Mission Statement

When I started this website in 2008, I called it “Movies for Smart People” because I had no interest in dumbing it down. I’ve since dropped that particular sobriquet, though not the intention behind it. It conveyed an attitude I still have; maybe I’m just less combative in my dotage (or not).

I think of what I do as old-school journalism for a post-literate world. Those of us who still value the written word have to soldier on. So here’s my mission:

I want to write daily, if possible, and hope to do so – either with reviews or with interviews with the people making the films.

I want to do it from the vantage point that comes with experience and perspective – because context matters.

I want to do it without the kind of constraints that go with writing for a mass-market “family” publication.

And I want to do it at a length that allows for thoughtful consideration, without crossing the line into the scholarly or pretentious. Hopefully it’s possible to be both serious and entertaining at the same time.

The lack of space restrictions on the web isn’t an invitation to be wordy or self-indulgent. I’m guided by a principle I learned from a mentor, the late Ernest Schier, who said, “Get in, give it what it’s worth – and get out.”

Also: no ratings – stars, letter grades or otherwise. They’re a kind of shorthand, created to keep people from having to read (and think). Sorry, you’ll have to figure out what my opinion is by actually reading what I have to say.

As you navigate this site, you’ll notice other features, aside from the reviews and interviews. Partake of them as you will. I hope you’ll be a regular visitor.

– Marshall Fine