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Recent Comments

Re: “Review: "The Entertainers" at Hot Springs Documentary Film Fest

Sure, agree to disagree... but the intern remark was not unwarranted. There's no indication on the page as to who he is or what he has done. That all his reviews occurred only this week surely would lead us to believe that he's not very experienced... Why not give him a bio blurb on the site, at least?

I've just seen too many worthy films get hatchet jobs from people who aren't qualified - so if I took that general frustration out on this one reviewer, about a film I legitimately loved, I guess it's also a case of them's the breaks.

Posted by docfan on 10/25/2012 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Review: "The Entertainers" at Hot Springs Documentary Film Fest

Thanks for your response. I appreciate your tone, but I have to say that I still think you miss the point -- now I think it's at least more clear why.

You write, "I wanted it so bad for the point to be "here are some very human characters who will help you understand your world better through their stories," and it wasn't."

I wish you would have provided a real rationale for that statement, because the people that actually watched the movie at the festival really did seem to connect, like I did, for that exact reason - the one you flatly dismiss.

Perhaps you do have a rationale - but it seems to be: 1. you don't like ragtime, and 2. you don't like the "formula" of a competition.

This is a movie that takes place at a ragtime competition. Is there any world in which you could have liked it? Sounds like not. So maybe that's why you weren't able to see these characters and their strong emotional development throughout the film, which wasn't just about ragtime, and which, in my view, built throughout, along with the suspense. Six characters is too broad? Spellbound follows eight - others in the genre follow more as well. An experienced critic would probably know that.

Obviously, at the end of the day, it's your point of view, and you're entitled to it. But from my point of view, it does seem you missed the point of this film. I think your position would have been stronger if there had been reasons for that beyond your own existing biases.

As to your experience, it seems all your reviews occurred in the past week. Maybe you're not an intern, but you don't seem to have a track record, and I think that shows. I wish you luck getting your start; ultimately, on this film, I think those filmmakers deserved better.

Posted by docfan on 10/25/2012 at 8:34 AM

Re: “Review: "The Entertainers" at Hot Springs Documentary Film Fest

It's not unusual for an inexperienced critic to make misjudgments about a movie, but it's pretty surprising to see a review that so completely misses the point, and is only vaguely coherent to boot.

The audience at the packed screening of the film I attended would seem to disagree with the idea that this movie doesn't connect emotionally. Actually, they were too busy applauding in the middle of the film every time one of the stars played piano. The tenderly observed human moments of this film seemed to grab them like they grabbed me, and by the end, you emerged with an understanding and appreciation for these passionate individuals that extended far beyond their love of music. Too bad this reviewer was too busy being proud of himself for misspelling the term "in media res" [SIC - it's "medias"] to notice.

The reviewer writes that there is "nothing hip about ragtime. Nothing." Congratulations for the prize-winning insight. Why that's relevant at all to this review is unclear - the relative "hipness" of the music certainly did not lessen the drama for the many audience members on the edge of their seats sweating out the final revelation of the winner.

It's unfortunate to see such an ill-informed and immature review of a film made by filmmakers who seem so thoughtful, talented and caring of their subjects.

Next time, the Arkansas Times should send a reviewer and not an intern.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by docfan on 10/24/2012 at 7:37 AM


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