Manifesto Chapter 2: Reviews vs Analyses
I knew I was forgetting something important, how I distinguish between reviews and analysis. I think reviews should be like a trailer and give an impression of what the movie is like, while analysis talk about the real meat of the movie. I also don’t think reviews should talk about the plot of the movies. It’s not that I have a problem with spoilers, but discussion of plot feels juvenile and doesn’t really get to what a movie is like. A review could say that Superbad is a movie about Jonah Hill and Michael Cera trying to take beer to a party and you can talk about various funny scenes, but that doesn’t really speak to Superbad being a story about establishing an identity and masculinity in high school and this can be explained without getting into specific plot details. Its exploration of identity and a public face are the reasons that the movie is special, and if someone is interested in that then they will enjoy the movie. Saying a favorite joke or vaguely prasing scenes and character arcs. Too often reviews can seem like book reports, recounting plot and set ups, especially in amateur reviews, boasting large “THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS”. Well what’s the point of a review if I can’t read it first? Am I supposed to take it at a star ratting? I think the best example of an ideal review is Ebert’s Synecdoche, New York review, where he spends the entire article talking in circles, vaguely describing the premise, and doesn’t even once say a character’s name. It’s just a barrage of words spiraling out of control, just as the movie does. It describes the movie with hardly saying a word about it. This is the only example I’m aware of, for someone who wants to make reviews I have little experience in what a review is.
Analysis should look at how the work functions and why it works. What is it about this movie that makes it so special? Why does it cause these types of feelings? How does the technical aspects of the movie bolster it. Analysis should get into plot specific details because it is an attempt to pick apart a movie in an effort to explain it. Analysis should also explain the movie briefly or give simple context to the scene in case a reader isn’t aware of all the plot details.
I will also occasionally make blog posts about random stuff, usually media related. If it’s something minor that I just had to get off my chest I won’t add it to the front page and just add it to the master list and blog list. Since neocities alerts followers to any changes made, it should be easier to find these posts but feel free to skip them still.