This is my last film column for the Daily.

Yes, the obvious thing to do is self-congratulate or self-flagellate. But hear me out. This really is it for me, and I didn’t get to say goodbye in the Daily’s annual senior farewell last winter, so this is it.

I’ve been here for four years, which includes three chances of getting canned, two letters to the editor about me, one position as an editor and one semester of having a column. I’ve published more than 150 pieces for this newspaper. I hate to say the sappy stuff, but the Daily’s been the love of my life.

Oh lord, separation anxiety is kicking in. Print journalism and film criticism is hurting. No. No! There will be no “Jerry Maguire”s here.

I just want to get a couple of things out there before I write out my ideal ending. I love movies, which probably makes me the same as you. I don’t profess to know more than anyone. I hope I was never condescending to anyone. I just have an opinion, like you.

I’m an Art & Design student. I’m not a pothead finger-painter. Neither are my friends. I’m a dude who truly believes in visual literacy as the best possible stomping ground for people to engage with each other. To alter Billy Crudup’s “last” words in “Almost Famous”: I dig movies. Sure, I dig my used Criterion DVDs, countless screenings of “Ghostbusters” and random writing about all that stuff. But it means nothing without having people with which to share it.

So, to any and every person that’s read my junk over the years, thank you so much. Dave. Kristin. Bloomer. Paul. Caroline. You were members of the Daily who nurtured me from a wreck to a reckless writer. Family and friends? Well, duh. And anyone who took the time to actually comment on, criticize, e-mail or just talk to me about my thoughts on movies, you’re what meant the most to me. Oh, and in response to the commenter who told me — or rather, my mom — that I should stop writing? Nah.

This is almost all I can do.

Now that I’ve required more Kleenex to dry my tears than “Terms of Endearment” needed, I leave you with my ending. Laugh, sure, if you need to, but I learned how to write screenplays for this moment. And this kind of an ending is a bit more chipper than you think.

PAGE 232


Blake’s last Sunday Arts meeting at the Daily has ended. The small crowd of writers disperses into its subsections: Fine Arts, Music, Film and TV/New Media.


Blake stares around. No audible sound. He does his last reads on reviews. Still no sound. It’s routine by now, but it happens faster than it ever has before. He’s done.


Blake stares out the window. He looks like he can’t bring himself to leave. One of his editors appears.

EDITOR: Hey Blake.


EDITOR: Four years huh?


EDITOR: What’s next? You going anywhere? Jobs? School?

BLAKE: Dunno.

They walk down together. Camera tracks behind them.

EDITOR: Hey man. You’ve done a lot here. Stop moping about not being the “best writer,” or being insecure about all the people who were your editors. It’s whatever. Screw it. You’re our writer. You wrote a hell of a lot.

Blake is standing at the door. Think “The Searchers.”

BLAKE (sullen): I could’ve done more …

EDITOR (comfortingly): You’ve done too much. Forget it Blake, it’s the Daily … Take it easy. Write on.

Blake stands in the doorway visibly aching still. Editor walks off. Blake rubs his shoulder, uncomfortable with the thought of not being able to write for this thing anymore. Pause.

INSERT CUT: Blake, freshman year. Skinnier. Optimistic. Getting chewed on for his review for “Doom” the movie.

INSERT CUT: Close-up. Blake’s face. He smirks. Like his awful headshot.


Blake runs up to his Batpod. Hops on.

CUE “A Dark Knight” by Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard.

Rushes down State street toward I-94. Camera’s behind the Batpod, and as Blake hits the off-ramp, he pumps both his fists.


BLAKE (v.o.): I can ride a bike? … Oh shi …


CUE “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.