As my profile states, I am a student journalist at Fordham University with a penchant for film criticism. The school and local newspapers for which I have written reviews have afforded me invaluable opportunities to practice and develop my writing style. However, I still have attained relatively limited exposure, and I need another objective hand in my education. Therefore, I turn to you, fellow movie fans, to help me better understand the craft of criticism and to help me perfect my writing style.

Allow me now to explain my mission and to establish the format of this blog. Consider this my Declaration of Principles and do so with the knowledge that I will follow it far more than Charles Foster Kane did to his.

-Since I am seeing movies on my own dollar, I will not review every movie that is released. New movies will be chosen according to how big a release or promotion it receives, whether the subject or genre interests me, or on whether it is a type of film I have not reviewed recently. Reviews written at home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina will cover wide release movies, and reviews written in New York will include limited release films. Old movies I have not seen before will also be featured, and I hope to write new film essays or to upload revised versions of film essays from school.

-I will always strive to be professional, truthful, articulate and diverse in my writing. To be more specific, let me address a few facets:

-While there are elements of today’s cinema that annoy me, I will try not to draw attention to them every time they appear in a film unless it is an especially egregious example of them. I sometimes dislike the rapid editing and handheld photography of current action movies, but readers will not need to be told that every week.

- Humor will not be inserted for the sake of it, and I will strive to keep it in line. I would not, for example, call a movie a worst disaster than the Gulf spill. A quip like that would be untrue and subject to outcry from incensed readers.

-References to other movies or to different forms of entertainment will be appropriate to the movie being reviewed. I mentioned 30 Rock in my review of The Ugly Truth to name a better modern comedy with echoes of Pygmalion. On the other hand, I refrained from referencing Futurama in my Knight and Day review because that show features much less action than Knight does. When referring to something else, it will be something that can be considered similar to the movie in either style or subject matter.

-My opinions can be malleable. I may better understand a certain plot point or a whole movie after I think about it more or after I see it again. Some views will never change (I would never suddenly say Quest for Camelot is a better animated film than Fantasia), but more immediate verdicts can be appealed.

-This blog is meant to be a progression of reviews and discourse on movies. Any and all old reviews I have uploaded or will upload should serve as a starting point from which I will adapt and improve. Reviews will lengthen and become more analytical, my film glossary will improve, and bibliographic and cultural references will become more varied.

-My writing will hopefully become more personable. Roger Ebert often begins his reviews with related anecdotes, which help to make his response to the films at hand understandable. I hope to incorporate ideas like that so my writing will not just be a dry list of a movie’s pros and cons.

-Expect a slight bias towards animation. I have been fond of this art form since childhood, and I sometimes find it more aesthetically pleasing than live-action. For example, I probably would have given The Princess and the Frog some form of recommendation even if the movie disappointed me because I would love to see the return of hand-drawn animation. It may not be wholly professional, but nobody is completely neutral.

-Most of any lists I compile will be alphabetical. Ones that will have more than ten entries may be numbered. Every merit-based list will be thought out to the nth degree, but my decisions can be dependent on my mood or momentary disposition. I may like one thing when I am happy and find it annoying when I am grumpy. An alphabetical listing will hopefully give each entry its fair and neutral due.

Any blogger wants comments on his or her work (unless those responders are Internet trolls and spammers, of course), and in my case, I seek constructive remarks on how I may modify my style. Readers who like or dislike my writing are welcome to say why as long as they actually explain it and not simply state or shout it. I am also open to review requests and recommendations on books and writers whose examples I should follow. I would appreciate a tone of pleasant discourse and won't allow profanity or ranting of any kind.

With these provisos in mind, I throw my services to you the public. Let us build this blog together with respect for filmmaking and with the shared and enduring thrill of seeing a movie again or for the first time.


Post a Comment