What I (And a Fellow Critic) Take Out Of Film Criticism

What I (And a Fellow Critic) Take Out Of Film Criticism

Movie reviews are surprisingly akin to the rest of our lives in many ways.

The inception of my interview with one Emerson graduate and film critic, Evan Crean, was incentivized by a project for the speech class in which I am enrolled. What began as a way to speak to someone in my future profession and get a grade became enlightening on a level above any letter marked on a sheet.

My first encounter with Crean’s work was back in December, a week before we were let out for winter break. Emerson was holding a film criticism panel with Boston Globe critic, Ty Burr, and the man I interviewed, Evan Crean. Crean graduated back in 2008 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism, and shortly after found himself putting to paper his thoughts on film.

I took many a tip from Mr. Crean’s well-stated responses to my several questions. One such question requested the skills necessary to “make it” as a film critic. While most think of critics or reviewers as people who write their opinions, he expressed that the written word is not strictly the home of a critic's thoughts. Vocal communication is needed as well, especially for Crean, who hosts a brilliant podcast from his website. But aside from his podcast, he sat in on the previously mentioned film criticism panel at Emerson, in which he answered audience questions and spoke on criticism as a whole.

An equally important lesson I took from the interview was, in his words, “practice, practice, practice.” While even he recognized its now clichéd nature, he expanded, “The more you do it, the better you’ll get. Kind of like a muscle. With exercise, you build strength and confidence in your own abilities.” This is a fact not just for film criticism, but anything at all that you set your mind to. He then transitioned into the most formative piece of information he had to offer: be yourself.

That is, in itself, another rather clichéd statement. Who else can you be besides yourself? But it holds an immense amount of weight, especially when he divulged what that meant. He expressed that people will have differing opinions on your work, whether handled maturely and with constructive feedback in mind, or as a belittling child taking to the Internet to express their pent up aggression. Either way, stay true to yourself, because they are only your opinions, and opinions change. The personality that is brought into the review helps distinguish you from another. And like the last tip, this idea transcends film criticism to encompass most aspects of life.

Like most people at Emerson, I love film, and I love talking about film. But I am a writer first, so I’ve used my words to express my opinions on film via Odyssey, and on my own time. I believe film criticism is important. It allows your thoughts on a movie to be conveyed, while an audience has the ability to chime in, whether with their agreement or their denial of your claims. Either way, it opens up a discussion for one of the best mediums of entertainment: film.

I also believe that his website, which features a genuinely funny podcast and many different kinds of reviews, to be worthy of your time. Check it out, at reelrecon.com.

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To The Celebrities Who Didn't Wear Black To The Golden Globes

In a sea of black, red will shine through.

The Golden Globes were aired this past. If you didn't notice, Hollywood decided to coordinate their color dresses but some celebrities stuck out from the crowd like sore thumbs. The event was meant to advocate for sexual harassment and sexual assault in the entertainment industry and hoped that by making a statement with color, the message would be heard worldwide that women are no longer remaining silent when oppressed by powerful misogynists.

Maybe some missed the memo and decided to roll with it anyway, or they simply chose to remain completely separate from this highly politicized issue. Either way, the time and place for individuality may not have been a place dedicated to activism.

Blanca Blanco and Barbara Meier were among the few women who chose to wear red to the awards ceremony. People had some interesting things to say about it, too:

Some may have responded in rather funny ways, but the root of this issue is anything but humorous. These women made their statements as to why they chose not to dress in black, but people are not accepting these responses as valid.

Blanca Blanco simply responded, “I love red,” which not only refuses to address the actual issue of failure to support, but it does little to really explain her choice. If you ask a football player who refuses to kneel during the anthem why they do it, I’m sure their response wouldn’t be, “I like standing.” Every choice means something, and one can venture a guess that choices made by people of high fame are almost inherently political.

As entertainers and icons, it is important to exercise your voice and be heard and stand up for issues that impact the majority of people. To wear red when women supporting sexual harassment and assault victims are wearing black is not only disrespectful to the cause, it essentially states to these women that what they are advocating for is not worth supporting, or worse, is not worth acknowledging at all.

Cover Image Credit: NBC

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