Bernardo Villela is like a mallrat except at the movies. He is a writer, director, editor and film enthusiast who seeks to continue to explore and learn about cinema, chronicle the journey and share his findings.
It’s been far too long since I’ve posted here, but the ongoing pandemic has changed pretty much everything about everything. There have been times where I’ve felt the itch but not scratched it, so some housekeeping will have to be done to get this site more active again. First, some updates on year-end stuff.
Usually, around this time I will have announced the BAM Award winners and on occasion posted a film discoveries list. That’s obviously not happened yet this year, not only that I’m ill-prepared to start soon. Also, in recent years I’ve been scrambling and have come close to making what I would consider mistakes in my nominations as decisions have been made nearing the deadline. To avoid that phenomenon, and to give myself time to gather my thoughts, I will announce nominations on Monday, February 7th (the day before the Academy Award nominations) and will announce winners on Saturday, March, 26th (the day before the 94th Academy Awards).
My qualifying period will remain unchanged: January 1, 2021-December 21, 2021.
Film discoveries will be posted before then.
And I might be doing a 31 Days of Oscar series of posts again in March, and have considered rounding up films for Short Film Saturdays as I viewed quite a lot of shorts in 2021 (it’s what most of my Criterion Channel viewing was).
Other updates will follow, but at least giving myself the start of a new plan for this site will allow me to more easily balance this with my other writing interests (another update on that will follow). One thing I wanted to was to have more Film Thought posts, but I have forgotten to jot down some of my ideas in that regard, but it’s something I will most definitely consider.
In the meantime hold tight. Posts will come anew with greater frequency.
My last post on this page went live just after the pandemic. However, I wrote it before everything went upside down.
Most of the time during this year I’ve been either reading or writing to escape into fiction of my own creation and not. For a lot of the year I didn’t watch many movies, in the beginning watching movies reminded me that I couldn’t “go” to the movies.
I’ve recently updated my author page for anyone interested in my fiction.
As the pandemic has dragged on and I started to miss the ritual of watching movies I started incorporating it into my daily schedule. You can follow me on Letterboxd to see what I’ve been watching.
However, like many people what I gravitated to were comfort films or older new-to-me titles. What is under consideration for my annual BAM Awards skews more towards shorts this year, and I’ve not broken them down into considerations yet.
I’ll not do shortlist, but nominations on January 3rd and awards on January 10th should still happen.
I have no idea yet what they’ll look like and they might be bad like much in 2020, but for years I’ve come to realize that when you can’t see everything personal awards are more like a yearbook. You may feel differently in years to come, but this is how you felt and reacted at the time.
It’s been a craptacular year, I’ve not seen much, but I will try and celebrate what made it less so.
As I’ve had occasion to mention when I have happened to post this year: I am still here. Until late Spring (early Summer in the moviegoing calendar), I at least stopped by to say “Yes, I am still here, but here’s why I’ve not been as active…” that slowed to a halt after a guest post on Rupert Pupkin Speaks.
“Life finds a way,” can mean a lot of things and one is that it can get in the way a bit.
Much of what was occupying my time earlier in the year still was and is: much more fiction writing, some in preparation for the next volume of this series of short stories I’m working on and some for other pursuits.
I hope to be able to post more next year. One thing that spoiled me in 2017 and into early 2018 was that I had many reviews ready to post for older titles that kept the site active without my adding to the backlog of content. Maybe knowing I have to create the BAM posts will bring forth more posts afterward.
If you go over to my GoodReads blog then you’ll get the details and I’ll spare you them here. Another backlog I need to work through is save posts on Facebook and liked items on Twitter these will likely be the source of Short Film Saturday posts for the future. Yes, there will be more news tomorrow.
For a while at the start of 2017 I had a backlog of posts I had scheduled that could tide me (and you over) while I was sidetracked on other projects. As you may have noticed that backlog vanished.
For the second time ever I blew a blogathon contribution. I will attempt to make up that posting that piece by an alternate means be it here or elsewhere.
There are things in the offing and I will take a few days to keep you abreast of them. I’ll do them one at a time to not overload you.
The first thing that bears noting is that I am still tracking new releases viewed, you can track those best on my Letterboxd list. While I haven’t posted monthly or quarterly considerations lists The BAM Awards will be happening with the previously established deadlines in tact. The potential contenders this year (and yes It is a strong one) have been bolstered as I am now using MoviePass and I love it.
Recently two Blogathon posts went live here and here.
Now, I have two other blogathons to announce that I will be joining. First, I will be discussing Remember in a blogathon on Christopher Plummer’s work on SeanMunger.Com.
Next, I will join Movie Silently‘s Swashathon anew this time to discuss The Scarlet Pumpernickel!
Also to come in June look for further announcements here on the podcast I will be cohosting with Myron Schmidt called Ancient Slumber Presents Guardians of the Beam which is about Stephen King’s Dark Tower and all its lore.
More announcements as they may sense, in the meantime you should be seeing me around here more frequently!
Just a quick preview of what you can expect coming up on The Movie Rat in the next month or so.
For the second time I will be contributing to A Shroud of Thoughts’ Favorite TV Show Episode Blogathon. Last year I wrote about my favorite episode ofAlfred Hitchcock Presents. This year I will be contributing a post about an episode of You Can’t Do That on Television. My entry is already written and awaiting publication which will allow me to prepare for the following…
I joined Movie Silently’s Early Women Filmmakers blogathon writing about the career of Germaine Dulac. Leading up to this post I will likely have three short posts about her work.
Lastly, (for now) I also signed up for Speakeasy’s Great Villain Blogathon 2017. I will be writing about Frailty (2001), a film I’ve long been a fan of, and deserves a little more attention turned its way due in part to the far-too-soon demise of Bill Paxton, the director and one of the stars of the film. Plenty in mind for that one, so be sure and check it out.
I also write fiction. My February GoodReads blog entry on my works-in-progress can be found here. An update will be coming for march when there is a bit more to report. In the meantime, what I’ve written and published can be found on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Also, on my Instagram you can see some “behind-the-scenes” shots of my first painting unrelated to a film or a play in quite some time.
The 2016 BAM Awards have been announced. Find the nominees here and the honorees here and here.
The OA (Netflix)
Next there are blogathon announcements!
Typically, I’ve had the best results in limiting myself to one blogathon a month. First, for the O Canada Blogathon (2/3) I will be profiling the work of Brendan Meyer, whom you may have seen on The OA. His credits are myriad and varied and I’ll take a look at most (if not all of them), plus Brendan has been gracious enough to grant me a brief interview, which will be included.
Next up on (3/24) I will stick with a Canadian theme and write about the infamous “Adoption” episode of You Can’t Do That on Television for the Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon.
Come back as I’m trying to keep things varied and interesting here, y’all!
Recently I created a political blog on this domain to have as place to vent in that arena and free my focus for cinema, it would be cathartic. It will not be included in typical update notifications
Why the idea of a political blog, and doing more in general, has come back to the forefront of my thoughts is not just because of the unprecedented craziness of the 2016 election cycle but is one that’s a bit older and I’ve come to embrace.
Long before the lie of WMDs in Iraq was exposed I was debating doing a serialized story on a daily basis called Why We Fight giving a nod to the Frank Capra film series produced by the US Government about World War II. This version would have been about the nightmare I and others felt it would be, not to mention the tenuousness of our aims and the flimsiness of our pretense for war.
At that time, I had no platform to have it ready for, our involvement in Iraq was not televised to the extent that Vietnam was, so we didn’t live with it in the same way, and I would’ve run out of steam. Keeping a daily idea going from 2003 thru 2010, when active combat ended, is a bit like Sisyphus trying to get that boulder up a hill.
Perhaps the main reason that wouldn’t have been the most suitable idea for a series is that it would be a portrait of despair at a dystopian present with no prescription for remedy. Remedy is the operative word. There are dysfunctions in our democracy that we can cite until we’re blue (or red) in the face but unless we’re willing and able to discuss and push representatives for changes to try and address them it’s nothing but a bunch of bluster, I will add a bit about how to most successfully make that push today.
So that blog will be an attempt to seek active solutions. It will start with a pep talk tomorrow to get the dejected off the matt, and move into calls for action soon thereafter. In the meantime, enjoy this contribution for Music Video Monday.
“Life During Wartime” from The Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense directed by Jonathan Demme, a song whose lyrics have inspired stories of mine in the past and gotten me through some difficult days. Enjoy!