The Week of The Dissolve soldiers on.
At this point, you may well wonder how much more I could possibly have to say. It’s not an unreasonable thing to wonder, but you may be surprised — I’ve actually been pretty moderate in my gushing praise so far. In my mind, I am a polite guest at a party, nodding amiably and praising the appetizers, helping bus the tables, making sure the elderly have chairs. Point being: I’m just happy to be invited.
Is that a ridiculous way to construe engagement with a website? In a word, “yes.” But in two other words, “also yes.” The answer, it turns out, is basically yes. Spoiler.
After Monday’s Keynote and Tuesday’s highlights, I wrote a bit, in general terms, about you glorious bastards whose comments both supplemented and constituted the site. Today, we get more specific.
One of The Dissolve’s defining features was its generosity — in scope and analysis, but also in participation. Its readers were often creators in their own right, and many others became creators afterwards. (I’d suggest this was not a coincidence.)
There’s a certain element of internet creation and engagement that shuts things down. I, personally, have often felt anxious about posting anything, because people will jump down your throat. Or you might read through things so overloaded with references you shake your head and decide you’ll never have a seat at the table — it just feels silly. Like, “How can I even get into this conversation? I don’t know anything.” The internet can be a dispiriting, shitty place.
The Dissolve, on the other hand, opened things up. It was an invitation. The prevailing sense, fostered by writers and mostly maintained by readers, was that there were plenty of seats, so calm down and come on in. If you saw a movie, then you have exactly as much authority as everyone else. Or, to get political on you, authority itself is the illness infecting the social body. As a person who exists, your viewpoint is worthwhile.
I was on BART last night, coming home from work. The seat in front of me had lots of graffiti scrawled on it. But the one that I focused in on was a simple statement, written in plain text with an exclamation point.
It read, “SAY IT!”
Here are some sites Dissolvers have been posting on, and some various endeavors. They represent a number of different avenues, and a variety of ways people have considered the mediated worlds in which they exist. I’d like to think they embody a particular kind of inquisitiveness The Dissolve itself fostered.
Please check them out and support them.
Thanks for efforts, folks. I know it’s not easy, and I’m so grateful you exist.
Without further ado, here are some things! If I missed you, feel free to self-promote.
- The Solute is the most overt offshoot of The Dissolve, as its name cheekily implies. Read all their stuff.
- Dissolver and Soluter (?) Michael Guarnieri has a thing in a book, which is pretty neat, if you’re into books or whatever I guess
- Check out Sam “BurgundySuit” Scott’s business
- And John Bruni’s. (Also, his book “Astonishment and Recognition: Observing Systems in the Films of John Cassavetes”, is under review at University of Fordham Press, and if you get a copy before me, please send it, because that sounds amazing.)
- The Dissolve Lives On features movies of the week, always well-curated and worth your time.
- The Making of a Superhero Musical
- Mason Maguire’s Compendium Review Page
- Zach’s Film Thoughts
- The Flip Side of the Coin
- Sean Duffy makes the films
- Aaron Armstrong and Peter Moran have a wonderful podcast, We Love To Watch. It’s terrific and the best and you should listen to it right now and I’m absolutely not just saying that because they had me on.
- Ethan Warren made a movie. See if it’s headed your way.
- Here’s an experimental short from Erik Jarvis.
- Marcus Jones’ Crushed Celluloid is one of my favorite things. It should be one of yours, too.
- Jason Ooi writes for The Playlist, but got his start over here.
- Tom Peeler points cameras at things and calls it art.
- Mike Vanderbilt writes for something called The AV Club, The Daily Grindhouse, Consequence of Sound, and Night Flight. He also hosts Drinks On Monday, if you enjoy drinking or Mondays, and Revenge of the Pod People, which is probably not as terrifying as it sounds. He also once made a movie called Space Werewolf, which finally answers the question I’ve been considering since childhood: what if there was a space werewolf though? Think about it.
- Joseph J. Finn, noted Dissolver and Person Most Likely To Have A Middle Initial, also has a podcast. It’s called Try It, You’ll Like It! You should in fact try it, and discover it is enjoyable for you.
- Kevin McLenithan is a staff writer at Christ and Pop Culture, which I assumed was a site focused on the Church’s views on soda advertising, but is actually more interesting than that.
- Michael O’Malley has a terrific blog.
- And Swampflix! Please read Swampflix.