ABOUT my film reviews
Most film reviews focus on plot descriptions, casting, acting and production details. The ones you find here reflect the belief that films are mirrors of their social, cultural and political landscape. I’m more interested in the film’s context, theme, genre, and how the cinematic techniques help or hinder the film’s broader message. I’m interested to explore how the story contributes to our understanding of the human condition and does the film offer a re-hashed or new perspective on life. I also believe that film criticism has a role to play in contributing to film literacy and enjoyment of the artform. There are many different ways to review a film, and none are right or wrong. Reading a variety of reviews expands our understanding of film and enhances the visual pleasures of cinema.
My love of film spans several decades during which time I’ve had many careers and helped raise three much-loved children. I’ve had military and public service and have been a professional photographer and an academic. I have three Bachelor degrees (sociology, psychology, communications) two Masters and a Doctorate (politics). I’m currently doing a Masters in film studies. Please forgive me if I sometimes sound a bit academic; I try not to. I’m telling you all this because our background shapes how we see films and it might help to know where I’m coming from.
ABOUT my blogs
I publish at least two reviews a week, each under 500 words. I use a five-star rating system as a broad assessment of a film in the context of similar films in that genre. I consider narrative arc, emotional impact, and cinematography in asking what is the film’s context and what is it saying to us? My reviews pull no punches and do no favours. They are my opinions and mine alone. All feedback is welcome and thank you for visiting.
Richard Alaba, PhD
Member of the Australian Film Critics Association