A couple of weeks ago I got an email from the publisher of a new website looking to compile surveys about tastes and opinions from various critics around the country. I debated whether or not to spend the time answering, since the site is a little rudimentary and obviously not very many critics have bothered to respond, but we know about my weakness for self-promotion, plus I love talking about myself, so in the end I couldn't resist. For those of you who care, and aren't already my good friends in real life (that probably makes about four of you), you can check out my highly entertaining and informative answers here.
The other cool thing about having my attention drawn to this site is that it introduced me to the work of Phoebe Flowers, film critic for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. I have this jaded and probably entirely unjustified sense that I have a general familiarity with most of the worthwhile critics in the U.S. at this point, so to unexpectedly discover someone whose writing was so funny, clever and honest, and many of whose tastes and experiences seemed to mirror my own, was quite a pleasant surprise. Her reviews are sometimes a little daily-paper homogenized, but her blog is unadulterated genius, a mix of criticism and personal passion that's the opposite of so much of the detached film writing that I usually read and appreciate. And the survey that first caught my attention is here; all are worth checking out.