Watching Movies Alone with crumbsroom

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Honestly, casting an actual 13-year-old as Valerie is the most unsettling thing about the film for me, considering the sexual content. More on point, it did seem much more surrealist than horror to me, but there's definitely some obscuring of boundaries.



Oh, that would be wonderful. Any advice at all will be of immeasurable help. I'm so dreadful at the general work politics and professionalism, I need schooling right from the ground up.

I have a few people pushing me to doing videos, and honestly, the thing that I'm most reluctant to do with that is my general technophobe status. I'm still not ruling that out. I have no idea you could write content for these things though. I should probably look into that because, as mentioned many times before, I have no idea what's going on out there in the modern world.
Here is what she says: the advice i give to people who want to freelance (and no one ever takes it) is to cold call. you basically have to be a sales person and sell yourself. 95% of people will say no. 5% of people will say, you know, we've been looking for someone to help us but haven't had time to look into it! my other advice: if you want to do it as a job, you basically have to do some corporate work. very few people live off of freelancing for the Atlantic.

And I would encourage you to include YouTube creators/channels in your "cold calling".



Honestly, casting an actual 13-year-old as Valerie is the most unsettling thing about the film for me, considering the sexual content. More on point, it did seem much more surrealist than horror to me, but there's definitely some obscuring of boundaries.
Agreed. It is a movie that means a lot to me on, like, a personal level. But the older I get (and the more the age gap between me and the actress grows), the less comfortable I get watching it.

To me, the film is a fantasy allegory about the process of sexual maturity. And going through puberty and becoming a sexual being is scary! And it opens you up to some uncomfortable truths about the people around you and in many ways forces you to redefine certain things about yourself and others. And what is maybe most scary is the unknown. So I think that there are strong horror elements because terror is a part of that experience.



minds his own damn business
Honestly, casting an actual 13-year-old as Valerie is the most unsettling thing about the film for me, considering the sexual content. More on point, it did seem much more surrealist than horror to me, but there's definitely some obscuring of boundaries.
The actress, Jaroslava Schallerova, appears to have been unscathed by the experience. If there was more substantial evidence of abuse or exploitation involved, I might agree, but I'm not someone who considers sexuality, in itself, to be inherently abusive or exploitative. I'm fine with the decision not to hire a 20 year old in pigtails to compensate.
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Jenny Nicholson is good content-wise, but she does that thing a lot of bad YouTubers do in that she edits out her pauses. Don't do that, Crumb. It's exhausting to listen to.

I think I'd be more comfortable editing out all the content and just leaving the pauses. Just a man hidden behind a Wilfrid Laurier face app, staring silently into your soul.



So having read a lot of your stuff over the years, I can safely predict that you could also gain a significant following (a different following from hers, obviously). A good chunk of my current watchlist consists of films I had no interest in until one of your reviews convinced me that it was worthwhile. You've got a built-in "hook" which would be horror or cult films, so it wouldn't take long for film fans to find your stuff.

This is obviously too kind, but thanks for the encouragement. One of my great hinderances when it comes to anything that involves social networking is I, um, suck at it. I don't even really know what a hashtag is.



On the bright side though, my gf just recently bought a webcam so she could appear as a virtual audience member on Dr. Phil, so her ridiculous impulsive decisions has at least provided me some hardware.



Here is what she says: the advice i give to people who want to freelance (and no one ever takes it) is to cold call. you basically have to be a sales person and sell yourself. 95% of people will say no. 5% of people will say, you know, we've been looking for someone to help us but haven't had time to look into it! my other advice: if you want to do it as a job, you basically have to do some corporate work. very few people live off of freelancing for the Atlantic.

And I would encourage you to include YouTube creators/channels in your "cold calling".

Eeek! Cold calls! This would bring me terrifyingly close to believing I actually exist, which is a terrifying prospect. In reality (eek) though, I kind of suspected this is the line that would need to be crossed in order to separate oneself from everyone who fancies themselves as a freelancer but fails. It's possible I could get there once I realize this is what needs to be done to supplement my income, but I'd have to work up the courage.



FTR In no way do I suspect I'll ever make enough doing this to live on the earnings. The hope is mostly for extra pocket change so that I can put full time work somewhat behind me. Which is still, frankly, a probably tall order. But I need to dream so as not to crumble into total occupational despair. As stated before, I'm not willing to sign away my life as I was expected to do at my previous job ever again. I'd rather eat sawdust.


As for corporate gigs, no doubt this is the way to make proper money. But I believe you actually need to know how to legit write to get hired for these jobs, not just smear words across a page.. Everything I have learned about writing over the years is completely instinctual and any semblance I've picked up to human language has been entirely unintentional. I have such a cluster of learning disabilities (ADD, possible dyslexia, personality disorders that make me distrustful of authority) that I am essentially unteachable. I was a real treat to deal with in school.


Much thanks for reaching out on my behalf though. I will keep all of this advise in mind.



Eeek! Cold calls! This would bring me terrifyingly close to believing I actually exist, which is a terrifying prospect. In reality (eek) though, I kind of suspected this is the line that would need to be crossed in order to separate oneself from everyone who fancies themselves as a freelancer but fails. It's possible I could get there once I realize this is what needs to be done to supplement my income, but I'd have to work up the courage.
I would advise reaching out to a ton of people at once. That way you aren't just waiting for one reply.

As for corporate gigs, no doubt this is the way to make proper money. But I believe you actually need to know how to legit write to get hired for these jobs, not just smear words across a page.. Everything I have learned about writing over the years is completely instinctual and any semblance I've picked up to human language has been entirely unintentional. I have such a cluster of learning disabilities (ADD, possible dyslexia, personality disorders that make me distrustful of authority) that I am essentially unteachable. I was a real treat to deal with in school.
Having obviously read a lot of your writing, I think that working with an editor would mitigate a lot of your concerns about the ability of your writing to feel legit.

The nice thing is, you are already producing content, albeit informally. Much of what you are already creating could easily be pitched to a website, YouTube channel, or podcast.



I think I'd be more comfortable editing out all the content and just leaving the pauses. Just a man hidden behind a Wilfrid Laurier face app, staring silently into your soul.
"I'm here live. I'm not Wilfrid Laurier."


Tbh I suspect YouTubers do that because they want to get rid of their "ums" and "ahs", but I suspect just a bit of practice speaking beforehand would do wonders. Lindsay Ellis and Patrick H Willems, two YouTubers whose output I enjoy, actually use their pauses purposefully and it makes a world of difference.





Just because God is silent, doesn’t mean he’s not listening. This is an important distinction to make when considering the supposedly atheistic films of Ingmar Bergman. After spending an entire career tempting God to say something back and failing, the persistence of the director’s decades long scream into the void at least suggests some kind of faith. A belief that somewhere out there, in all that unknowable blackness, his message is still there to be taken. That in this infinity of absolute nothing, there had been a beep, maybe barely perceptible, but at least some indication God’s voicemail had not yet reached its full capacity.

At times, the power of the venom Bergman directs towards God in his films makes it almost feel as if they might somehow succeed, where many civilizations worth of unanswered pleas for mercy and forgiveness have failed. Considering his particular obsession with the Silence of God though, I would suspect not. With each film written as if they were meant to be shouted up at the heavens, and each one growing louder as if being heard was only a matter of volume, at times they seem like the ravings of a lunatic whose shiny, new transistor to God is malfunctioning. As pointed as they may in their criticisms, they are also entirely impudent.

It’s possible though that it is this very failure which makes his work resonate so deeply with his audience. Bergman’s movies are not so much in the business of denying the existence of God, as simply demanding he try to exist. At least a little. If not to answer our prayers, then maybe to let us hurt his feelings and give us a fat target for the eloquently divine insults his films have in store. We have some serious complaints down here after all, and if you haven't noticed, Bergman has been asking to speak to the manager for some time now. By watching his films, we have invited ourselves to wait alongside of him. And by bearing witness to a lifetime of this waiting, we eventually come to recognize the only ones who probably ever heard him were us. And all we can do is clap our hands.

It’s no wonder then the disgust Bergman will show towards his audience in Hour of the Wolf. His had been a lifetime of reaching nothing but eyes, who have done little more in their mortal hours than blankly stare up at a screen, biding their time before one day finding themselves rotting in the stinking earth, just like all the other eyes that have watched his films. Maybe some of these eyes will think him a genius. Or, more often, a ponderous bore. But does it really matter, either way? While busy believing he had been risking eternal hellfire for his films, in the end all he could ever manage to provoke was a possible tongue lashing from Bosley Crowther. And no one would think God would ever give himself such a ridiculous name as that.

It must have been a terrible disappointment. Maybe even a purgatory. As a result, Hour of the Wolf will be as close as he would ever get to making a horror film. And being that it is probably also as close as he ever got to telling us what it feels like to be an artist, it will be a fitting aesthetic. Filling its world with cannibals and violent children and detachable faces, this is very much the audience he righttfully fears has been paying attention all of these years, instead of God.

Oh, the horror, indeed.

Max Von Sydow, playing the role of a painter who has hidden from his fame upon a solitary island, is an obvious stand in for Bergman himself. Retreating from society, Sydow will be plagued with visions of demons who eventually materialize into the form of nobles who fawn over his talent, and make grandiose assumptions of what he is saying in his art. He will only be belligerent towards them, say whatever he can to demystify the value of his paintings, even slap them across the face if they keep having ideas that he’s actually made any difference at all. But all they seem to do is applaud. And ask him ‘what does it all mean’.

The irony can’t possibly be lost on Bergman. A career made of growing angry at getting no answers, putting him in the crosshairs of questions he’d prefer not to be asked. As he has been spending his time staring at the sky wondering if there is anything behind it, others stare at nothing but a screen of his making that he knows cast only shadows. Should he then be equally dubious to what he is looking up at and hoping to see? Is he being just as deceitful as a God who won’t tell us he exists, by being an artist who dismisses this work of his that others find so much meaning in? Does he even care?

The sounds of clanging and banging that open the film as the credits roll seem to indicate that he, at the very least, is trying to undo whatever religious effect his work may have on the audience. In the Genesis moments of Hour of the Wolf, the very first thing we will know of it will be this noise of its sets being built. Hammer's will pound nails. Saws will cut wood. Cigarette breaks will be smoked silently away from the microphone.

So hold your horses. Keep your expectations in check. This is just a film by Ingmar Bergman, not at all the mysterious beginning of a universe. There will be no deceitful snakes, or punitive floods to come. No commandments to heed. This is nothing but the toil of unionized carpentry that you’re listening to and it, and only it, is what this movie you are about to watch was born from. Men with toolbelts and a sandwich in their lunch box. Absolutely, no divine inspiration to be found here.

And so if you have any questions, please just remember it's only a ****ing movie. Take it up with the manager. I’m sure he’ll be here any minute now.





Sounds like what you're trying to say with your review is that...





I would advise reaching out to a ton of people at once. That way you aren't just waiting for one reply.



Having obviously read a lot of your writing, I think that working with an editor would mitigate a lot of your concerns about the ability of your writing to feel legit.

The nice thing is, you are already producing content, albeit informally. Much of what you are already creating could easily be pitched to a website, YouTube channel, or podcast.



Oh definitely. It would be smart to get a bunch done in one fell swoop, but I like Chinese Water Torturing myself with a slow drip drip drip of cold calls. If I get to the point I can do that, I will make it as miserable as possible on myself. It's a talent.


Yes, having an editor (unfortunately) is pretty much a necessity with writing. As much as I'd like for writing to be as pure an artform as music or painting can sometimes be, allowing the mess to remain on canvas, writing can tend to be a little impenetrable if some weeding isn't inevitably done. I only wish it was more of a collaborative process then it usually is. Sometimes the clarity and concision an editor strives for is at odds with the aesthetics of some writers (ie. Me) who have preferences to leaving a bit of clutter behind. I have experiences with both being happy and angry with changes that have been made to my work in the past, and it's usually been the latter (surprise surprise).



But, yes, regardless of my complaining, it can't be gotten around. It's essential.



"I'm here live. I'm not Wilfrid Laurier."


Tbh I suspect YouTubers do that because they want to get rid of their "ums" and "ahs", but I suspect just a bit of practice speaking beforehand would do wonders. Lindsay Ellis and Patrick H Willems, two YouTubers whose output I enjoy, actually use their pauses purposefully and it makes a world of difference.

I should check some of these out. I mostly just know Red Letter Media, who are a really well oiled machine at this point. They know what they want to say, and they know how to put it out there. While I don't necessarily always agree on all of their takes, I find what they've done to be intimidatingly impressive.


The only single person YouTube videos I've seen discussing movies have been universally terrible. Some of them even being produced by the very magazines I'm hoping of submitting to. This, I think, calls attention to how hard this actually is to do well, rather than these people being inherently bad at what they are doing. Or maybe a bit of both. I should check out all mentioned so far, though.



Sounds like what you're trying to say with your review is that...



I think watching his films with an assumption he is entirely godless makes them a significantly less terrifying watch. And my bias always swerves towards 'more terrifying'.



Oh, and one more for your non-horrors with horror aesthetics project:




Still chewing it over, but yeah, definitely some strong horror vibes. Some of the settings in the movie bring to mind the Black Lodge.



minds his own damn business
Bergman’s movies are not so much in the business of denying the existence of God, as simply demanding he try to exist.



I should check some of these out. I mostly just know Red Letter Media, who are a really well oiled machine at this point. They know what they want to say, and they know how to put it out there. While I don't necessarily always agree on all of their takes, I find what they've done to be intimidatingly impressive.


The only single person YouTube videos I've seen discussing movies have been universally terrible. Some of them even being produced by the very magazines I'm hoping of submitting to. This, I think, calls attention to how hard this actually is to do well, rather than these people being inherently bad at what they are doing. Or maybe a bit of both. I should check out all mentioned so far, though.
There are plenty of essay channels I could list if you wanted me to, but I'll just take this chance to say, in addition to the ones Rocko already mentioned, don't forget to check out The NerdWriter while you're at it: