Monday, 2 March 2009

Tim Lucas I applaud you...

Tim Lucas is a man who sets the bar pretty damn high so far as film writing goes.

He's the man behind Video Watchdog (still the best movie magazine in the English language for my money) and last year he published his 12lb, 30 year in the making, Monster of a book, Mario Bava: All The Colors Of The Dark. It is, without a hint of hyperbole, the single greatest achievment in biographical film writing I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is the standard by which all future books on a single film maker will be judged. It casts a shadow over everything that has gone before. There has never been anything else quite like it.

Don't trust me, ask Martin Scorsese, or Guillermo Del Toro (who ranks it with the book of Hitchcock interviews by Truffaut), or Joe Dante...

Sight & Sound's review seemed a little sniffy about its focus on a 'minor' director of popular entertainments. Only someone without a soul could ever watch what Bava could achieve on film and think his talents to be 'minor'...

But better men have gone before me to hail the coming of the King - I have this sudden image of Lucas like Charlton Heston as Moses, smashing his mighty tome upon the ground at the feet of all the unbelievers...

Anyway, what I want to say here is a thank you. Tim is a hugely busy man, and I for one, having just begun this blog, can see how it can suck your time.

For quite a few years now, Tim has kept up (along side the Bava Book, the monthly Video Watchdog, his novels and screenwriting) the Video Watchblog, and I've always found it a blessing. Not least because he wrote about other things than cinema, music and such like that I might never have discovered were it not for him. But also because the Watchblog was an oasis in a desert - a place to find something meaty, and informative. I never came away from one of Tim's posts without thinking that I learned something. Without feeling enriched. I can't say that for many places on the web.

But now it's gone. He's shut up shop so far as I can see (to concentrate on all his other writing and on living his life), and I for one don't blame him. But, selfishly, I'll miss it. I will... and it makes me more than ever determined, as I bring this blog into the world, to follow where he lead.

I'll be joined by others soon - right now I feel like Lee Marvin in the Dirty Dozen, or Richard Burton in Where Eagles Dare, putting the team together (and wouldn't those movies make a bank holiday double to die for!?). I hope you'll join us.

I'd just like to take this opportuinity to say thank you to Tim for all the blogging, and the books, and the magazines which keep on coming. For pointing the way and setting the standard. My fingers are crossed that this year Joe Dante might get that screenplay of his before the cameras.

All the best Tim. If you're reading this blog, I hope you like what you see.

Is it possible to lead an online cheer?

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