Margaret is the creator of Cinematic Corner, a close runner up in the Best Layout category of my recent Rorschach Awards. Margaret’s fun and spirited writing style has made her one of my newest Go-To Bloggers. I highly encourage you to check out her site if you haven’t already; look for reviews, actor spotlights, and a good deal of interesting segments like Visual Parallels.
Rorschach Reviews: Most bloggers start out as simple Cinefiles with a lack of people to share and compare opinions with. What specifically pushed you to actually start your own movie review blog?
Margaret: When I was in high school I participated in a lot of contests for best review. I actually won some of those, which made me think that maybe I should be doing more of that. I always loved films and I usually notice all the little things and tiniest details in them, that’s why my reviews tend to be quite long. Anyways, after posting my reviews on few different websites over the years, I finally decided to set up my own blog last year.
RR: You do a lot of reviews, but you also have a lot of editorial/specific categories of posts like the one you recently did on Ralph Fiennes. Which kind of post is your favorite to write and why?
M: My favorite posts to write are definitely reviews. It just comes so effortlessly – when I watch the movie I always have specific thoughts about it, especially when I love or dislike something in it. I love taking screencaps to use in reviews too, sometimes there are so many gorgeous shots in the movies I actually have trouble choosing just 6 or 7 that will end up in reviews. Visual Parallels and Performances I Love posts are fun to make too, but they take a lot of time as I always need to rewatch the films to find all the little things I’m looking for to write about in the posts.
RR: I feel the same way about my “Polish that Turd” series, they’re a lot of fun to write but they require so much extra thought and time that I rarely have time to fit them in. It’s interesting that you mention screencaps, I use them in my own writing quite a bit. Have you found that using screencaps and other such images have helped boost your blog’s viewership (i.e. how many times you pop up in google images searches on your stats page)?
M: It does help a little, yes. Funny thing – I found that the most searches are for specific actors and since when I like someone I tend to write about that person a lot, fan girls of specific people often end up on the blog, since there are so many gifs and images. I get a lot of hits from search engines, but I get the most from various forums and imdb boards, places where I post almost every day.
RR: It’s very impressive that you are able to not only keep up a review blog, but also to spread your name out so effectively through so many mediums. As a blogger, it always seems like about half of my time is spent creating content, and the other half on trying to get people to actually see it. Compared to the amount of work you’ve done, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
M: Thank you! I I’ve been posting on imdb for years now, so it was only a matter of adding my url to the signature, but it manages to send some traffic to the blog. I spent the most time reading other people’s blogs – it’s such a continuous source of inspiration, the ideas people have and the posts they write are all so different and fun to read. I think I’m most proud of putting together my hidden images in Black Swan post. It’s my favorite movie and I really wanted to get people to see some things they may have missed. Judging from the amazing response I’ve got, I succeeded.
RR: You are one of the few bloggers I’ve found who list such a recent film as their favorite, but I can certainly understand the choice. What are some of the things that made Black Swan your favorite movie?
M: I noticed that there are not many people who put a lot of recent movies in top 10. I never got that, I try to watch classics and some of them are in my top 100 but my top 10 is composed out of relatively new films. What made Black Swan my favorite is the way I connected with the main heroine and the story. There were a lot of similarities between me and her and I felt as if the film spoke to me. Also it has all the elements I adore – the subject of obsession and competition, ambiguous moments, body horror and beautiful soundtrack.
RR: I couldn’t agree with you more. Arronofsky left me a bit unenthusiastic after Requiem for a Dream, but Black Swan was incredibly disturbing in the best sense of the word. Portman absolutely deserved the Oscar and I was happy to see it given to her. If you personally could give out the best actress award for this year, who would you give it to?
M: Glad to read you like the film too! I’m not Portman’s fan, but she was a perfect choice for the part and she definitely deserved to win. That is actually a tricky question – I find the best actress category this year to be the one I’m the least interested in. I haven’t seen the two front runners yet – Chastain and Lawrence – in their films. From what I’ve seen, my favorite performance by an actress this year was Noomi Rapace in Prometheus. She really created an admirable heroine I was rooting for. She was both subtle and bad ass in the movie.
RR: Good choice, I think her and Fassbender were the best thing about that film aside from the dazzling visuals. I think my low opinion of it came more as a result of my expectations for Ridley Scott than anything. What are a few Oscar categories for this year that you are in fact interested in; or at least which actor/director are you most rooting for?
M: I’m a huge fan of the Alien franchise, I think that was a big factor in me liking the movie – seeing all the similarities to the story shown in Alien and how cool the expansion of the universe was. I’m rooting for Anne Hathaway, I haven’t seen Les Miserables yet but she is my current win for The Dark Knight Rises. She is such a talented actress and the role of Fantine is heartbreaking, I’m sure she delivered great work. I’d also love to see Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning Oscar.
You can catch up with Margaret at Cinematic Corner or follow her on twitter at @lady_sati