“Movie Reviews” is too generic a title—both for this webpage and the category of writing it contains. So I decided to put these essays under the heading “Long Takes” instead. Besides, “movie reviews” connotes some up-to-the-minute-ness that unfortunately I cannot always provide. I like to write about films that I have seen from beginning to end (or as I like to say, head-to-tail) in one sitting, no matter when they were theatrically released. Technically speaking, “Long Take” refers to the cinematographic term for one lengthy, sustained shot. Like the “tracking shot” (a type of long take in which the camera moves to follow the action), these essays may ramble on a bit, but stick with them.
The raison d’etre of these “Long Takes” isn’t to pass value judgments. To give a thumb’s up or a thumb’s down. Or to bedazzle a film with any number of stars, because film writing isn’t a quantitative endeavor. I strive to eschew the words “like,” “don’t like,” and “hate” when I summarize my initial reactions to and ideas about individual films. (That’s not to say that these terms aren’t useful.) I’m just looking for films that I find “interesting”: whether they challenge social taboos or they expose me to a new perspective. This means that, while on the whole I may not “like” a film, I can still identify—and regularly do—intriguing elements that may influence me to recommend it. As well as the opposite scenario. Because I know my opinion ultimately means jack-shit.
The beauty of any piece of art is that it engenders its own response from each person who encounters it, and who am I to insist that someone not experience art because I’m already biased against, for example, those movies riddled with visual effects that deflect attention away from plot holes? Put another way, “don’t just take my word for it.” See it, and sound it out yourself.
NOTE: Hover over “Long Takes” in the navigation menu to see the most recently published essay titles. You can always look here for the full listing of such articles.