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Mission Statement and Editorial Plan

October 6, 2014 Written by | No Comments

Mission Statement

One the most communal experiences we have as human beings is getting the chance to sit down in a dark room with a group of total strangers and enjoy the same film. After a long day of work, school, or dealing with family issues, we all seek the distraction and escapism that a film provides us.

One very popular networking forum for film lovers is the ability to be able to go online and discuss your favorite films with other people. Online film reviewing is a fast-rising way for individuals to reach into their own inner critic. There are literally hundreds of blogs and online threads that give the regular average Joe the opportunity to sound off on their favorite films.

One of the things I have noticed about these film blogs is that they mostly seem to focus on a certain type of movie: mainstream ones. Comic-book blockbusters, young adult adaptations, big-star vehicles; all these genres get plenty of ink within online-film forums. In terms of blogs, I believe that one underserved and undervalued market is that for people with more high-brow taste in films. These so-called cinephiles are relatively small in terms of size but they more than make up for it in terms of film devotion.

A cinephile studies film theory and film history with ardent passion. They follow the career of all their favorite directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, etc. They usually collect DVDs from the Criterion Collection, which has thousands of titles of classic films from the days of the French New Wave and Italian Neo-realism to the German expressionism films and 70’s American cinema.

In today’s film market, one type of film that the cinephile craves the most is the “indie” or the art-house film. Independent cinema allows filmmakers to accomplish things that are not possible in more mainstream Hollywood films, which are usually tinkered with by the big studio executives.

Indie films make it possible for the director to present his or her auteurial vision onto the screen. Everything from the production design and the aesthetics to the choice of actors and the establishing of camera shots, these are all decisions that the director has a last take on. These are qualities that the indie film audience takes note of and appreciates. Films directed by the likes of Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher, James Gray, Quentin Tarantino, Jonathan Glazer, Spike Jonze, Mike Leigh and Steve McQueen are all perfect examples of must-see “event” films that the average indie film enthusiast would not dare miss. This audience deserves a blog or a forum where they can discuss and debate with other cinephiles.

Which brings me to our proposed blog; The Art-House Attic will allow indie-film lovers the chance to sound off on the latest releases from the world of independent cinema. Getting a front-row view from the historic Angelika Film Center in New York City, we constantly see what this audience craves from the films they watch and their opinions are usually very varied and passionate.

Unfortunately, there is a recent trend of independent films getting released on video on demand (VOD) while simultaneously being dropped in only a few theatres, usually in large urban cities like Los Angeles and New York. On one hand this is very convenient for individuals who live in states located in the southern part of the country or in the mid-west because they get to see thought-provoking films that otherwise they would have had to travel thousands of miles to get a glimpse of. On the other hand, I believe that VOD takes away from the traditional communal experience that watching a film on the big screen brings to the most rabid of cinephiles. The smaller studios that distribute independent films see VOD as a more attractive option in terms of recuperating their investments. The Angelika Film Center is an exception in that it provides an opportunity for these specialized VOD movies to show in the cinema for at least a month.

Unlike most film blogs that usually feature the administrator and a few outside contributors to write their reviews of the films, The Art-House Attic will allow New Yorkers and cinephiles of all stripes to give their opinions on the spot, immediately after watching the films. Everything from documentaries to foreign cinema and the latest mind-bending indies will be put on the table for our readers and audience to dissect. The Art-House Attic will also seek to perform Q & A’s with the latest indie filmmakers who sometimes have special screenings of their films at the Angelika Film Center.

Other art-house film blogs like The Film Experience, Indiewire and Shadow & Act are very informative and articulate about films. But they are not very inclusive in terms of who gets to contribute on their blogs besides in the comments section of course. The Art-House Attic will seek to provide that open space for the regular, non-professional indie film lover to let his or her voice be heard.

 

Editorial Plan:

I plan to feature in-depth reviews of the latest independent films as told by regular New Yorkers. There will be intellectual debates, agreements and disagreements and most importantly, entertaining analysis and dissections of the most talked-about releases in art-house cinema.

Currently in Theaters:

This section will focus on films that are still playing in theaters. Reviewers will be interviewed immediately after watching the films. This will allow us to get an unfiltered reaction from the reviewer. We will also post reviews on VOD (video on demand) films that are currently available.

The DVD Corner:

This section will focus on reviews of films that are already out on DVD. There were a lot of thought-provoking films released earlier in the year that had cinephiles raving. Usually, the best Indies are released in the fall or the winter but recently there is a new trend in which these types of films get an early-year release date. We will also look back at older films that are considered classics, specifically from the Criterion Collection. The DVD release of these films will be the perfect time to look back at these gems.

Mainstream with an Indie sensibility:

This section will focus on reviews of films that although are produced by a major studio, are still rich in character development and story narrative.

New York on Film:

Whether new films or classics, New York has always been a major inspiration for filmmakers. This section will focus on films that take place in New York. Reviewers will analyze how the big apple is portrayed on the big screen.

My take:

This section will allow me to analyze a film that has captured the cultural zeitgeist, not just focus on plot points and narrative. I will go in depth to seek how the films I review portray serious issues such as politics, socio-economics, class, gender, race, sexuality, etc.

Interviews:

At the Angelika Film Center we get to meet filmmakers of all stripes. Hopefully in this section we will get the opportunity to interview a cast or crew member of an Independent film that has been recently released in theaters or on VOD.

Multimedia:

In this section we will feature podcast interviews with the reviewers and hopefully with the filmmakers of the latest art-house films.

Length and frequency of blog posts:

The reviews will be from 400-600 words. The interviews will depend on the guest but they will be anywhere from 400-1000 words. Hopefully the frequency of the posts will be a minimum of twice per week.

 

 

 

Categories: Arts · Journalism



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