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Welcome to the month of March on Special Affects! I go by the name of Antithesis (or The Antithesis or DJ Antithesis, depending on context), and I’ll be the blog’s editor for the month. I’ve lined things up so there’s lots in store—allow me to take this opportunity to give you a little preview of what we’ve got coming up this month.

First off, a couple of month-long series: First Encounters and Soderbergh Mania!

First Encounters (#f1rst): Even though we’ve all seen lots of movies, there always seems to be some very important film that we just haven’t gotten around to (even if it’s available for streaming on Netflix). A lot of times, we will have heard and read lots of stuff about the film and maybe seen some still images or short clips, but we haven’t quite made it to the local cinema for the retrospective J or popped in the DVD to actually watch the film in all of its terrible glory.  So this series gives writers a chance to describe their first encounter with a well-known film, to describe if and how it met their expectations. Oh, and how it will transform their understanding of cinema—and life—forever. (Every Friday in March.)

Soderbergh Mania (#soma): To celebrate Steven Soderbergh’s retirement—or at least to celebrate the fact that he’ll stop making our other favorite directors look bad when they don’t release a new film every six months—we’re having six writers take a look at a favorite (or just particularly interesting) Soderbergh film. (Scattered throughout the month.)

Second, a couple of special weeks: SCMS Highlights and Justin Timberlake Video Retrospective!

SCMS Highlights (#scms): We’ve got a lot of folks from Pitt heading to Chicago for this year’s Society of Cinema and Media Studies conference, taking place March 6-10. The following week, a select few of these students (and perhaps one other very special guest), will be filling us in on the highlights, parties, and scandals that went down in the Windy City. Let the rumors of a Kanye West appearance begin…now! (March 11-15.)

Justin Timberlake Video Retrospective (#2020): If you didn’t know that Justin Timberlake is releasing a new album, The 20/20 Experience, on March 19, now you know. To mark this historic event, we’re looking back and catching up some of our favorite JT vids. Don’t worry, David Fincher: we won’t let “Suit and Tie” fall by the wayside. (March 18-22.)

And that’s not all! They call it March Madness—that’s Special Affects March Madness (#samm)—for a reason. We’ve got a couple of posts about Cinematheque, our graduate-student run film series, lined up; a recap of Tony Rayns’ February 27 talk at Pitt on its way; even more music video coverage finding its way to the site; and who knows what else? It’s gonna be awesome. As we like to say around the office during the month of March: More Brakhage, Less Brackets.

Let it begin!