Beware, Criticism on this Road

The first encounter with criticism, constructive criticism I would say, even though I do not totally agree with it, or maybe I don’t agree at all, but it is nevertheless a different perspective. I thought the website was going pretty well, considering its only 2 weeks old and the subject, Romanian film, is either unknown for many, or something not of much interest. Romanians as I have said, avoid Romanian films because they are not commercial enough (they aren’t commercial at all – most of them). This criticism came from someone who was talking exactly about this aspect, highlighting that the Facebook page has only 92 followers. And that is because the subject isn’t interesting enough, or sellable enough. Maybe it isn’t. That virtual “starlets” have so many more followers than detur la Preciziei, oh, of course, they have! But then again, detur la Preciziei doesn’t post gossip, or photos of food, or pictures from the gym, or glamorous outfits, it’s a film website. And not even a Hollywoodian film website… how unfortunate.

I will generically name this individual M.
I quote M. “Why does Game of Thrones sale? – because of violence, sex, and special effects” I couldn’t agree more, but then again, Game of Thrones is an HBO TV series, made to sell, Romanian films are nothing like it, and never wanted to be. It’s not that Romanian directors wouldn’t want to bring the public to the cinema halls (the few that still exist), but they have something different to say, they had something to prove at some point, or not exactly prove, but actually wanted to change something in Romanian’s penurious film scene. I’d also say that the reason that TV shows or films like Game of Thrones (and I am a fan of Game of Thrones, exactly for its entertaining quality) are popular, sell, bring the public to the cinema is that they are American or Americanized, because they invaded the mass conscience and Hollywood became almost synonym with film, which is kind of tragic, from my point of view.

M. also said that the articles are too… restrained, too dry; they don’t shock (but then the films’ subjects don’t usually shock, at least not like a Tarantino film, or a Fincher film) or entertaining enough, maybe M.’s right, I will have a look at my older articles, reread them, they might not be catchy enough. I don’t want the style to be rigid, and dull, but pleasant and easy to read. Anyway, M’s suggestion was to write a pamphlet, which is an interesting one to take into consideration, but such a writing implies to have as a subject something of arguable quality, of better, said something of poor quality, which is what I tried to avoid when choosing the films. M’s argument was that mockery attracts, at least when referring to the Romanian public, and I agree, but by mocking something means putting myself higher than that exact film or film-maker, which I cannot do, and I don’t want to either. And if we’re talking about a bad film… then even bad publicity is good publicity and I wouldn’t want to make any kind of publicity to some cinematographic production that should have never hit the screen, but now, if they did, they should be better left forgotten. What I did, though, was to raise a challenge for M. to write a pamphlet review for a film of his choice, if the text convinces me, I’ll edit it, publish it on the website and see how it goes if M. was right and the followers’ number will grow.

M. also gave an example of a film, Aferim!, which I have yet to see, and said I should write something about it, that it would attract more readers. The film is a “hit” of the last 2 years (at least in Romania), it is a “historic” film, and can’t aesthetically be integrated into the New Romanian Wave, so I understand the attraction. Comparing it to the slices of life that the rest of the films are (or perceived to be), Aferim! might just be more a commercial film (but only a bit), with an entertaining story, set in Romania and “good” visuals (but I can’t state that as a certainty yet). I have just added it to my film list (and review list).

All in all, even though I might not follow M.’s suggestions, the dialogue was beneficial to reinforce my beliefs that detur la Preciziei shouldn’t lower its standards, but maybe the articles could be written in a slightly “friendlier” manner. That the films brought into discussion should still be good films, because its purpose is not to mock, or make funny (entertaining) and malicious comments on bad films, but to talk about the ones that deserved to be talked about, even though spiteful texts would attract more readers, but I’m not sure those are the ones that I want to attract, or at least not through these means. Also, it helped to state my opinions and confront them with someone else’s view.

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