Monday, January 5, 2009

What the heck is an "audient"?

Greetings earth people. Welcome to The Audient.

You cinephiles out there know that 2010 is The Year We Make Contact. What's 2009, then? The Year I Start a Film Blog.

(Yes, that's lame, but be warned -- I may use this blog to air out plenty of the lameness that occurs to a person on a day-to-day basis, but which they usually keep to themselves, or use to induce groans from only their closest friends).

Let's start out with a little something about me. I make the rent by working as an IT professional, and all that entails -- telling people to reboot is just the start of it. But what I really am is a film critic. I've been writing reviews for a film website for over eight years now -- and since they pay me, albeit very little, that actually makes me a professional film critic. Doesn't it? Hell yes it does. You can't get me to downgrade my own professional status just because I have to do something else as well to make a living. Welcome to Hollywood, where everybody is like this.

The funny thing is, I am actually one of the most published critics on the entire web. Don't believe me? Well, just google my name. (Ha, it's a trick -- I didn't give it to you). Actually, if you googled my name, the first several dozen entries you'd get would be a professional hockey player for the Los Angeles Kings. But if you googled my name and the name of the website I write for, bam -- thousands of hits. (Another trick -- I didn't give you the name of the website either. Once I figure out exactly what I'm doing here, and whether I'm breaking any laws, I will probably give you both).

Why so many hits? Well, for starters, as of this writing, I've written exactly 974 reviews and synopses for this website in those eight years. (And here's your first indication of my obsessive need to keep track of things in list form. There will be plenty more). Multiply that by the fact that the website sells its content to numerous other outlets specializing in the sale or rental of DVDs, and voila -- I'm everywhere. And to show you just how awesome my website is, they don't care that their clients are trying to move product. They'll let me write as lacerating a review as I want, and I often do. (I'm looking at you, Wayans Brothers). Even better, they're perfectly happy, for obvious reasons, to let you pimp a movie that other critics have generally found unworthy of their time. (I'm looking at you, Inspector Gadget). I mean, what kind of critic would I be if I only liked what everyone else liked, and only hated what everyone else hated?

The thing is, even with all that content -- which also includes some actor/director bios that I wrote back in 2001 and 2002 -- I still have a lot to say about film that doesn't fit into these 300-word capsules. Hence, the blog you are currently reading.

Now, on to the subject. What the heck is an "audient"? And why did I choose this name despite the fact that I will spend my entire blogger career explaining it to people? Well, you probably already guessed what it means. "Audient" is a word I made up, but the meaning should be clear -- it's the singular form of the word "audience." I actually thought up this word years ago, but I've been keeping it to myself until just the right moment to spring it on an unsuspecting public. (Because, you know, I'm sure I'm the only person who ever thought of referring to a single audience member as an "audient.")

So yeah, the audient is me, I guess. I'm a single viewer in an audience. But there's something more to the name than that. In this context, I'm considering myself to be the prototypical audience member. Of course, I must explain, else you'll think I see myself as a person who can't resist the urge to talk to his neighbor, forgets to turn off his cell phone, and sees Twilight on opening weekend. Not exactly.

What I do mean is that unlike many people who have a film blog -- I think there might be one or two others out there -- I don't just see the movies I'm geeked to see. I'm not just interested in telling you why the Coen Brothers' most recent movie is awesome (especially because it isn't). I'm also interested in telling you about The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Because I'm a critic, I see lots of stuff you don't see. Stuff you might be sort of interested to see, or at least know something about, if it weren't going to cost you $12. Or stuff you would never want to see, but have a trainwreck fascination in because it seems like it would be so horrible. That's some of my favorite stuff to review, in fact. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise -- the movies that are total crap are the easiest to review. Often, I've got a potential first sentence or two written in my head even before I press play. Of course, just as often, the movie ends up being better than that, and I change course -- or, on occasion, even worse.

So if you want a film blog written by a person who wants to show you only how deep he or she is, how able to seek out the most obscure foreign releases he or she is, or how ready he or she is to turn up his or her nose at crap, this blog may not be for you. If you want someone who will sometimes do those things -- and sometimes tell you you should actually see the movie Sex Drive -- then you've come to the right place.

One last piece of business before I go. I'm not very excited about the appearance of this blog at the moment -- and if you are reading this at some future date, hopefully this comment will already be outdated, and I'll have something fancy I can be really proud of. But getting just the right look has already stalled me for almost a month, so I might as well just get going and fix it up later when I learn some additional tricks.

Okay, I'll shut up now. Anyway, thanks for stopping by.


Comity Central said...

Vancent Price-

Inspector Gadget rox. As does Cable Guy, of which I recall you liking and writing a fantastic raveful review. "Caaaablaaaah Gooooglaaaah!" Big ups to you--bucking the trend and sticking your neck out. Great blog.

Am I really your budy?

Comity Central said...

Okay... posting again... not meaning to be a bastard and clog up your wicked awesome site with my own two cents but I need to temper my you're-so-cool posting from a few minutes ago. Just because you don't understand the Coen brothers' brilliance doesn't mean that "Burn After Reading" was a disappointment. On the other hand, perhaps you need to be a Washingtonian who has been "Malkoviched" (or "Coxed" if you prefer) at some point to understand its splendor.

Paul said...

I bookmarked you. Happy?

Bryan Arthur Williams said...

Love your new term! It reminds me of some of the tortured etymologies created by the West's first "audients", the Greeks. As long as you aren't disclosing your name, then I will use my *full* name in the comments section!