I thought I would do this in the lazy format of Q&A because it allows me to play the role of snippy and snooty interviewee for a change rather than gullible and strange interviewer.
Who are you?
I am the Canadian Cinephile. I am a member of the Online Film Critics Society.
What do you mean by Canadian?
I mean that I’m from Canada.
Does that mean you only review Canadian movies?
No. I review movies from anywhere and everywhere, including movies made from Michael Bay’s leavings.
What genres of movies do you review?
Everything from exploitation documentaries about birds to epistemological pornography starring Polish immigrants. You’d be surprised how many of those sorts of pictures are around.
What makes you special?
I don’t patronize. I tend to attempt to grasp the artistic vision of a film first, then analyze it in light of that rather than in light of whether or not something is my favourite.
I try not to be overly critical. Even the greatest works of art have their “flaws,” but a truly great piece will allow said shortcomings to evaporate in a haze of joy. Sometimes even the most flawed movies can be some of the best movies, as long as they reach that point of what Hitchcock would consider “pure cinema.” And when that happens, it’s one of the two most wonderful experiences you can have with the lights off.
What advice would you give someone who wants to review movies?
Watch everything you can get your mitts on. Don’t reject a film out of hand or just because it has Adam Sandler in it. Watch movies you think are going to suck and movies you think are going to be great. You’d be surprised how many times your preconceived notions turn out wrong. Be critical, but not so critical you render the act of enjoying cinema null and void. There’s a line between reasonable criticism and nitpicking. Find that line and try not to cross it. Except on Tuesdays. Do whatever the hell you want on Tuesdays.
Why do you review films/music/muffin recipes?
I think art is for anyone, but not everyone. I think that any individual, given the right information and the will to understand, can delve into even the most nebulous piece of work and find something to nurture the soul/heart/mind. My goal is to dig that out and to direct people to films and/or music and/or muffin recipes they may otherwise not have considered.
I didn’t like your review of my favourite movie. Where can I go to complain?
You can address any and all complaints to the head office.
Can I at least leave you angry or sarcastic missives in the comment section?
Of course. I don’t reply to weird non-starters or whiners. The reviews contained on this site reflect my opinion. I will support my opinion, but I do not expect agreement and I do not discourage disagreement. What I do expect is civility. I’m way past tired of “OMG you like that movie?!” bluster from tweens too small-minded to understand that their way of seeing things isn’t the only way of seeing things.
What about spoilers?
A spoiler is a revelation that ruins the movie, not the exploration of a detail in the movie. I have seen several critics accused of giving away spoilers when they confirm there’s a dragon in The Hobbit films. Spoilers are generally related to the why and how of things, not the things themselves. Giving away the ending of The Sixth Sense is a spoiler. Asserting that Steven Seagal fights vampire-things in Against the Dark is not a spoiler.
As stated by Roger Ebert, critics shouldn’t ruin the movie. That’s a remarkably easy rule to follow for reasonable people, but there will always be those who believe that the rudimentary discussion of Batman’s new suit constitutes a spoiler. And there will always be those who give away the whole shebang in their reviews. I try to follow the rule of courtesy and I hope readers will do the same. If you’ve found something you believe to be a spoiler in one of my reviews, let me know in the comment section and I’ll respond in 56 to 385 business days.
How can I send you my film for the purposes of a review?
Where else can I see your crappy reviews?
Check out my entirely outdated Blogcritics portfolio here and work through my Something Else stuff here. I am also an official soldier for the Cinema Sentries, which is neat and dangerous all at once. All work is original. All typos and errors are my own.
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