In most of my daily correspondence here at MovieWeb, I spend a lot of time describing the site as an excellent resource for the "online film community," which has always, for as long as I've been saying it, sounded like a nice, tidy phrase to describe what it is we do here. But it's also a metaphor - albeit an often-overused metaphor - that speaks to the relationship between this binary ocean of source code and Flash and the long, sweeping streets of your average American neighborhood. And while the Internet as an entity has yet to develop into the free-thinking, no-boundary global community that many a sociologist had predicted, there is little doubt that there are hundreds of fully-developed sub-communities with like-minded interests floating about the ether.
Of which, we many movie-million, are one.
Film geeks, cinephiles, movie-lovers, film-fans. All of us congregate, day by day, around pages like these to revel in our small bits of cinematic information. Casting news, rumors, film and DVD reviews, Easter-egg secrets and insider info. It's where we come, I suppose. Our watering hole in this digital desert. And it's a great thing, to have this all available, detail after tiny detail, our daily summation of so many sources.
Except that, as you pull the camera back, high up over the rooftops of every home on Internet Lane, all the buildings all the cars, all the children and neighborhood house pets, all begin, little by little, to look the same.
MovieWeb. Aint-It-Cool. Dark Horizons. Coming Soon. Rotten Tomatoes. UGO. IGN.
And so on. And so on.
There are a ton of houses in this yuppie, suburban landscape, all of them California style ranches that stretch the horizon like a row of I-Robots or 1,000 Agent Smiths. Hop from one, to the next, to the next, and find the same six-sentence snippet again and again, straight from the pages of Variety or the Hollywood Reporter. Find the same new rumor passed down like a Pulp Fiction stopwatch, ushered from site to site like an eager game of telephone.
Cross your eyes and they all look the same.
Or so you could say.
Except that they don't.
I was raised on one of those blocks. People like pattern-repeating wallpaper, for miles and miles, where the fifth house down was mine except for the color. And from the outside-in we were all a mirror image of one another.
But from the inside-out, that image falters, pushes forward, lurches, clutches its chest and collapses, unmoving. Because a house is not a house that isn't made from the inside-out, with spirit and taste and history.
So ask yourself. Why do you come here? Why click here and nowhere else?
Hopefully, because you feel at home here. Because you feel that these world-wide-walls are the walls of your home, where the writers and the readers and all the masses milling in the message boards make up the unique texture of this place. Where your eyes like the layout and you care to contribute.
It's a house, yes, sure, like any other. With the same general purpose to which any such house aspires. We have, like all houses, a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room, a bedroom. But it's the inside that gives it character, that makes it live. That allows it a name different from any other.
Now, like anyone, I have my opinions of the other sites out there. Buy me a beer and I'll even tell you some day. But for the sake of community support and brotherly love, I'll leave my thoughts out of it for today.
Today, I'd only like to point out that we're all the same in about as many ways as we're different. And if you come here, keep coming. It'll only get better. Big things coming. But that's another secret for another day. Just keep your eyes tuned to these pages. And invite your friends inside.
So, what do you think?