WARNING: The above heading does not denote an espionage themed month on the way ("September Spies" anyone?) but the end of an era, the ten years and five days that this humble film blog has been online. After this posting, the movie theatre cash register that is Cashiers De Cinema is due to be counted out and closed for good. Or, at least, a very long time.
I'd planned to do this final post on September 6th, 2015, the exact 10 year anniversary. But, as so often happens, regular life got in the way. Then Labor Day. The plan was to turn my attentions away from this blog to other more important labors on Labor Day (I do love a good holiday theme). There are two nearly finished novels screaming for my undivided attention by the end of 2015. Also, actual labor (no, I'm not pregnant). I'm on the hunt for a more rewarding jobby-job. By "rewarding," I mean creatively restorative and financially remunerative, unlike what Cashiers de Cinema has become...a time and energy suck, an occasionally therapeutic enterprise for myself and a mild diversion for a tiny handful of stalwart readers (hey, some dude in Germany loves me!). In short, I need to stop watching so many goddamn movies for absolutely goddamned free.
Some background for those new to the site (and who don't click away before they get to this part), a Cashiers Highlights Reel before I go. This blog began as a dare, an impossible mission to watch a stockpile of films I had gathering dust on VHS while learning this new self-publishing technology they called BLOG. I gave myself the task of watching 120 of them between Labor Day 2005 and the end of that year. I came close, made it to 100 (that life thing getting in the way again). At the time, the blog wasn't called Cashiers De Cinema but simply linked to my name and Yahoo! email address (now defunct). The entries/reviews were basically all text. The Cashiers concept came later in 2010 along with more visuals, monthly themes and employees, a slightly better banner head, even occasional GIFs.
Each year, I also managed to pony up a Year's Best/Worst List. Take a look at the right side Menu if you want to browse a few. No matter the year, it seemed I kept ADDING to my list of movies to see instead of knocking it down. What started out as a muddy-pictured VHS experiment eventually morphed into one of better resolution and proper aspect ratios on recordable DVDs. Then, in the last few years, to pristine digital copies consigned to USB. It turns out I'm an obsessive collector, an addict of sorts. By last count, I have in the neighborhood of 2,000 DVD movies at home in flipbooks, roughly 500 I still have yet to watch. So, at the rate my addiction is going, this blog could easily continue forever. That's simply not going to happen. I'm putting my foot down. My "hobby" has gotten out of control.
So then what comes next for Cashiers? For starters, I'm going to leave this site up at least for the rest of the year until I decide what to do with it. I may eventually fold many of the reviews into another site to come or just leave it as is for interwebs posterity. It's possible I may come back to it sometime in the future with occasional mini-marathons stretched out over longer periods of time. There are still TONS of directors I haven't delved into (Ken Russell, Alex Cox, Bertrand Blier to name a few) and a bunch on the right hand side Directors menu that I would like to further investigate (Fulci, Deodato, Boetticher, etc.). There are also a lot of unexplored themes..."Cons and Capers," "Space Camp," "Dirty South," "Holiday Horrors," and even the "September Spies" month I lampooned. One of the problems of operating a (free) blog with a different theme every month is there's just not enough viewing time to finish out filmographies before the month turns over. That, and the fact that I have to scrounge up a new photo of a movie character near a cash register every month. There aren't as many out there as you think. Look around. Seriously.
In addition to the monthly turnover, the particular format I've chosen has mostly prevented me from doing what I'd call more "deep dive" reviews. What started out with slightly more serious cineaste intentions has devolved into something closer to quick thumbs up-thumbs down style capsule reviews, the type I don't really enjoy reading myself. Less New York Times and more New York Post, and I do apologize for that. It's true this blog's title is a playful stab at Cahiers du Cinema, the influential French magazine started by Godard, Bresson, Chabrol and Truffaut. It was never meant to take itself too seriously. But I would actually like to indulge in some more serious film criticism at some point, or least a more lengthy, personalized examination of certain favored directors mentioned so many times on this blog (Peckinpah, The Coens, Cronenberg, Kubrick, Lynch, Mann, DePalma, Tarantino).
And what about that end of year Best-Worst List? I've already done ten of the suckers. Would you like my firstborn too? It's possible one will pop up around December 31st, 2015, who knows. Though I'm cutting down my movie diet for the remainder of the year, I'm sure I'll catch a few more before year's end, films that I can't help but champion or excoriate in written form. And where else would they go but here? I'll admit I'm kind of excited for the new J.J. Abrams Star Wars, though I'm ten times more excited for the one following it in 2017 directed by Rian Johnson and starring Benicio. I'm banking on that one being the Empire Strikes Back of the new bunch, or at least better than Phantom Menace.
But who am I to criticize? If this site proves anything, it's that I see them all, the good and the bad movies. I've been involved in the makings or almost-makings or complete non-makings of some good and bad ones myself. This blog was born out of heartache, a literal heartache (a Los Angeles relationship gone bad) but also the spoils of several disheartening years in Tinsel Town. Cashiers has been an attempt to keep one of those loves alive, my love affair with "Lady Cinema." If you've clicked on this site purposely or accidentally sometime in the last decade, I hope it has in some small way helped you keep your heartfires stoked for her, too.
Matt Burch, "Head Cashier"