Monday, February 09, 2009

Best Film-Related Web Site, 2008

The House Next Door (70 points/10 votes)

"Like so many things, it all comes back to The New World. When The House Next Door first opened its doors (so to speak), it was as a forum for then-critic Matt Zoller Seitz to write about and champion Terrence Malick's epochal masterpiece, and that's how I first discovered the site. Having seen and loved Malick's film, I was desperate for someone to really engage with what Malick was attempting, and Seitz was doing it with a passion and clarity that is all too uncommon in film writing. Eventually, Seitz would expand the focus of his blog away from The New World, but his voice never wavered: eloquent, insightful, discerning but never unfair. He quickly became one of the writers most admired by legions of cinephiles for his clear love of the medium and his ability to make some seriously heady, in-depth analyses not just fresh and eye-opening but downright fun.

"If The House Next Door had remained Seitz's alone, it would still probably be getting some notice for this award. But after the tragic passing of Seitz's wife, he opened The House up to several other contributors who helped to keep the site running in his temporary absence. And it kept going from there: more writers were continually added to the roster, each with his or her own unique sensibility and voice. The site's perspective was broadened beyond movies into television, politics, music. Eventually it was Seitz's site only in name; he was the editor, but The House belonged to the community. This was borne out last year, when Seitz retired from print journalism to pursue a filmmaking career. He stepped down, handing control of the site to editor Keith Uhlich, who has brilliantly maintained the project Seitz begun, adding more writers and helping to foment the site's reputation as the absolute best our new media culture has to offer: community and free thought as an aid to, rather than an inhibitor of, intelligent discussion. It's a place where Spielberg and De Palma can be discussed just as critically as Jia or Costa, where Speed Racer is just as worthy of serious thought as Flight of the Red Balloon, where it's okay to diss The Dark Knight, and where a sophomore film student studying abroad can get a gig covering the Cannes Film Festival just by shooting the editor an e-mail. What started as a house has become a neighborhood." ~ Matt Noller

Internet Movie Database (56/8)
Roger Ebert {includes Roger Ebert’s Journal} (50/9)
The Man Who Viewed Too Much {includes Listen Eggroll} (46/7)
The Screengrab (41/7)

Click here for complete results


jahs34 said...

no votes for the film experience?

Paul C. said...

Nathaniel's a Muriels voter, so he's ineligible. Otherwise I'm sure he'd have gotten plenty, along with other blogosphere luminaries like Dennis Cozzalio and Jim Emerson.

Kza said...

I daresay this category could use ten slots next year.

(I say that like I'll actually be voting.)

jahs34 said...

But aren't you one of the collaborators of Screengrab? it should be ineligible too.

Matt said...

Only three votes for Mr. Theo? Self-congratulating, sometimes boorish omnibus blog better than Mr. D'Angelo (and I say this even though one of their major contributors is a personal friend)? Only one person for the provocative Slant? Explain buds etc.

(Disclaimer: I neglected to vote for this category.)

Paul C. said...


I am indeed. The rules for this category stipulated that sites that are run by a Muriels voter are ineligible for this prize. If a Muriels voter is a one of numerous contributors, the site remains eligible.


That's democracy in action, I s'pose.

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

To the victor goes the spoils, then.

(I guess my potential vote for would have been slightly out of place.)

Paul C. said...

No, because Victor only got one vote. (rimshot)