When I started Late Reviewer, my intention was to channel all the negativity I’d been feeling during the pandemic into something positive and creative, and engage with a new community on social media.
While it hasn’t quite rid me of all my negative energy, I’ve been delighted with the response to the site on social media (Twitter especially) – I’ve had really nice chats with really nice people on all things film, but the response to the weekly By The Decade pieces have been particularly overwhelming.
To be clear, when I say ‘overwhelming’, I’m not talking thousands and thousands of responses, RTs by the bucketload or that kind of thing – although the number of people who got involved has been a really pleasant surprise.
What I mean is that it’s been overwhelming to see such a positive response to the weekly question, regardless of which decade we’re discussing, from people who really know their stuff.
I’m the first to admit that even as a film fan and former film student, my knowledge is lacking in some (alright, many), areas, and that’s sort of what By The Decade was about.
I knew some films from the 1930s and 1940s, and I know which films from the 70s, 80s and 90s meant something to me. They might not have been the best films from each decade, but I consider them a starting point, and that’s where other peoples’ recommendations come in.
Thanks to your recommendations and suggestions, I can build on that foundation, discovering titles I didn’t know, being reminded of titles I hadn’t got round to seeing yet, learning about some great foreign-language cinema, and essentially just having a new frame of reference, a few new lists to work through.
And I have begun to work through them too – I’ve already notched up a couple from the forties thanks to Talking Pictures TV (Notorious was very good, and as a Hitchcock fan, I’ve no idea why I’d never seen it before), with another couple recorded and waiting for a quiet evening/afternoon/late night/early morning.
Yeah, my physical To Watch Pile is already teetering, why not start a digital one too, right?
I also got the feeling that a few Late Reviewer followers enjoyed the weekly poll (called “a cruel game” by comedian Nick Helm, who really got stuck into his 1980s and 1990s suggestions!), while some made connections with each other which was really pleasing to see.
So if you made any recommendations to By The Decade (and you can find them all right here), I’d just like to say a massive thank you for making social media that little bit better over the last few weeks, and I hope you stick around and enjoy the rest of the site.
So, What’s Next?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be launching a brand new section of the website which I’m imaginatively calling Special Features.
In short, these Special Features are pieces written by Late Reviewer friends and followers – think of it as a chance to gush about a film or topic you feel people need to know about, a movie that means a lot to you, or a starting point for a discussion you’d like to share.
Every day, I see threads on Twitter about why this movie deserves more recognition, or why that movie means so much more to that person than they thought it might, and I’d love to share that enthusiasm through Late Reviewer – it might not have a massive audience (SPOILER: it doesn’t), but the audience it does have seems to be made up of friendly, like-minded film fans who are really supportive. You might even find one or two fellow fans of that film you think you’re alone in enjoying…
We’ve already got a few great pieces lined up, and I’ll be posting full details on how to get involved as the new section gets nearer launch – I’m afraid I can’t offer any money for submissions, but if you’re keen to talk about a topic or shout about a film/performer/soundtrack/sequence on Late Reviewer, I’d still love to hear from you and promise to buy you a beverage if we ever meet in real life!
Obviously, the Late Reviews will continue as and when I can find time to watch the films and write the pieces. Same goes for the Quick Reads too, which are a little easier to squeeze into a lunch hour.
If nothing else, the Special Features are a great way to hear some new voices, read some stuff on here that hasn’t been written by me (although I might make a contribution down the line), and I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I have.