The Cult of Melinda

The gAyTM is closed! No gay rights, no gay $$$!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

It's Hard Out Here for a Critic

I don't think it's much of a secret that I freelance as a book reviewer/film critic. What does seem to be a secret is what book reviewers/film critics do. You see, I got an "anonymous" comment to one of my reviews, a mixed one on a small independent film, that was quite obviously from someone associated with the film. Apparently, you'd think I'd want to promote independent film.

Ahem. Anonymous person? I'm not a promoter. I'm a critic.

Don't get me wrong. I love me some independent film. Most of the films I watch are indies or foreign films. I love giving rave reviews to great independent films. It pleases me immensely to introduce my readers to a movie I think they'll really enjoy. I would hate to encourage my readers to watch something that I thought was bad. Because my first duty is to the readers. Always.

The only duty I have to authors, editors, filmmakers, etc. is to not review materials I'm biased against from the start or that are so far out of my experience that I can't give them a fair shake. So, I don't review heterosexual romances or books/films about fashion, pregnancy, man-hunting, etc. I pick my subjects carefully and try to be as fair as I can. That's all I can offer.

Some of my reviews have been glowing enough to end up being used in promotional materials. That's flattering but wasn't my intent in writing the review. Some have been mixed. (I admit that telling people to watch all but the last ten minutes of a film can be interpreted as harsh, but I was being honest and as fair as I could considering how horribly done the ending was.) Occasionally, I'm down-right mean in trashing something that was done so poorly that I can't find redeeming qualities.

But, again, that's what I do! I'm a critic. So, if you want someone to only say positive, glowing things about your product regardless of its actual quality, hire a really good marketing team and don't submit your stuff for review. Otherwise, suck it up and deal with it.

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