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A new movie review posted every single day. That's the promise made by Alan Bacchus, the man behind the Daily Film Dose blog. The ambitious idea came from a blog he frequented, Daily Dose of Imagery. "It became part of my daily routine to check the 'photo of the day,'" explains Bacchus. "I thought Daily Film Dose could become a similar thing -- be part of people's daily routines, like checking the weather." And so, on February 3, 2007, he started the site, a day after his 32nd birthday. "I saw how privileged our generation was to have witnessed the birth of the Internet," he says. "I'd hate to be an old man and have to tell me grandkids that I didn't capitalize on this thing somehow and leave my stamp on the world."
Bacchus has kept his promise by writing a review every night before bed and posting it after a quick edit each morning. Well, almost. The serious cinephile admits to missing one day. "I was moving to a new house. It was a difficult and stressful day, and I just couldn't do it." But, in his own defense, he adds, "I've taken three vacations since starting the blog and I've managed to do a posting even when I'm out of town." Now he posts guest reviews once every couple weeks to give readers a new perspective and, frankly, to give himself a break. "The longest stretch I went doing one every day was 83 days," he says. Not that he minds doing it: "It's become part of my daily routine, so it isn't really a burden."
What films does he choose to review? "I try to be as random as possible," says Bacchus. Which is why one day, for example, you'll find a review of Chandu the Magician (1932) which he says is "a rare and underappreciated adventure film from the great period of early horror-adventure classics" and the next day you'll find a review of Burn After Reading, a Coen Brothers' comedy now in theaters. "I like to talk not only about why it's good or bad, but also where the film fits into the context of the history of cinema," he explains. If a film uses an innovative visual technique he says, "I'll make note of it for other techno-geeks like me." When time allows, he adds features like "Great Long Takes in Cinema History" (one of his most popular posts) or "Open Letter to Hollywood: No More Red Font Eddie Murphy Posters!" (one of his funniest).
Since he lives in Toronto and works full time in the Canadian film industry, Bacchus just spent a lot of time at the Toronto International Film Festival. "I was really busy, often staying up until 3 a.m. writing the reviews of the films I saw earlier in the day," he says. His favorite? Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. "It's a great crowd-pleasing film and should get some serious Oscar consideration." And he says the Lebron James documentary More Than a Game is "better than the revered Hoop Dreams."
He'd love to start interviewing filmmakers for the blog but, well, he's too busy. At least he can take pleasure in knowing people are enjoying his hard work. "I have a weekly newsletter with almost 500 recipients," he says and the site averages around 20,000 unique visitors a month. By the time he has those grandkids, they'll be able to read thousands of his reviews. Here's hoping they share his love of film!