After months of writing, editing and polishing my book, (The Film Reader’s Guide to James Cameron’s Avatar, available from our Further Reading section RRP £7.99), I was looking forward to putting my feet up and some other general laziness. However my time playing Okami on the PS2, air-guitaring to 80s hair rock, walking around in nothing but a Pot Noodle-stained t-shirt and catching up with Diagnosis Murder was short-lived. I had a calling. As an enthusiastic cinephile I had been neglectful of my greatest passion of late, and it was whispering my name on the wind, luring me back like a sailor to the siren. Throwing the air-guitar to the floor with a thud, I turned my back on the grubby-yet-somehow-comfortable lifestyle of idleness and emerged out of the sewer pipe reborn as Editor of www.DeepFocusFilmStudies.com.
Working on the site is easily the most satisfying toil of my life. There are days when the prospect of a huge work-load actually makes me smile. There are other days when a looming deadline stirs butterflies in the pit of my Sarlacc. Yet there is never any doubt that this is where I belong. It had me at ‘Hello’.
The site launches with a major KA-POW as the article HUMAN BEAN JUICE explores post-modernism, gender and sexuality in the not-so-super hero adventure Watchmen (2009), written by yours truly. It can be pretty heavy reading for the first few sections, but don’t let that fool you, ultimately it’s just about the kind of stuff you read in spam-mail; erectile dysfunction and skin-tight PVC. Or is that just my inbox?
So far my favourite news story on the site has to be HAPPY ENDINGS by Carrie Rickey. It’s about how This Is Spinal Tap (1984) executive producer Lindsay Doran has been shaking-up Hollywood with her research into film conclusions, and revealing that audiences are not particularly engaged by protagonists ‘winning’. ‘It might be about not winning’, claims Doran, ‘about finding something deeper that means more than victory’.
Tom Clare sets a high standard for the site when he alerts us to the brilliance of Brazilian cinema in his reviews of Central Station (1998) and Behind The Sun (2001). He also warns us of the holy abomination that is Godsend (2004), a film featuring Robert DeNiro I had been tempted by for some time but, perhaps instinctually, kept putting-off.
Of course as an ever-expanding site, we welcome you not only to regularly check-up on new content, but to contribute yourself. Whether it be a few quickly-typed lines expressing your thoughts on an article, a five minute film review, or if you feel up to the challenge of penning a full 6000 word article, we want to hear from you. For a good, if somewhat crude yet humorous, idea of what Deep Focus Film Studies is all about, view the Gay Top Gun clip on our Videos page. I also recommend listening to Kubrick’s Shining: What does it all mean on the podcasts page for a more serious understanding of the type of work we do.
As I embark on a Disney-binge in preparation for next week’s content, I suggest you have a peek at our competitions page to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the American Pie films on Blu-Ray - bawdy humour hasn’t been so much fun since the Carry On franchise.
Bryn V. Young-Roberts is a freelance journalist, author, broadcaster and founding member and editor of DeepFocusFilmStudies, an organisation dedicated to making film analysis more accessible to the public. He was born in Gwynedd, Wales. Young-Roberts has a BA and MA in Journalism and Media from Bangor University. He has written for The Mail and The Chronicle, as well as Welsh language publications Sglein and Seren.