11 May 2009

Happy Anniversary! Riku Writes Celebrates One Year!!! Wild Party, Author Interview, Top 10 Posts!!!

Today marks the one year anniversary of Riku Writes. Please, please, hold your applause...Oh go ahead, I’ll just bathe in it for a bit. Above you will see pictures from our anniversary party held last night at our corporate headquarters in Monte Carlo.

Here’s what the media have been saying about me and the blog:
“Most definitely a blog.” - New York Times.
“Generally about films.” - Newsweek.
“C'est bon.” Paris Match.
“He’s a Finn, it must be good!” - Helsinki Sanomat.
“The only solution is to lower taxes.” - Fox News.
“As someone who is deceased I have nothing to say about anything.” - Danny Kaye.
“Keep that creep away from me.” - Anne Hathaway.

To commemorate this momentous occasion I managed to catch up with myself last week at Riku Writes’ Berkeley office for this exclusive interview.

Me: Thanks for finding the time for this interview.
Myself & I: No, thank you.
Me: Same difference. So tell us, why a blog?
Myself & I: I needed an outlet for my writing. A constantly-rejected novel and a half written one weren’t nourishing my soul.
Me: And why films?
Myself & I: After a few weeks it became obvious I needed a focus otherwise it would just be rambling nonsense. I’d already written several posts about movies and so it seemed a natural choice.
Me: But what makes you an expert on film?
Myself & I: A person is an expert on anything they're passionate about and thoughtful about.
Me: Has writing the blog changed the way you view films?
Myself & I: Yes, and that’s been one of the best things for me about film blogging. I’ve become a lot more thoughtful about films and many other facets of my life. It’s like when I was a journalist, everything was a potential story. With movies I’ve started examining them more closely and being more reflective. As a consequence, I appreciate movies a lot more.
Me: What have you learned about films?
Myself & I: I’ve learned that how a movie is made is infinitely more significant than what it’s about. It’s as with songs, lyrics can be powerful or poetic but without nice singing and music they’re just words. I’ve also learned that genres are overrated. People tend to think that a label tells you a lot about a film. Like Western. Stagecoach (1939), High Noon (1952) and The Wild Bunch (1969) are all Westerns but are otherwise nothing alike.
Me: Someone who wanted to start a blog wrote you once for advice. How did you respond?
Myself & I: I’d urge anyone who wants to blog to write about what interests you. Write for yourself but realize others will read it. Have fun with it, that’s the most important thing.
Me: Has blogging been rewarding?
Myself & I: Absolutely. It’s incredibly gratifying when people write nice comments, express appreciation or watch a film you recommended.
Me: Any negative comments?
Myself & I: Sure. In an anonymous setting people will throw sh*t your way. But I haven’t gotten any since I set the comments section so that nothing gets posted until I see it. That says a lot about the mudslingers.
Me: Any particularly memorable nasty comment?
Myself & I: One. A person commented that “this is the whitest blog I’ve ever seen.” I guess the clown had never been to a white supremacist site. But really what was the context for such a remark? Weird, especially considering I’d recently posted about racism in films.
Me: Any other downsides to blogging?
Myself and I: One big one. Groupies. It’s bad here in Berkeley and was even worse in Paris. Young women follow me around and often proposition me. I hear things like “I love your blog, can I see ‘it’?” Shameless.
Me: How does your lovely wife respond to all this?
Myself & I: Ever since the Penelope Cruz* incident she’s been quite understanding.
Me: The ‘Penelope Cruz incident’ what was that?
Myself & I: I cannot comment due to ongoing litigation.
Me: Your wife must be an understanding and remarkable woman.
Myself & I: You’ve no idea.
Me: Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine the success Riku Writes, would have?  You literally have a few readers.
Myself & I: I don't waste my 'wildest' dreams on matters unrelated to...
Me: Stop it! This is a family blog.
Myself & I: Yeah, well, I don't notice a lot of families hanging around here.
Me: Any advice for young people who want to start watching classic films?
Myself & I: There are two ways to go. You can have a lot of fun by starting with specific directors like Hitchock, Ford or Sturges -- in fact those three would be a good place to start.  Or a a film star like Chaplain, Cary Grant, Bogie or Bette Davis. Another way is to just watch what are generally acknowledged as great films. But be sure not to use the Oscars as your standard. Go to a website like Tim Dirks’ Greatest Films site and check out his top 100 and 200 lists. Of course if you have TCM as part of your cable package you’re in good shape right there.
Me: Do you still discover new films from the past that you end up loving?
Myself & I: Good God, yes, constantly. Especially since I'm way behind on foreign films.
Me: What was your first favorite film?
Myself & I: The first movie I remember falling in love with was The Great Escape (1963). And you know what, I still love it.
Me: It’s amazing, I’ve just noticed that even when you talk the films you mention are linked to IMDb.
Myself & I: Yes, I’m fluent in link.
Me: I want to thank you for your time and congratulate you on your one year anniversary.
Myself & I: No, thank you.
Me: Inasmuch as we’re the same person, it’s the same thing.
Myself & I: I thought you looked familiar.

My ten favorite posts of the past year:
Crime May Not Pay But It Can Be a Blast
The Third Man: Hitchock’s Camera in Notorious
Did Anyone Bother to Ask Lee Harvey What He Thought of the Movie?
Jake and Jabez: Two Stories of Tortured Souls
The Difficulty of Telling a Good Story
The Public Enemy: It’s Not Just About the Grapefruit
12 Movies from the Last Depression to Help You Through the Next Depression
Those Nasty Nazis of Films
I Swear I Didn’t Do It!
Visiting Shinbone

The Paris blogs are also fun to read. Ahh, memories. The first is linked in the preceding sentence.

Also see my Staff Appreciation post from earlier this year.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have another year’s worth of blogs to start working. while you're here why not visit our conveniently located souvenir stands? And remember if you need a refreshment many of our concession stands are open 24 hours.