“Cinema is not the station. Cinema is the train.”
There’s a lot to like about movies. They’re the most entertaining entertainment. They’re the art form that involves all of the arts. They reflect our culture and define it in ways known and unknown.
Movies are the subject of widespread conversation and intense debate. You don’t have to scour Twitter or even go to the second page of Google search results to get an opinion on a new film.
Part of what I love about film is that it is so popular, yet offers so many hidden treasures. We all have different favorites. We will never all agree on the greatest movie of all-time. A lot of them are products, but something about sitting in a dark room in front of a giant projected image convinces us that they’re worth thinking about deeply. And they are.
I truly fell in love with film criticism when I realized that writing about film should be writing about all of life. Politics. Art. Religion. Science. Philosophy. Sociology. They all become relevant when we begin a discussion about the movies.
There’s been a lot of concern in the last decade from film critics and cinephiles about the future of film writing. The Internet, in its transformation of the world of journalism, seems to have laid waste to professional film criticism. By reducing the number of print newspapers and allowing everyone to publish their own opinions, the World Wide Web has both democratized the world of cinephiles and devalued the professional movie review. Film criticism, it has seemed, is on the verge of becoming irrelevant or, even worse, disappearing.
I once heard the following advice from a writer:
Write what you want to read, but that no one else has written.
It’s difficult (and maybe impossible, we’ll see how this goes) to be completely original when writing about film, but I aim to write with this truth in mind: film writing is about everything. You might see some of my reviews from a few years back whilst waltzing around this site; they were not written under this philosophy. I have since come to the realization that great film writing can remain both relevant cultural commentary and engaging journalism by looking at the movies through the lens of life. It harkens back to seeing these ultra-expensive products as works of art. And that brings us back to the magic of it all.
Thanks for reading.