Who are you?
I am the Canadian Cinephile. I also exist on Twitter.
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 love movies beyond a particular type or preference. I love how movies are put together, how they come to breathe on the screen, how they can exist in small $2,000 doses or in mass-marketed billion dollar bundles of noise. I try to find value in all forms. Sometimes that’s impossible.
I try not to be overly critical. Even the greatest works of art have their “flaws,” but a truly great piece will allow 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.
And when I offer “negative” criticism, it comes from a place of deep affection for the art of cinema. I want movies to be better. I adore film and approach criticism from the standpoint of hope, not the standpoint of mere affability or groupthink. I do not mind being a singular voice for a “bad movie” if I find the pulse in it and I do not mind being a singular voice against a “good movie” if I sense that it is simply a commercial for itself.
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 should note that I have never been paid for a film review, nor do I expect to be. You will not see me passing the hat or participating in any form of online begging in order to facilitate this website or my entirely voluntary decision to assess movies.
I am sometimes provided with review copies or advanced copies of certain movies, but there is no expectation of a certain type of assessment from said provisions. If a filmmaker or production company or distributor has any expectation of a positive or otherwise slanted review based purely on the method of provision, it’s best to move on.
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.
And what are your favourite movies?
I don’t know.
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.
© Jordan Richardson and Canadian Cinephile, 2007-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this written material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jordan Richardson and Canadian Cinephile with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Images are used under sections 29, 29.1 and 29.2 of the Copyright Act of Canada and are used for “fair dealing” practices of criticism, research and private study. No ownership of images featured on Canadian Cinephile is implied.