Film Critics

A lot of people who are thinking of becoming film critics think that you have to have this encyclopedic and almost mystical ability to learn all the details of a particular film.

The Best Thing You Can Do When Watching Films

On the one hand, you’ve got a lot of people who are saying that CGI saves studios so much money because instead of real live actors and real-life sets, you just use CGI.

Critics’ Tricks

These people would rattle off all sorts of technical and production details just to let people know that they know what they’re talking about. To make matters worse, they would also sprinkle in all sorts of technical jargon to really bamboozle into thinking that they know what they’re talking about and so much better than the people listening to them.

These tricks can work with some people, but it doesn’t work for people who really know filmmaking. In fact, the best thing that you can do has nothing to do with your intimate knowledge of the production stories behind the movie you were critiquing. Instead, the best thing that you can do is to stop reading into it ahead of time. Understand that films are not one directional.

You’re probably wondering right now, scratching and thinking how can it not be one directional? After all, it was written based on a specific script based, performed based on a specific direction, and recorded at one particular moment in history. How can it not be one directional? When you put it up on the screen, it speaks to you, not the other way around. It turns out that this is not the case.

While it’s true that just like a book, the director and writer of the movie have a specific message for you, you can read into that message. You can choose to interpret that message in a wide variety of ways.

This is the interplay between viewer and film, just as somebody reading a book can read certain elements in different ways that lead to different directions and conclusions. You can do the same with cinematic and artistic expression, as exciting as this all this may seem.

There is one common mistake that people can’t help but commit over and over again, they read too much into what’s going on. They read and they read it to project it into the future of the film. In other words, they’re seeing all this action play out in front of them and they’re predicting how things will end. This is a problem because you’re not enjoying the story as it unfolds.

It’s supposed to be enjoyed in a moment-by-moment, in a second-by-second basis. People do this all the time because they actually commit many different sins. For them to do this, they came in with assumptions. They’re assuming that there’s going to be a happy ending.

They’re assuming that the knight in shining armor would take care of the damsel in distress. They are assuming that the three pigs will not get blown away by the wolf. Don’t come in with assumptions because your assumptions will undermine the power of the film. Instead, come in with a blank slate.

Come in with an open mind because anything goes. This sense of discovery and sense of possibilities are what makes modern film so much fun. If you come in with these expectations, you’re going to get disappointed because expectations can never really be fully met.

We don’t live in a really perfect world. We live in the real world where there are all sorts of imperfections and there are all sorts of chaos. Let it unfold in front of your eyes and just go with the ride. As long as the conversation involves realistic conclusions, then you’re in the right hands.