The Manifesto

A little over three years into the blog, I think it's about time that I submit a manifesto for my review. It's not strictly a review site, but reviews do amount to about 60% of my output, so from here on out (June 6, 2012) I promise to adhere to the following when creating my reviews.

  • I will critique what is within the frame, not what is without. i.e. I will focus on the result and not speculate on the intent.
  • I will let my review take its own shape rather than follow a strict formula.
  • I will not object to machinations of characters on moral grounds. Thus, I will remember that characters are as such and not indict them as I would real people.
  • I will try as much to avoid superfluous adjectives and (especially) adverbs that add little meaning.
  • I will be specific and honest.
  • I will not be afraid or embarrassed to be specific and honest.
  • I will critique what I see, not what I want. Thus, I will not lament on who should have been cast, who should have directed.
  • I will excise sentences in reviews which could apply to any work, and not the one being discussed alone.
  • I will always hope for goodness and avoid cynicism as much as I can.
  • I will vary my sentence length for the reader’s sake.
  • I will remember that I am a critic, even if it’s just for a small venue.
  • I will write to start conversations about film and television and not to act as an end-all.
  • I will avoid unnecessary nastiness and destructive criticism.
  • I will not make a statement without attempting to support it with evidence from the film.
  • I will be respectful of the (visible and invisible) reader.
  • I will acknowledge that true objectivity is an unfeasible prospect, thus I will write from a personal standpoint but avoid unnecessary prejudice.
  • I will attempt to evaluate and discuss the story, not retell it.
  • I will avoid plot spoilers using them only when necessary.
  • I will talk about aspects of a film including plot details, if necessary to my review, but warn the spoiler-fearful reader.
  • I will never stop trying to add to my knowledge of the two mediums.
  • I will continue to include a grade for films, even as I continue to believe that grades don’t say everything.
  • I will make mistakes, but try to be better next time.