Film journalism is for all intents and purposes split, with one general type aiming to be more objectively analytical, and the other aiming to provide evaluations based on entertainment quality and adherence to cultural/subcultural values. Or, to put it another way, one kind wishes to be more academic and intellectual (think Film Comment) and the other wants to be more casual and reflexive in an aim to be primarily entertaining (think JoBlo.com).
Both sides have nuanced philosophies about various kinds of movies, as well as the film medium in general. And because of these differences, many biased readers think the two are diametrically opposed. This website will be a venue for reconciling both schools of writing.
Our main concern will be with what is interesting – in any way – about movies and their relations with various cultures. Typically, we only bother to remember the movies we find the most interesting, whether they are good or bad. And so instead of trying to shape our readers’ tastes, we will work to feed and inform their interests. This means that contemplation is key, and thoughtless reflexivity is unacceptable.
How We Review Movies
Importantly, as a way of equalizing our attitudes toward various film cultures, review grades will no longer be determined on a scale from bad to good, but on a scale from uninteresting to interesting. Therefore, a grade of “A” will be given to films the reviewer deems utterly fascinating, a grade of “C” for films deemed interesting in only some respects, and so on. The shift to this new scale is an important step towards both limiting the cultural biases of reviewers for the sake of stronger analyses, and limiting the potential for ostracizing disagreeing readers with the inherently heightened subjectivity of more entertainment-driven reviews.
All in all…
What this website is meant for is to be a place where films and film-related issues are given more than just fleeting attention – whether positive or negative. We will provide considerable thought, contemplation, and deliberation.
Not every film can be given such concentration, nor does every film deserve it. But we shall do our best to acknowledge those films which are of significance – for better or worse – today, yesterday, and tomorrow.