The House (#110 of 15)

Double Dose: The House Next Door Profiled in Village Voice, Chosen by MovieMaker

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Double Dose: <em>The House Next Door</em> Profiled in <em>Village Voice</em>, Chosen by <em>MovieMaker</em>
Double Dose: <em>The House Next Door</em> Profiled in <em>Village Voice</em>, Chosen by <em>MovieMaker</em>

Last year it was Muriel. This year, piggybacking on the State of the Union address and the unveiling of the iPad (always our intention), the House is doubly rewarded.

First, columnist and blogger Roy Edroso profiles our site in the Village Voice feature “I Blog New York.” Click here; the text is at the bottom of the page (7) and continues onto the next (8). Special congrats to “Turkish correspondent” Ali Arikan (a well-deserved mention, my friend).

Second, MovieMaker Magazine, under the stewardship of Jennifer M. Wood, has named us one of the “50 Best Blogs for Moviemakers.” This link will take you to the list. There is reportedly a longer article on the chosen blogs in the print issue (soon-to-be/currently on stands).

This wouldn't have come about without the writers (past, present, and future) who contribute to the site and the readers who visit us. My deepest thanks to you all for your dedication and support. I promise you, there's lots more to come.

Work in Progress

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Work in Progress
Work in Progress

Hello House readers. As you can see, we've implemented a few changes, and I do plan on giving you a larger tour of our new home in the near future. For the moment, we're smoothing out a few bugs, restyling imported posts, making sure every contributor is credited, etc. So if you go through the archives and find a few rough patches, just know that I and my colleagues at Slant are on it. The building will be up to code soon—then I'll take you more fully round. Thanks for your patience and continued support. I'll keep posting new material in the meantime. There's plenty of it.

Copy Rites: YouTube vs. Kevin B. Lee

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Copy Rites: YouTube vs. Kevin B. Lee
Copy Rites: YouTube vs. Kevin B. Lee

When the history of intellectual property law is written, January 12, 2009 should be marked as a decisive moment. It was the day that my friend, fellow House Next Door contributor and sometime filmmaking partner Kevin B. Lee saw his entire archive of critical video essays deleted by YouTube on grounds that his work violated copyright.

Regular readers of this blog are familiar with Kevin's work. He's the New York-based publisher of Shooting Down Pictures, a film history and criticism website dedicated to watching and discussing each of the 1,000 feature films cited on They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? For years now, Kevin has been writing about each and every film on the list, starting out with a personal, critical essay, then segueing into a compilation of excerpts from various works of history and criticism. His goal was to give his audience a sense of a film's place in modern culture and collective memory.

Some of his entries were accompanied by freestanding video essays that used ripped scenes from DVDs and voice-over narration (by Kevin or a guest critic; I participated in two essays myself, on The Outlaw Josey Wales and They Died with Their Boots On). I can't point you to those pieces because they're gone. So is the rest of the approximately 300 minutes' worth of work Kevin posted to YouTube, working solo or in collaboration with fellow critics, including Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chris Fujiwara, Mike D'Angelo, Richard Brody, and many House contributors.

"Jan-Michael Vincent Is a Synonym for the ‘70s": A Conversation Between Matt Zoller Seitz and Keith Uhlich

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“Jan-Michael Vincent Is a Synonym for the ‘70s”: A Conversation Between Matt Zoller Seitz and Keith Uhlich
“Jan-Michael Vincent Is a Synonym for the ‘70s”: A Conversation Between Matt Zoller Seitz and Keith Uhlich

Introduction

A new day dawns and, from this side of the web, it seems business as usual. Perhaps that's because I've been aware for a while now that my co-editor and friend Matt Zoller Seitz is leaving behind the world of print journalism.

It's long been a point of conversation, one of those topics posited in off-the-cuff “what-if?” asides, always leading to deeper discussion, though no definitively stated absolutes. That is until a month ago when I received a nighttime phone call from Matt, his voice unwavering and decisive. “I'm out,” he said in regards to his seventeen years plus profession, going on to state his reasons, though, in that moment, he needn't have justified his choice to me. It was unmistakably prepared for, and though I felt a twinge of wistful sadness (impossible not to), I was more happy for him and the potential futures he was now laying out before me, his tone crystal clear and infectious. There was a part of me that wondered if this wasn't an extended prank, that we'd get to zero hour and he'd say—with a mischievous, Cheshire Cat grin—“Just kidding.” But the point of no return has passed. The clock has struck midnight. The DeLorean's hit 88 mph. And, where Matt's going, he don't need roads.

All this to say that I think I've personally had enough time to deal with any resultant aftershocks of Editor Emeritus Seitz's announcement, of his entrustment of The House Next Door to me, of the great responsibility that comes with that, and of my desire, determination, and commitment to maintain the continually high level of collaborative quality that Matt has instilled in this venture. It's the least I can do, and I hope you'll all (contributors, constant readers, and newcomers alike) come along for the ride—it's far from over. Yet any passing of the torch requires more than just an announcement. As I say in the accompanying podcast conversation, I think we're presented with markers in our life, signposts directing us down a certain path or away from it. Sometimes we heed said marker's advice, other times we ignore it, but it always makes an impression, and we more often, whether regretfully or not, remember the road not taken. I thought it important that Matt and I create our own signpost, to mark a moment that shouldn't come off as an end of things or a farewell, but as a present-tense point in time that has its own complicated history, ripe for retrospective exploration, and which portends a future filled with endless and abundant possibilities.

So we have done below: Laughed much. Explained and enlightened. Spoken from the heart and bared the soul—now to an audience. It remains only for me to thank Matt for his friendship and guidance, his trust and love, and to wish him well on his each and every future endeavor. You're a brother to me, my friend. And an inspiration to many besides. Keith Uhlich

To download the podcast, click here. The conversation is transcribed in full below, with minor edits for style and clarification.

From the Editor

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From the Editor
From the Editor

In the first week of August, 2007, The House Next Door asked Damian Arlyn, publisher of Windmills of my Mind, to join our bullpen. I had been meaning to extend this offer for some time, but didn't move until Damian began publishing “31 Days of Spielberg,” a series of critical/biographical articles taking readers through Steven Spielberg's career, title by title. The project's ambition and the critic's lucid style convinced me and House co-editor Keith Uhlich to enlist Damian immediately and send Web traffic his way via stand-alone links to each new article.

This week, a discussion thread at Spielbergfilms.com accused Damian of taking descriptive phrases and sentences from Warren Buckland's book Directed by Steven Spielberg: Poetics of the Contemporary Hollywood Blockbuster without attribution. Damian accepted the charge and posted an explanation and apology here. He says he has corresponded with Buckland about the charges and has removed the problem articles from his site until he can “revise them so as to satisfy everyone (hopefully) that they have come from me alone and from nobody else.” He intends to continue publishing “31 Days of Spielberg,” picking up where the series left off.

Unfortunately, the nature of the charges means that this site can no longer endorse “31 Days of Spielberg.” The House Next Door will not publish any more stand-alone links to the Spielberg series, and Damian's name has been removed from the masthead.

Sad, Sad News

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Sad, Sad News
Sad, Sad News

Hi, this is Alan Sepinwall, posting in Matt's place for reasons you'll understand in a minute. He's asked that I keep the lights on here while he's away, and since I can't pretend to be as smart about the cinema as him, I'm going to be relying on suggestions from you in the comments about things to post.

Anyway, I have some very bad news to share: Matt's wife Jennifer Dawson died suddenly Thursday evening. This is Matt's account of what happened, which he's not up to writing about himself for obvious reasons: