Welcome to Film Frame.
“Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.” – Martin Scorsese.
By and large Scorsese’s words are a truism of what the cinema is, yet let us play devil’s advocate and say that it is decidedly more complicated than the matter of cinema being reduced to, “what’s in the frame and what’s out.” When we are talking about the film form then yes, Scorsese is correct, but cinema is more than a construct of moving images, one frame at a time. When I interviewed filmmaker Carol Morley for The Falling (2014), she stated, “You take it 90% of the way, and it is the audience that finishes it. So the audience by bringing themselves: their experiences, opinions and everything else to a film is what completes it.” So it is reasonable to suggest that cinema is a matter of what’s inside the frame and also what’s out, the two fatefully intertwined that underlies the inclination of Film Frame.
The reactionary approach to film criticism is of little interest, that is to say it is not content with with limiting itself to the judgement of the quality of the film. Rather each piece is written with painstaking care to offer a thoughtful and accessible discussion of film. It is one that appreciates effort and imagination, and in the spirit of the late Roger Ebert seeks to find those reasons why a film should be seen, if only for those few precious moments or fleeting ideas capable of touching us emotionally and/or intellectually. And so, Film Frame looks to offer an accessible brand of film criticism that cultivates a deeper understanding and appreciation of cinema that is dismissive of the extremes of criticism, from academic elitism to the inattentive reactionary.
Film reviews on the site will range between 700-1200 words, while there is no restrictive minimum or maximum word count limit for interviews. The reason for this is Film Frame’s belief in the need for flexibility towards conversations, the content to justify the length. The Film Spiral Column will be published regularly, but with no set schedule, here permitting the flexibility to offer the most versatile and relevant discussion of cinema that is at the heart of the site’s guiding principle.
Film Frame’s editor Paul Risker is an independent scholar and film critic. He serves as Interview and Festival Editor for Mise-en-scène: The Journal of Film and Visual Narration (MSJ), the official film studies journal of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, for which he is also a member of the Advisory Board. Academically he has been published by The Quarterly Review of Film and Video and Film International, while Cineaste Magazine published his interview To Be Aesthetic and Not Boring: An Interview with Jerzy Skolimowski as a Web Exclusive. He is a regular freelance writer for Little White Lies, Eye For Film, Flux Magazine, FrightFest Gore in the Store, Pop Matters, Weng’s Chop Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine and the ASFF blog.
And on a less serious note, Paul is an independent scholar and film critic, and Editor for Mise-en-scène: The Journal of Film and Visual Narration, the official film studies journal of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. True to his English roots he is a committed tea drinker and finds the recent statistic that coffee drinkers outnumber tea drinkers in his native land to be a horrifying subversion of British values. He’s currently considering the establishment of The Tea Workers Party as a means to reclaim power from the political establishment, and while possessing no economic, education or social policies, believes in the genius of simplicity: “Tea first for a greater Britain.” Outside of his political aspirations and his disgust for such subversion, he can often be found pacing, deep in conversation with himself on matters of film criticism, which he sees as rehearsals for his future political orations. Meanwhile, having been brought up on crime dramas, he has come to consider Endeavour Morse and Columbo as lifelong friends. He lives by the mantra that a day that passes without writing and consuming an excessive amount of tea is quite simply a day wasted.
To contact Film Frame e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org