Author Topic: New film crit website in need of readers...  (Read 2181 times)

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children with angels

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New film crit website in need of readers...
« on: October 26, 2005, 08:33:47 PM »
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First I'll apologise if this isn't the best forum for this post - couldn't think where else to put it...

Anyway. I've recently set up a film review and critcism site called Alternate Takes www.alternatetakes.co.uk . It's a place for writing on film that's pitched midway between the academic and the journalistic - in-depth but accessible, personal but precise.

One of the things that makes it unique is the fact that we review the new films twice: one to be read before you see the movie (a short review with the absolute minimum possible spoliers), and one  - the Alternate Take - for when you get back from the cinema (longer, more in-depth, looking in particluar at whatever we thought was most interesting about the film).

We rate films on a mark out of ten, compiled from two seperate marks out of five - one based on the impressiveness of the filmmaking, the other on personal enjoyment.

As well as reviews we also have longer features, more essay-like pieces on whatever the hell we like.

As with any grassroots new site, we're obviously grateful for any readers we can get right now, and I feel that if ever there was anywhere our approach and focus might be appreciated it was amongst the overposters at Xixax. In particular I've got a piece called Safety, Danger and Genre-Worlds that I want everyone to read for the basic reason that the way in which way it blatantly degenrates into an ode to the greatness of Magnolia could only ever truly be understood by other manic subscribers to the cult of PTA.

There's some stuff on there about Jarmusch, there's some stuff about the 'Quirky New Wave' (Wes Anderson, Gondry, O Russell, Payne, Kauffman, etc), some about Before Sunrise/set and it's links to the romantic comedy, some on the veiled racism of the movies of Will Smith. Just lots of material crying out to be read, shot-down, questioned, whatever.

So, yes. I'm sorry for the pathetic gushing and self-publicising, but I would love it if some of you guys would check it out...
"Should I bring my own chains?"
"We always do..."

http://www.alternatetakes.co.uk/
http://thelesserfeat.blogspot.com/

Gold Trumpet

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New film crit website in need of readers...
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2005, 10:29:12 PM »
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Interesting. How did you come to select your writers? How ambitious is this project?

The Perineum Falcon

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New film crit website in need of readers...
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2005, 10:59:00 PM »
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I've it bookmarked. :)
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

Reinhold

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New film crit website in need of readers...
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2005, 12:49:35 AM »
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i'll put posters up around campus if this is something you need to make money on.

if it's just an "in my spare time" type project, meh.

ditto GT's queries.
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

children with angels

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New film crit website in need of readers...
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2005, 05:07:19 AM »
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Thanks for the responses guys.

GT - The writers we have so far have all been from the film studies course I've just finished - all selected because their feelings on how film should be written about correspond to the Alternate Takes idea.

Reinhold - posters around your campus would be absolutely superb; I'm touched you're enthusiastic enough to want to do that.

The project is certainly ambitious in the sense that film criticism is what I want to do with my life. I want desperately to write about movies, but I don't necessarily want to get locked into the halls of academia, and I don't want to write 300 word reviews for some glossy magazine. Alternate Takes is offering the way I honsetly feel most people who truly love film would like to read about it - not superficial but not suffocatingly intellectual - just in-depth and passionate.

I'd like to think it has huge potential - the original idea was always to start with a website, get a steady readership then move onto a magazine. Right now though the problems are (A) it is me doing the majority of the writing myself due to the fact that, although the other writers are interested, they don't have the same passion - it's just not what they want to finally do with their lives. (B) I am not greatly internet savvy and really don't have much of a clue on how to publicise something like this, besides guerrilla advertising on IMDB, sending out group emails, and talking to you guys here...

GT in particular - did I sense a flicker of interest in, not just reading, but maybe getting involved in the writing? If I did, PM or email me, man - as I said, it's tough pretty much carrying this at the moment and I know you've definitely got the critical skills.

The same goes for everyone in fact - if there's anyone who's really interested in getting into film criticism and will consequently put in the hours because they just can't get enough of writing about their favourite subject, let's talk.
"Should I bring my own chains?"
"We always do..."

http://www.alternatetakes.co.uk/
http://thelesserfeat.blogspot.com/

children with angels

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Re: New film crit website in need of readers...
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 06:39:28 AM »
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This film criticism site that I set up six years ago, Alternate Takes, has recently been relaunched after a long hiatus (www.alternatetakes.co.uk). It is edited by me, and written by myself and an assortment of excellent critics, most of whom have studied the subject at university, but who also want a less academic outlet for their writings on film. In the past, Xixax's very own GT and Godardian have written for us.

The main hook of the site is that we review new films twice - once in a short, spoiler-free review that you can read before you see the movie, then again in a more essay-like format that's intended for afterwards, going more in-depth about an aspect or two of the movie.

Obviously, I'd love to recruit some readers for the site from y'all, and do the usual begging for bookmarks, Twitter followers, facebook fans, and everything. Plus, I think many of you might actually like it!

Anyway, I offer below a few extracts from 'The Alternate Takes Approach', an article that offers some thoughts about the ethos and methods of the site... Hope you enjoy my baby!

- - - - -

A problem for much movie reviewing is the issue of ‘spoliers’. Arguing for the fundamental need to ‘spoil’ aspects of a film in order to discuss it properly, Jonathan Rosenbaum has said, “it’s impossible to function as a critic if one can’t describe anything in a movie or a book in advance. So if I’m expected to write a review of something, am I also expected not to analyze it?” We might say that this speaks to a basic distinction between reviewing and criticism: film reviewers have to assume that their readers haven’t seen the film under discussion, while film critics can assume that they have. To this extent, Alternate Takes practises both reviewing and criticism. [...]

The most obvious way by which we bridge the gap between reviewing and criticism is that we write about new films twice. First there is a short, evaluative piece that ‘spoils’ as little as possible about a film, but still grants a sense of the sorts of pleasures, or otherwise, that it offers; this is a review to read before you see a film. After you return from the cinema, you can read our Alternate Take - a longer, more in-depth critical analysis that discusses whatever the writer found to be most interesting about the movie. [...]

Speaking very broadly, film journalism tends often to write to the taste of its presumed readership. A film fan or movie geek might read, say, Empire, whose focus is skewed towards mainstream pictures, while a self-defined cinephile might read a more ‘high-end’ publication like Sight and Sound or Film Comment for its coverage of arthouse or festival films. Concerned first and foremost with evaluation, both these kinds of writing usually share and encourage assumptions with their readers about what sorts of films are worth discussing. Film studies, on the other hand, while certainly not immune from issues of taste, isn’t nearly so often interested in passing judgment upon a film’s value - at least not overtly. This in turn opens up the option of writing about a film for a multitude of other reasons - what it might tell us about a social issue, for instance, or an industry, or a genre’s history, or a philosophical problem - and thus means that any film can be treated as interesting for reasons other than whether or not it might be up the critic or reader’s alley.

One problem with writing overtly to a particular taste is simply that it can mean that - due to pressures of space - films which lie outside the taste bracket become sidelined. Thus, Empire gives a film like I Am Love (2010) a positive review that nonetheless runs to a mere 107 words, while the usually more loquacious Sight and Sound grants a movie such as No Strings Attached (2011) just two paragraphs (see the April ’11 issue). This, surely, is because both publications assume that their core readership just won’t be interested in reading lengthy pieces on these sorts of movies. [...]

Of course, it would be foolish to claim that any of our critical judgments can ever be free from personal taste (something acknowledged in our scoring system [...]). But it would be equally foolish to deny that there are degrees to which taste dictates the focus and tone of a discourse. Alternate Takes tries to adopt something akin to film studies’ more democratic attitude towards cinema, but without abandoning the evaluative dimension of journalistic film reviewing. The result, hopefully, is an approach that considers any kind of film worthy of detailed discussion, but which assesses that film on its own terms rather than chastising or ignoring it because it isn’t something that it never attempted to be. We may not always be successful in this aim, but it seems an ideal to strive towards.
"Should I bring my own chains?"
"We always do..."

http://www.alternatetakes.co.uk/
http://thelesserfeat.blogspot.com/

Pas

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Re: New film crit website in need of readers...
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 10:29:55 AM »
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Very interesting concept. I'll check it out for sure.

Gold Trumpet

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Re: New film crit website in need of readers...
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 04:05:10 PM »
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I wish you all the best, Children With Angels. I'll be sure to follow you guys on twitter so I can keep up with your latest reviews and when I feel I can comment on something you publish on my blog, I'll be sure to link your website.

The Perineum Falcon

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Re: New film crit website in need of readers...
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 04:44:31 PM »
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Bookmarked at home and office.

Facebook liked, too.

I love supporting Xixaxers.
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

children with angels

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Re: New film crit website in need of readers...
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 08:56:02 PM »
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Thanks guys! Hope you enjoy.
"Should I bring my own chains?"
"We always do..."

http://www.alternatetakes.co.uk/
http://thelesserfeat.blogspot.com/

 

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