Film Reviews

Disclaimer

Principles

  1. All opinions about an art product are subjective. Although what makes a good film is based on some rules of filmmaking and storytelling, a well-made film may not have a good story or a good plot may not be well-made.
  2. I try to be as fair as I can but all markings are unfair from a different scale or standpoint.
  3. I may like a film for its:
  4. Story-Plot (screenplay)
  5. Characters (complex, fresh, fun to watch)
  6. Tone/Style
  7. Production Value
  8. Acting/Directing or I may like some or small parts of the film only such as the music, a sequence, some dialogues, one side character, a portrayal of someone real, a stylistic choice, a unique outlook - you name it. I may find something beautiful in a bad or badly-made film.
  9. Filmmaking is one of the most collective forms of art and business. The films we dismiss as bad films are the products of many people's hours of work. I value that. I appreciate that. I applaud that. When I criticise a work, I don't criticise its makers' personalities, I solely focus on the work. Yet, the filmmaker's remarks, intentions, outlook on life can be important and relevant in certain cases.
  10. I always have a preference for comedy. Yet, drama, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller follow closely. I used to like horror as a kid. I started to like it again but I do prefer fantastic elements in a horror story. The grotesque, the peculiar, the fun bits.
  11. Expert opinion is important. Audience reaction is important. At the end of the day, you remember what a story/film makes you feel. I do not discuss tastes except when I am satirising them.
  12. Why review films then? To remind others and myself of them. To remember the good stories later. To help show my students and those film buffs what makes cinema magical.
  13. Yes, looking at film from a more scholarly/scientific direction can at times kill the buzz but if you love movies, you keep loving them. I mostly look at films from a writer, then a visual artist, then a scholar point of view.
  14. Discussing films with friends who aren't in film industries is not always fun because many people want absolute answers like "That film is crap!" or "Why did they make another space drama? It's ridiculous", but that's usually not how I view films. Film is open to everyone - nobody owns films, truly. So what you make out of a film and what you don't is up to you. We'll sure have our differences as professionals and as film lovers. It's good to be aware of the difference. I'd rather simply enjoy films. Watching them doesn't automatically make one an expert in cinema just like reading medical articles doesn't make you a health expert.
Didem Durak Akser