month it seems like I get the following question in some
shape or form from filmmakers: "Why publish film critiques
online for everyone to read when many of the films for which
you critique don't have distribution yet?"
implication is that, if someone reading a critique hasn't
seen the film, they can't learn anything from the critique.
This is very erroneous thinking.
heard the old quote from Ecclesiastes, "There is nothing
new under the sun." Many creative people think that
this means that you can never create anything new, which
they find very depressing. While the argument over newness
versus perspective can wait for another editorial, the saying
actually tends to imply more that there is no new failing
but what is common for all men (and women).
if that's true about the human condition with so many different
careers and different drives, how much more true is that
about filmmakers who share a similar desire to create? Since
filmmakers have a limited number of mistakes that is possible
to make in the realm of film, it stands to reason that highlighting
these mistakes when they come up helps other filmmakers
realize they are not alone and gives ideas of how to correct
is the reason we post our critiques online for all to read.
If each filmmaker would read each critique we write in this
magazine, he or she would learn so much from others' successes
and failures that it would truly amaze them.
this is not because the writers on this magazine are all
geniuses (although I have heard rumors that we have a few
MENSA acceptees in our midst), but because there is something
powerful about learning from one another. Too often we're
so absorbed in our own projects that we don't look at what
others are doing and learn from them.
lasting historical proof of the impact of critiques, one
need only look at any Bible-based church. One of the largest
sets of teachings in the Bible comes from a guy named Paul,
who used to murder Christians and then became one. His teachings
almost exclusively come in the form of critiques he would
write to churches in far off lands. To this day, we can
only speculate as to what exactly was occurring in those
churches, but these critiques provide advice that millions
of people still learn from to this day.
that, my fellow filmmakers, is why we publish film critiques
for all to read.