sujewa films nyc

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A little Matt Zoller Seitz print review days memory

Ekanayake & Seitz (R), August 23, 2007, NYC

As most people who read the indie film blogs I regularly read know by now, New York Times's Matt Zoller Seitz has announced his retirement from print reviews. And at this conversation at Matt's blog House Next Door, he is excited about now being able to put all his attention & energy into filmmaking. Very cool, maybe we'll see Home 2: The Morning After The Party soon :).

And now, a little memory from Matt's print review days. And some thoughts about it.

I live in the DC area & get most of my news from the web & TV, thus am not a regular reader of the New York Times print edition (not a regular reader of NYT's web editions either, though some stories there get my attention from time to time). Anyway, it was August 22, 2007, around 2 PM in the afternoon, I got to Chinatown in DC to get on a bus to go to New York. The lady at the "office" for the bus, at a sparsely decorated small restaurant/maybe a carry out if I remember correctly, told me that the 2 PM bus won't be leaving DC 'till 3 PM. So I had an hour to kill. I went to the Chinatown Starbucks, bought some coffee, and a New York Times so that I'll have something to read for an hour. On the second floor of Chinatown Starbucks I sat next to a window, summer sun shinning, people & traffic & noise flowing below me. As I leisurely flipped through the Times issue, I found this article, about the premiere of Hannah Takes the Stairs, & Generation DIY series at IFC Center, written by Matt. Of course by this point in time, Matt, Hannah, Mumblecore, etc. were all people & things I knew about & had conversations about, & sometimes with, in the case of Matt - for at least a year or so on the web. Reading that article that summer day during an unplanned moment of waiting for a bus, and seeing a fast moving, multi-faceted web conversation frozen in one form on the pages of the Times, in an article written by Matt, evoked in me a feeling of being something like a time traveler; maybe the feeling of seeing an artifact from the distant past - my distant past, even though the article was about something that was happening that day. Perhaps newspapers are a nostalgic medium. For me the internet, or web articles & posts, specially at blogs where comments are allowed, is always a present medium; a thing where facts are open to interpretation and discussion and not fixed into an unchangeable form. The internet feels alive and in comparison, and this is not a bad thing in this case, just different, an article on a print newspaper feels like an impression of something that once lived but not the living thing itself. I enjoyed reading that New York Times print edition article by Matt on that summer day while waiting for the Chinatown bus. And now I look forward to reading Matt's future writings and or reading about Matt's future film work in blogs, on the web, in the comments enabled medium of the perpetual present.

- Sujewa

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