Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Third Annual Report of Plutonium Shores

I'm normally not one to mark birthdays and anniversaries, or swoon over post-counts and hit-numbers, but this blog has reached the third year of activity today and I'm in a contemplative mood. No one is more surprised about this than me - there was never any plan, long term or otherwise when I set it up on that Saturday afternoon, Valentine's Day 2009, most likely it was something to kill a few minutes while some music was downloading in the background. But after I put out my first experimental post (a rough n' ready piece on Stephen King's Dark Tower saga), I liked the look of it and more followed...

The first header, a shot of Catherine Deneuve wearing a nightdress and a switchblade, from Repulsion. Featuring the mission statement - "Some words about films, music, books and other good stuff..." Honestly, that was the plan
Originally, the blog was intended as a sort of blogger's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, an ever shifting patchwork of personal interests and obsessions - Cinema, music, art, literature, astronomy, the music of Throbbing Gristle, the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, and the lives of counter culture figures like Aleister Crowley and Charles Manson. Pretty soon though, it was apparent that the focus had narrowed and I was concentrating all my writing on films. Occasionally, anomalies slipped through like a post about a John Cage album, which I later removed because it looked so weird sitting there sandwiched between a bunch of exploitation films - somehow I had moved into the ghetto of Cult Cinema writing, and now that my blog was made I had to sleep in it...


The second and third header - both landscape shots, the second a Caspar David Friedrich. Both short lived. "Some words about films, music, books and other good stuff..." but where was the music, and other good stuff ?
I often say that blogging is hard work, and for me it really is. When I put a post together, it's never an easy process, the thing gets bashed out and kicked around, chopped and changed endlessly before it goes out. I'm not a professional writer by any means, and it shows, but I think anyone who can stitch a few words together can communicate an idea or an opinion. No one should have to have a qualification to write. Having said that, I always cringe when I chance upon a vintage post of mine and I'm a little bit like Woody Allen in the sense that I never go back and watch my old movies. But I do remain proud of some things - the trainspotter's guide to the Apocalyspse Now Workprint, and a Watchdog style bit of detective work on some missing subtitles on DVD editions of Tarkovsky's Mirror. I think the 39 strong Video Nasties review series I ran was pretty good too. If I had to name two major influences on my writing, it would the brilliant UK film fanzine Shock Xpress, and Nathaniel Thompson, whose film reviews over at Mondo Digital are the best on the Internet.

The fourth header, featuring a shot of the demon mask from Onibaba. Finally a revised mission statement, "Going steady, deeper into Movies", shamelessly stolen from Pauline Kael
Aside from the creative kick I get from blogging, the long terms friends I made through these pages is the most satisfying thing about doing this blog - Aylmer, Jeremy, Jesper, Jon, Martin, Phil, the hardcore faithful who have kept up with me over the years. Thanks guys to each of you. (Your commentary always means a lot to me, but where are the girls?). Special mention also for the ever faithful Japanese porn site that's been spamming me with their links since I began. I promise one of the days I will post a link to their website where you can check out their bukkake and enema vids if you're that way inclined. When I started the blog I was so clueless - the blog was running well into a year before I discovered the Followers gadget. Also the name I chose for the blog has been a bit of a curse for me. The name was decided in the space of a minute during the blog set up (really it's one of those things you should sleep on), and came from a misquoted line in Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven, "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore" - I was sure no one would have made the same mistake (the damn thing is tricky to spell as well!) but now it seems there's a bunch of Plutonium Shores out there - so if you landed on this page expecting to see something about an investment advisory company from Milwaukee, you best go back to Google. We only deal in films here, mister...

22 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I hope I can last as long...

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  2. Many thanks dude. You've certainly made a good start. I've been enjoying your posts. Anyone interested in the darker side of Science Fiction Cinema should check out Black Planet. This is a brand new blog so head over there and give it your support.

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  3. Congratulations Wes on your third birthday, and let me say you're far too modest, I always find your posts to be amongst the best written of all the blogs I frequent, not to mention most interesting.

    I think it's shameful though that you've denied us the Japanese links you mention, been saving those for personal use?

    I know it can be hard work but I hope you stick around for years to come , it always brightens any day when I see a new Plutonian Shore post! Thanks Wes.

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  4. Thanks Mart, much appreciated, and way too kind ! As long you keep reading, I'll keep posting ! Yeah, that Japanese website has some pretty wild stuff but sadly it goes against my zero product placement/advertising policy. I am sorta, kinda planning a classic erotica season when I finally ditch the Hammer stuff so we'll see how that goes...

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  5. Hails to the Plutonium Shores - A great place to visit and an even better place to die!

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  6. ...but hopefully not from boredom ! Thanks J. !

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  7. Happy Birthdaversary, Wes. Here's to the next three years and more! And I love those old banners by the way. Very moody. :)

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  8. Many thanks James. Sadly I never kept the original banner I launced with, featuring the logo over one of Giger's Landscape paitings, but it was getting a lot of criticism from people I showed it too ("Dude, that's kinda disgusting") so I caved in replaced it with Deneuve...

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  9. Many thanks Ivan, and thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Wahey! A proper toddler now eh?
    But seriously well done mate. You should definitely be proud of the content and quality of what you've offered to the world, it's always top notch and there's a wealth of it that I have to get through yet!

    To misquote our friend JG Ballard:

    In a completely sane world, blogging is the only freedom!

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  11. Ah thanks Phil, much appreciated. To paraphrase another Ballard quote - Any fool can write a blog but it takes real genius to sell it

    Be sure to check out Midnight Video, the best Cult Cinema podcast on the Web, which Phil co-hosts - all shows are available for download at the website for your listening pleasure. Also check out Phil's C90 Sessions project, featuring fantastic futuristic sounds from the distant past...

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  12. Happy anniversary but really it's time for a Titanic 2 review

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  13. Thanks Kev, one of the days I will review that damn film, I promise !

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  14. I've really enjoyed reading your posts for the past year or so and look forward to reading more.

    You make me want to watch the films (good and bad) that you write about which is the mark of a great blog.

    Cheers, best wishes and keep going.

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  15. Many thanks Wynter, and much appreciated. I certainly will keep going as long as you keep enjoying it. Really, thanks for the great compliment...

    Be sure to check out Wynter's brilliant film blog CinemaScream, featuring excellent writing and eclectic content in equal measure...

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  16. Happy birthday. I often come to the site to read your reviews which then inspire me to follow up on the actual films even if I have already seen them in the dim and distant past. I recent example was buying all of the Quartermass tv and movie series.

    Oh and you know what. Only last month did I finally get those old laser discs out of storage that I promised to list to you about two years ago!!!!

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  17. Hey Jay, long time no hear ! Hope you are doing well, and thanks for the comment ! Yeah, I knocked the LD collecting on the head as it was turning into an expensive hobby, plus there's still a strong market out there, especially for horror stuff. Everytime I went to eBay snag a Texas Chainsaw Massacre or a Night of the Living Dead (the Japanese LD is a beauty) someone would outbid me at the very last second. Still, I can't resist a look on eBay from time to time (this morning actually!) - lasers are just so damn sexy...

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  18. Congratulations, Wes, on a fantastic site and I am glad to be counted as a friend. I second everything that's been said and just to tell you that it's been great sharing comments. You have taught me a lot, especially about Video Nasties! I look forward to many more posts. All the best. Jon.

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  19. Ah thanks Jon. Yeah, it's been great keeping up with you blog as well, I always look forward to your posts and your commentary on Horror Cinema is always fresh, inventive and illuminating.

    If you havn't caught up with Jon's blog, head over to Shocks to the System, a study of the ‘subversive’ strain of horror films produced in Britain and America from 1931 to the present day. Jon's blog is a companion journal to his forthcoming book Shocks to the System: Subversive Horror Films (How Horror Film Directors Challenged The Establishment by Breaking Taboos on Screen).

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  20. Damn, I'm late to the party!!! Wes, congrats on reaching this milestone, and may there be many more to come.

    You say that you aren't a professional or qualified writer, but your intelligent and articulate articles/reviews are for me a benchmark of excellence. Something to truly aspire to.

    Blogging IS hard work, and for me it's often like wringing blood from a stone. The idea to me of completing an epic task like your Video Nasties series is pretty much beyond my grasp.

    On a musical aside: I suspected when you mentioned "70s industrial" the other day that Throbbing Gristle would be high on the list. I like that you compare your early concept for the blog to Eno and Byrne's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. I truly love that album (unless you're referring to the novel of the same name, I haven't read it).

    My only gripe: Why don't I ever get Japanese porn spam about bukkake and enema vids?? I'm obviously doing something wrong!

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  21. Wow, I'm blushing here as I type this, many thanks Aylmer, much too kind ! Yeah, the Video Nasties series was a good day's work but most likely a fluke - I should have wrapped up that Hammer series ages ago, but my mind wanders... But what really impresses me is that you kept the mighty Unflinching Eye up and running even when you were dogged by ill-health - that to me is a far better achievement than some dime-a-dozen video nasties series.

    Yep, I'm a huge Throbbing Gristle deciple (and Eno too!), and I've often been tempted to blanket bomb the blog with TG stuff, but good sense prevails. Maybe one of the days I'll do something on the TGV DVD boxset but I know Industrial music is not everyone's cup of blood..

    Okay fellas, by popular demand, here's a link to some bukkake to get you all excited...

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