ABOUT film reviews
Most film reviews focus on plot descriptions, casting, acting and production details. The ones you find here are more interested in discussing film in relation to the social, cultural and political landscape. They focus on a film’s context, theme, genre, and how cinematic techniques help or hinder its message. They also explore how the story contributes to our understanding of the human condition and whether it offers a re-hashed or new perspective on life. Film criticism contributes 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. If you are interested in film criticism you might enjoy my paper titled “The Origin, Purpose and Future of Film Criticsm”.
ABOUT me 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 senior academic and a professional photographer. I have three Bachelor degrees (in sociology, psychology, media and 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
With so many movie eras, niches and waves out there, why does this blog emphasise current movies? Film is one of the most hyper-linked artforms on the planet; every film is connected in some way to every other film through technology, culture, theme or history. You can jump into the vast ocean of film anywhere you like and there is a label for every taste: the silent era, Hollywood classics, the post-modern, European avant-garde, and so on. I enjoy watching the crest of new waves coming onto the shore, pushed by everything behind them. They are the current films.
I publish at least two reviews a week, ranging from 350 to 600 words. I use a five-star rating system based on a film’s narrative coherance, emotional impact, cinematography, and overall significance as a cultural artefact. The ratings are relative to other similar films in the same genre. 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