them all at once, if that's your question. If there's a film I've reviewed, they can search for it rather easily, or if they only want to read my thoughts on only one of two films, they can scroll down and find that review. And no, I don't have a problem with "block paragraphs" per movie review. Again, sometimes I don't do that, depending on the film. (I can guarantee right now, that my "Rock of Ages" review, will definitely not be an entirely block paragraph review.)

What I would like to do, eventually, is create an index of some kind. I'm not doing it now, I'm busy sending out scripts and producing a short film, so it's a future project. I would like to make it somewhat easier to find my reviews, and everything else, but I genuinely don't like the idea of posting one review at a time or per blog, or posting eleven blogposts in one day, or whatever. It doesn't give the impression I want out of my blog.

My mission statement: "Intelligent, Observant, and thoughtful analysis of the film and entertainment world." That's not, just random thoughts on who sounded good on "The Voice" the next day, or something like that. (That's for twitter.) This is not that. Don't want to be branded that, don't want that to be the perception. I prefer it this way, and just like every other time in my life, I have no little desire to be like everybody else.

Anonymous said...

But you are differentiating your self in a BAD way! The way you're operating this blog is not effective. I don't care how many views you get - just b/c you get a "view" doesn't mean they read more than a single sentence. If you don't want to talk about The Voice then DONT TALK ABOUT THE VOICE! Who is telling you to talk about The Voice? When did I, or anyone else, ever hint for you to talk about The Voice?

And no, you are not measuring up to your mission statement. You can't have "intelligent" analysis of a film when it's all jumbled up. That is the opposite of intelligent. It makes you look like a huge amateur. Yes, the way to separate yourself from other bloggers is thru your content, but you MUST structure it in a way that is not going to turn people away. You fail to realize the internet is a HUGE place and there is SO MUCH content to read and if a viewer is immediately turned-off b/c the article is disorienting to look at, then they will simply click off your page and read another article that is easy to read and follow - even if their content is worse than yours. People are never going to know your content if they're turned off as soon as they click on your entry.

The reason you will never be nominated for any Lammy's is b/c your site looks so jumbled up that not many people are going to bother to read the content. Your blog probably appears on google search and so people click on it, but then they click away. They're not going to read an article with ELEVEN reviews on it, and very, very rarely will a reader bookmark your article to read in pieces and save for later. They're just going to click off your site. Why do you think I'm the only one commenting? You think just b/c you get some views that you're getting readership? if you were getting readership you'd have more comments with people agreeing or disagreeing with your content. Just as much as you're not going to get nominated for best design, you won't get nominated for anything else b/c the blog looks way too amateurish to provoke anyone to take the time to read your bulky articles. You should have no complaints about the Lammy's. You didn't deserve a single nomination - not for a single category! Do you really think you'd be nominated for your over-sized entries with multiple reviews? That is not an award-winning blog...

And just b/c you write a review doesn't mean everyone assumes YOU JUST SAW THE MOVIE! What are you talking about? Bloggers write multiple reviews and save them and then send them when they feel like it. You don't have to send out one a day. Send 2-3 a week - or one a week...JUST STOP WRITING SO MANY REVIEWS IN A SINGLE ENTRY!

I think I've said enough now. I'm tired of repeating myself and you don't think my advice is worth taking, so I'll leave you to it.

David Baruffi said...

Oh, for crying out loud, I used "The Voice" as an example, don't take everything so literally. All I was saying was that most blogs that post once a day, or more are little snippets of pop culture content, with minor opinions on very minor issues, and that's not my blog.

I don't know how many people turn away. When I've asked why there aren't any comments to my readers, most have said they've had trouble commenting 'cause of blogger's system, others have said that they didn't think I wanted comments because many of my blogs come off as informative, as oppose to pieces where it required outside opinions to be posted. I've done what I can on the first problem. The second, well, sometimes I can understand that, and I often encourage my readers to contact me through Facebook or Twitter, where my blog is heavily present and posted, and many comment there, and I do get into more comments and discussions outside of my blog there.

BTW, you're posting on my "Canon of Film: "The Visitor" post, and not my Lammy blog, which did get some responses, all of which I answered, most of which were criticism, but not all, and in one case, I agree tremendously with the guy's criticism of my piece, 'cause he did point out a flaw that I do need to work on, my syntax. That is problematic.

Obviously, I'm not an Award-winning blogger-, Oh, Christ, I'm not going over that again.

You make a decent point and about assuming everyone who posts reviews everyday, "Just saw the movie." I was referring more to the feel and tone of most of those of most of those once-a-day review bloggers, where they come off, more and fandom, as oppose to criticism. Lots of uses of "Like" or "In My Opinion", that kinda indecisiveness screams somebody who is an amateur critic. Some are okay doing that. "Dan the Man", off the top of my head for instance, but I still don't prefer that for my blog. Maybe if I limited myself, to just reviews, I can see that, but not for me. 2-3 a review posts a week is not enough for my movie consumption first of all, but it still would take up time, that I just don't have, nor care to use.

As to my sites being jumbled, eh, I'll take note of a lot of my design problems, but that's not one of them. That was one of my concerns with some of the blogs that are winning Lammys now, many of them look jumbled. A revolving board of newest posts, multiple rows and categories, I can barely find anything sometimes. Some of them have two front pages, it's confusing. I think now, we're just simply disagreeing over design preferences. I prefer this simpler look, I prefer scrolling down to see what's next. On the side, there's my Popular Posts, and my archive, so you can see everything else I wrote (Actually, I might switch those places, now that I think about it, move the archive up, move my popular posts down.)

Basically, I think you're insisting I be something I'm not, and frankly I care more about being myself, then some dumb awards. I'll take some of yours and others inputs, but you're still a bully disguised as somebody giving advice.

3guys1movie.com said...

Anon, could you check out my blog? I would be happy to have some honest straight up no holds barred feedback on what we could improve on.

David Baruffi said...

Lol. Let me know if he does post on yours, and if you can find out who he is.

And, I'd be ecstatic to have good, honest feedback too. I will even take it, if I can. Many have; I wish he did.

Anonymous said...


I've been on your site; it looks fine. I don't normally suggest for bloggers to make changes to their blog unless something sticks out in my mind and I can offer a suggestion that I think could actually improve their blog.

The problem with this blog here is that it's jumbled and each entry is far too long and the author tries to cram too much information into each entry; not to mention most of his paragraphs are far too long. I highly doubt many are actually reading his material; at best a few may skim it.

You don't have these issues.

Unknown said...

Always a good and noble thing to give advice and welcome criticism, even sarcasm. But to describe a guy a guy you don't know as a green snake in the green grass.....not nice, not nice at all; and not fair to David.