The Essay Question (Nov. 20, 2019)

Each month, the OFCS polls its members with a question related to movies. It can be serious or amusing, but each member is given the opportunity to submit a short response to the question, which we will then post on the first Thursday of the month. Here is this week’s query.

Essay Question #1:

Why did you get into film criticism?

Question Submitted by: Governing Committee @ OFCS


Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat – Two words: Roger Ebert. Okay, a few more words. I loved movies anyway, but Ebert (and, to a slightly lesser degree, his partner Gene Siskel) made me realize that discussing, debating, and championing movies was an honorable thing to do. He made it seem cool, and I absolutely wanted in on that.

Federico Furzan @ Cinelipsis – Because filmmaking is an art that we need to preserve, and critics are the main warriors in the battle.

Josh Taylor @ The Forgetful Film Critic – I studied film (both theory and production) in college. When I graduated and found that production wasn’t for me, I felt disconnected from movies. I went through a period where I still watched them, but I didn’t feel the spark that came in college of discovering new titles, genres, and directors and studying film in an academic way. I wanted to wrestle with movies on an intellectual and emotional level. I wanted to dissect why movies moved me (or didn’t), instead of just passively watching them.

My partner, Rachel, suggested I start a website and post my thoughts on the movies I watched. After a lot of persistence on her part, I finally did just that, and have never been happier. I feel connected to what I consider the greatest art form ever invented in a way that enriches my life and is very fulfilling.

Tynan Yanaga @ 4 Star Films – I’m sure others have experienced this phenomenon. There’s this sense of compulsion. Not “I wish I could write about films” or “I want to write about them,” but rather “I need to!” We write film criticism not because it pays the bills or feeds our want of money and power. We do it because we have a passion for the medium and the art, pure and simple. Any other reason would be folly.

Without trying to sound too self-effacing, I believe I’m a bit of a benevolent critic. Honestly, I fell into film criticism quite by accident, because I wanted to champion forgotten touchstones of film history. However, I also believe I have a specific point of view that allows me to view films through a certain light – to be discerning. People don’t always consider the historical context, world views, or philosophical depth of movies. I want to use my meager platform to help cultivate those conversations.”

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews – I wanted to share my views on good films and warn against bad films to others. I also wanted to have a ‘conversation’ with people as to what is a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ film, learn the viewpoints of others and really explore what I think is a fascinating world.

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