Hi – Whitlock half of ‘Whitlock & Pope’ here. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything, so here’s a little ditty about how life got in the way and how I’m trying to get back into the action.
Pope and I started this in January 2014 after a few years of friendship, a couple of cross-pond trips (I’m the New Yorker, Pope is the Londoner) and several million movie quotes and offhand reviews passed between the two of us. And, like most friend interests, our film tastes form a Venn Diagram in which we both agreed on fundamental ideas of film (Michael Bay is a hack), while each having our separate pools of knowledge (Pope can lead you into the deep end of independent film, and I like to archive of Classic Hollywood films in my head). Based on our combined scope of knowledge, enthusiasm, and love of film, our goal was to put our thoughts and questions out there to be active voices in a community of film nerds and aficionados.
Movies have been an interest of mine since childhood – my mom introduced me at an early age to Billy Wilder and George Cukor and I’ve never looked back. Every aspect – from story development to film theory – is incredibly interesting to me (why, yes, since you asked, I did earn a minor degree in Film Studies that is really only utilized when I’m filmsplaining, to the bemusement of my parents). Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to spend long weekends at my own one-person film festivals, discussing the latest releases with friends over drinks, haunting movie discussion boards, attending film lectures, just sharing and learning and joking about movies.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “The road to hell is paved with the best laid plans of mice and men,” and thus life often gets in the way of things we promise ourselves we’ll keep up with. A lot has happened to distract in The Life of Whitlock since we started, including, but not limited to: falling in love, changing jobs, a new bundle of joy (canine edition), moving twice, serious illnesses and a surgery, lots of travel, the 2016 election, getting married, being stalked for months by a giant cockroach (probably the most stressful item on here).
Between the ordinary and the extraordinary, the wonderful and the horrible, I found myself (as many do) with fewer pieces of the pie to distribute. I pushed a lot hobbies, not least of all my movie-centric enjoyments, to the wayside. The willing trade-off of a wonderfully busy life (peppered with some unpleasant moments and a lingering sense of abject hopelessness over the state of America) eventually led to me wanting to just shut my brain off whenever I had free time. Many of my active interests were no longer on the schedule – the only time I’d go to see a new movie is when friends would ask me; if I said yes, I saw this “obligatory” time as a distraction from my original plans to stare into the void of bad reality television.
Eventually, I began to feel a general burnout; in searching for its source, I realized the irony of phasing out the “non-necessities” – the things I love are the things that keep me sane, no matter how inconsequential they may be. To keep the engine of adulthood running, I need to make pit stops and turn the radio on. I fell asleep last night to the sound of Audrey Hepburn singing “La Vie en Rose” and woke up with a spark in my brain to get back into writing about a thing I love.
Pope is quite busy of his own accord, but has done a far more respectable job of comprehensive movie-going. I give him full props for keeping our social media presence afloat. I lived vicariously through him and his recent London Film Festival photos, which I think helped remind me about how excited we were to start this blog together.
So I’m going to make sure I have something to write about at least twice a week here. Even though I’m a bit rusty, I hope this can be another champagne bottle hitting the side of our ship (you’ll soon learn that I love using seafaring metaphors), and an auspicious reset of our adventures in film writing. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading us.