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The modern movie age has become a cycle of hype more than an appreciation for film itself. I chalk it up to the mainstreaming of the nerd class and the ubiquity of the Internet. Film culture online is rarely about the films themselves, but the industry and hype surrounding them. I fall prey to it, as well. It disturbs me, though. For about half the year, all anybody cares about is how the films of the Summer will stack up. Once that’s over it’s just a big race to see which films get the most acclaim and awards. If any of these two seasons is better, it’s the awards one, mostly because the good films tend to stick around in the consciousness more, giving them more time to find an audience. The Summer season is altogether a different story. Almost the opposite, really. Months—sometimes years—of hype lead up to one short weekend, the discussion explodes for roughly a week, petering off through the next week, and nearly disappearing after that.

Take a look at this summer, for example, which arguably began early in the Spring with the release of The Hunger Games. In fact, we can start even earlier, with John Carter. Pretty much since that film’s release, the two or three-week cycle has played out like clockwork. It’s partly a sign of a year with many big releases, but it’s also an illustration of how Internet culture works. There are several stages, but essentially they come down to: The Hype, The Pre-Release Buzz, Release, Taking Sides. Click to read more.

Jessica, the wonderful Swedish blogger at The Velvet Café, sent me some link love the other day. And not just any link love. Apparently Jessica had received “nominations” from a couple other bloggers for something called The Liebster Blog Award. Basically, it’s a pay-it-forward type of award. One blogger selects four or five blogs as “nominees” that they’d like to highlight, and then each of those five selects five more. I’m not always into these chain blogging things, but this one is an exception. Paying the love forward seems like a great idea to me. So hit the jump to check out my nominees for the Liebster Blog Award.

Click to read more.