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Top 10 Favourite Films of All Time

Top 10 Favourite Movies all TimeThese are my top 10 all time favourite movies which I consider the best.  Use it as a guide to help you if you’re stuck on finding your next film masterpiece to enjoy at home.

1.    The Godfather (1972)

Marlon Brando plays the Godfather, while Al Pacino and James Caan – his sons, in this Francis Ford Coppola movie based on the Mario Puzo novel about an Italian-American Mafia boss who relinquishes control to his son Michael (Pacino).  Fantastic dramatic storyline and great acting by some of America’s finest actors.

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“Recycling Controversy” Discussed in a Documentary

With the compounding amount of waste materials caused by human consumption these days, recycling is highly encouraged. Though it is difficult for some people to recycle, there are those who diligently sort out their waste materials to determine which one should be recycled. In fact, some others make a living out of it. They go from place to place just to check which materials thrown away by people are still useful. They will then sell what they have gathered to local recycling shops.

Though it seems disgusting to see these people scrapping the bottom of garbage bins to find something useful, they are in fact very helpful. With their efforts, the waste materials that we have failed to segregate will be sorted out. For some of them, there is a chance that bigger items for recycling can be found. This makes them earn more. For instance, people throw away old appliances or kitchen utensils. There are also those who throw useless furniture. In short, they make the most out of what we have already thrown away.

“Mettle”, The Controversial Documentary

For most of us, throwing items away that will soon be picked up by others is not really a big deal. However, in Brooklyn, it is. Andy Arrow started his documentary when one day, he threw away his air conditioner that was immediately picked up by someone. He found it very interesting. However, the more interesting part is that these people are actually fined for what they are doing. The local government charges them up to $10,000 for theft because of what they are doing.

The question Arrow posed is, is it really wrong to pick up what others have thrown for recycling? Why should they be arrested? His documentary went on to discuss the bigger issue on why the government prevents these people from recycling larger objects such as air conditioners or bicycles even if the owners have already decided to throw them away.

This 56-minute documentary also talked about the reactions of the local officials in regards to the controversy. Throughout the documentary, Arrow followed the “gleaners” or trash pickers of Brooklyn. Throughout the end of the documentary, he stood strong on his point that these people are just ordinary people and they are not hurting anyone. He emphasized the idea that the rule against them is cruel and could even send a wrong message about recycling.

What Should be Done to Solve Garbage Problems?

The documentary talked about the people who could have been a part in solving garbage related problems. However, due to government policies, they are being stopped from doing so. The truth is that, this is just a smaller part of the larger picture. Whether or not these trash pickers are stopped from doing what they want, the garbage problem is still left unsolved. Tons of garbage are not properly disposed all around the world.

For establishments that produce tons of waste materials, it is best to seek help from junk removal companies who specialize in trash removal. They will see to it that the wastes are collected well and will eventually go to where they should be. This also comes with a very minimal cost.


Movie Cars—A Thrill to Watch

While watching films, people are no longer just looking at the gorgeous actors and actresses. Most of the time, the cars being used by the main characters are what viewers also look forward to. Cars that go extremely fast and hitting every road signs, as well as the establishments, catch the eyes of the movie goers a lot. Just imagine how much these cool Hollywood movie cars cost to insure. This article will tell give you an idea on the estimated car insurance rates of some cars used in big productions.

Cadillac Escalade EXT (Matrix Reloaded)
The Cadillac Escalade EXT sports utility vehicle can get its way easily through any movie situation. This car was driven by the silver-haired Twins who played as antagonists in the film. It was taken out from the movie’s special edition DVD due to insurance claim concerns, but do you have an idea how much its yearly car insurance is? This vehicle resembled by today’s Cadillac Escalade costs over $1, 872.49 annually.

The Tumbler (Batman)
Most of you are not probably aware that the Batmobile is called the Tumbler in real life. The car that most resembles it today is the Hummer H1. Even with its wide variety of extremely cool weaponry installed, it has a yearly auto insurance of $2, 197.11.

Mazda RX-7 Driven (Fast and the Furious)
This turbo-charged and nitro-boost car was driven by The Fast and the Furious star Vin Diesel in 2001, playing the role of main character Dominic “Dom” Toretto. The Mazga RX – 7 has given Dom the reputation as the king of the streets of L.A. It is most resembled by today’s Mazda RX – 8 with a yearly car insurance rate of $1,790. The high-performance cars of Mazda tend to have lower insurance rates than other car brands, but more expensive to insure when driven by inexperienced or younger drivers.

Even if you do not have one of these famous movie cars, it is still important to find the most affordable California car insurance rate for your vehicle. Most, if not all, insurance companies are giving free quotes. Simply provide your ZIP code and finding the cheapest rates will be easy as counting from one to three.

The Ferrari (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
Ferris Bueller ended up totally wrecking this awesome Ferrari after letting Chicago valets hopped in for some joyride. This scene just proves that a valet should never ever be trusted with anything that is nicer than a station wagon. It is also what people get for skipping school. This Ferrari resembles the Ferrari 430 of today, with a yearly car insurance of $2, 751.55.

BMW i8 Vision Efficient Dynamics (Mission Impossible 4)
This BMW concept car was prominently featured in the movie, Mission Impossible 4. It is a plug-in hybrid that Tom Cruise had driven in a super sexy car chase. This concept car can accelerate to 60mph in under 5 seconds, with a top speed of up to 150mph. It is estimated to cost between $1, 600 and $2, 000 to insure.

KITT (Knight Rider)
Kitt is not just the usual fast car you see in other movies. This car, a Pontiac Firebird, has the gift of intelligence. Fans of Knight Rider are surely hoping to ride on this fantastic supercomputer car one day. Even if this model no longer exists, it is most resembled by the Chevy Camaro. Kitt’s yearly car insurance rate is approximately $1, 832.25.


Film Review: My Winnipeg (2007)

My_winnipegAre you looking to while away the wintry January weather indoors? If so, you will greatly enjoy watching My Winnipeg on DVD or movie-on-demand TV service. While at it, grab one of the surprising variety of pizza winnipeg has to offer (as you’ll discover on the Just Eat Blog), have a mug of hot chocolate beside you, tuck in, and relax. Alright, that was random, but so is this film, and here is why we think this film is worth watching despite its seemingly haphazard plot.

My Winnipeg is surreal documentary cum fantasy film written and directed by Guy Maddin and which pays homage to his home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba. While officially classified as a documentary, Madding weaves-in plenty of fictional scenes into the plot as he depicts his own unique take on his life and times in the city.

My Winnipeg Cast

My Winnipeg stars Darcy Fehr as Guy Maddin, Amy Stewart as Janet Maddin and Ann Savage as Mother. Other notable parts in the film include Louis Negin as Mayor Cornish and Brendan Cade as Cameron Maddin. The part of Ross Maddin is acted by Wesley Cade while Fred Dunsmore and Lou Profeta appear as themselves. The part of The Citizen Pinup Girl is played by Kate Yacula.

Storyline and Plot

The film opens with a scene in which Guy Maddin is riding in a Winnipeg train and as he groggily tries to rouse himself from sleep, he loudly wonders “What if?” He is wondering if it were possible for him to escape the sleepy life (he says it can be no coincidence that Winnipeg boasts the highest proportion of sleepwalkers of any global metropolis) he leads in Winnipeg. He decides that the only way for him to accomplish this is to “film his way out” and the viewer is henceforth introduced to the story of the film documentary already underway.

The viewer is then introduced to the city of Winnipeg, paying special attention to the city’s location at the Y-like junction of Assiniboine and Red rivers. Madding equates this junction, known as “The Forks”, to a woman’s groin and bizarrely associates it with his mother. He also relates an aboriginal myth associated with The Fork where the rivers are said to be laid out on top of secret underground meeting of waterways. Madding makes a case that this myth imbues Winnipeg with a mystical and magnetic sexual energy.

Maddin’s first attempt to escape from the vice-like grip his city of birth has on him is to recreate his family life. In the process, he also manages to give a sideways look at the city’s history recounting such notable events as the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike and the visit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Winnipeg in 1923. He also manages to give the viewer eye opening looks at the city’s chief architectural features including the Winnipeg Arena and Eaton’s building.

As the film nears the end with the family scene re-enactments failing to free Maddin from his life in Winnipeg, he starts to fear that his pet project will ultimately fail. In a last act of desperation though, he uses his fertile imagination to conjure a pinup girl for the 1919 general strike’s newsletter known as The Citizen. In The Citizen Girl’s capable hands, Guy Maddin is finally able to escape the sleepy city of Winnipeg guilt free.

Critical Reception

My Winnipeg has continued to receive almost unanimous critical praise on both online and print film review forums since its release in 2007. The online review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes, reports that about 94% of all reviewers gave the film consistent positive reviews. It has also featured on many film critics’ lists of top ten films of 2008.


How Urinary Incontinence Turned a Comedy into a Tragedy

So… I met this really great woman last Friday when I stopped at a Starbucksto get a caffeine fix after a particularly stressful business meeting. She’s insanely intelligent and cute and we’ve got a lot in common. She was sitting alone and I’m pretty outgoing so I just went up to her, asked her if she’d mind some company, and we started talking.

She gave me her number after we talked for about half an hour.

I called her the next day and asked if she wanted to take a walk with me in the park. We had a great time, and we both realized that we have nearly identical interests. We’re both marathoners (she did the Boston Marathon and the New York Marathon, both of which I’ve been wanting to do for years), we’re both vegetarians, we’re both big-time movie fanatics… I was starting to feel like we were made for each other by the end of our leisurely walk that had turned into a three-hour conversation.

After a few more dates, I invited her to my place to watch a movie.

It started out great. We were sitting next to each other on the couch, my arm around her, enjoying the movie. I chose a comedy because, well, we both like comedies. Then it happens: she goes into a laughing fit (God, she’s got a sexy laugh) and then out of the blue she darts up out of the couch, excuses herself, and runs to the bathroom. For a second, I wondered if I had farted. Nothing can kill the mood better than the old butt trumpet. She left after that and avoided me the next day when I called to see if she wanted to go out again.

I’m persistent, so I pressed on and asked her what happened that she went from wanting to see me every day to avoiding me. She told me she was embarrassed because she had peed her pants laughing so hard at the movie. I wasn’t sure she was serious because I frankly don’t see why that would embarrass her so much that she wouldn’t want to explain why she left so suddenly.

Well, we’re back to going out every day – you’ve got to love fast-and-furious romances – and she went to the doctor to find out why she’s been having urinary incontinence so much lately. It turns out she just needs a transvaginal mesh procedure. Problems such as urinary incontinence are pretty common. More common than you’d think, actually.

Moral of the story: when watching a comedy gets in danger of becoming a romantic tragedy because of incontinence, just go see a doctor. The procedure she had done was a simple one, and she didn’t even have to take off from work (well, that’s because her work doesn’t require her to lift heavy objects). One quick surgery and problem solved. We can now safely watch a pee-in-your-pants-comedy without her actually peeing in her pants.


My Review Of The Movie “Away From Her”

Although I love movies I usually opt for the fun or feel good ones that are rather light in nature. From time to time I will watch a heavy flick particularly when it touches me in some special way. Today, I want to write a review of a movie I only saw recently, “Away From Her.” The movie was made back in 2006 and I didn’t see it when it came out. However, due to some family problems I will discuss in a minute, I actually only now decided that I wanted to see the movie.

The premise of the movie is that a man struggles with putting his wife in an institution as she is battling Alzheimer’s Disease. The man’s wife if fading away when it comes to her memory and the film really discusses this in a touching way. The “twist” to the movie comes when the woman falls for a man who is in the institution. Oh my, the problems that this creates. Can you imagine? The movie is a truly touching story of just what happens when lives are touched by Alzheimer’s.

Now, how you might ask does this affect me? Why did I only now choose to watch this movie? Well, I recently had an uncle diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. At first I really didn’t notice any sort of difference. My uncle, we will call him Morty, was just somewhat forgetful when it came to things. He would forget to put out the trash, he would forget to eat dinner, forget to walk the dog.  These seemed like innocent things for an older man, however, his disease did progress. Morty started forgetting his family members, his kids, and ultimately his wife (my aunt). This was devastating to the family. Our family had to research different memory care facilities and we ultimately had to put Morty in a medical center that could deal with his advanced disease. Again, this was absolutely devastating to the family.

After all of this drama I decided to start watching movies that were related to Alzheimer’s. I watched “Dad” which was a very sad film starring Jack Lemon.  Very touching indeed. I watched “The Savages” and of course I watched “The Notebook.” All movies that dealt with the effects of Alzheimer’s. However, I came away from all of these films thinking that “Away From Her” was the best of the bunch. The cinematography used in this movie is just fantastic. I could feel the pain of the characters in the movie. I could smell the smells they did and I was moved to tears by the story. Very well done I must say. Olympia Dukakis makes an appearance in the film and she is truly one of my favorite “older” actresses.

So in the end I would really recommend the movie “Away From Her.” Hopefully you won’t have a family reason to watch the film like I did. Hopefully you can just enjoy the movie for what it is – a look at aging and the sad facts of life. Enjoy this movie – it’s a good one.


Films About Dumpsters and Dumpster Diving

Let’s face it – dumpster diving is not exactly an activity that everybody can indulge in, much less enjoy, for several reasons, like the overpowering smell of trash, the slimy texture of rotted produce, and the possibility of encounters with rodents, among others.

In short, no matter the dumpster sizes, diving into the trash of households, restaurants, and supermarkets, to name a few popular venues, is frowned upon. We must say that dumpster diving is not exactly up our alley either.

Fortunately, watching movies about dumpster divers is right up our alley! Here are a few of the best documentaries and short films about garbage picking that every film buff will enjoy watching – and then debate and discuss afterwards.

Seven Dumpsters and a Corpse

Thomas Haemmerli, a Swiss journalist, deals with the topic of compulsive hoarding in the 2007 documentary film, Seven Dumpsters and a Corpse. Compulsive hoarding refers to the excessive collection of items and the inability to discard these items, thus, resulting in cramped living conditions that can be unsanitary, unsafe and inhabitable under normal circumstances.

The worst thing about compulsive hoarding: It is not just items that can be hoarded because compulsive hoarders can also accumulate animals and plants! Not even the biggest dumpster sizes can accommodate the trash that a compulsive hoarder can accumulate over the years.

Anyway, Thomas Haemmerli learns about his mother’s death just when his fortieth birthday comes around. Yes, it’s the kind of news that most of us will not want to hear on an otherwise happy day.

But Haemmerli’s bad day does not end here either. He and his brother, Erik, further discover that their mother’s apartment was filthy because of the overflowing junk – virtually everything that a reclusive old lady can hoard from 1930s films to photos, among other personal memorabilia.

It takes an entire month to clean the apartment of the chaos – and therein lies the conflict of the story. On one hand, the film is about the story of the struggle against chaos as exemplified in the junk. On the other hand, it is also about the struggle of a confused – and perhaps, confusing – family.

The title obviously refers to the seven dumpsters necessary to clean out the place and the corpse of the dead mother. It’s morbid, of course, but the title is appropriate considering the subject.

From Dumpster to Dinner Plate

Did you know that, in New Zealand alone, the value of food wasted amounts to $750 million in a year? Sadly, it is true but the global food shortages are more disturbing considering that these have reached critical levels.

Think of it this way: While many of us are wasting food by throwing it away for any number of reasons, many more are starving in our own country and abroad. Such a waste, indeed, but we can all do something to counteract the culture of food waste.

This is the subject of the film, From Dumpster to Dinner Plate. Murray and a group of his friends are part of an underground movement of dumpster divers who live off the ubiquitous dumpsters in major cities. This is not exactly living off the land but more like living off the food waste of others – truly, a back to basics lifestyle with little to none of the waste that a consumerist society encourages.

That, and you can learn many tricks about getting good food from dumpsters! You can find out more about dumpster rental and dumpster diving at Dumpster Rental Zone!


Short Reviews for Some Crime Films

I really love crime films. My favorite film directors are Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Brian de Palma. I recently watched their entire filmographies, and I realized that my favorite films of theirs are crime films. In this post, I am going to talk about these films.

Francis Ford Coppola – The Godfather II

The Godfather II is my favorite Coppola film. Although many people like the first Godfather film better, there are just some things about the second one that make me love it more. The young Vito Corleone parts with Robert De Niro are just amazing. I also believe that Al Pacino’s performance as Michael Corleone in this movie is better than in the first one. It’s really too bad the third Godfather movie is not so good – the whole series could have ended perfectly with the second film. The third Godfather movie just lessens the impact of the second one’s ending.

Martin Scorsese – Goodfellas

Another film that Robert De Niro stars in. He is not the lead in this one, though. To me, this is the best film of the 90s. Ray Liotta totally sells it in this film. Not only is the film really funny, it also has a very amazing story. I often wonder why Ray Liotta did not become a big movie star after this movie was released. He’s a really talented actor who deserves to star in big projects.

Brian de Palma – Scarface

This movie is just fun. Some people may find the movie too violent, but it is really entertaining and well-directed. Some people might prefer Carlito’s Way over this one, and I totally get them. Scarface is still the best de Palma film for me, though. I don’t want to do anything illegal, but Scarface really makes me want to be as ingenious as him. Maybe I should make an account at Banc de binary. I could be as ingenious as Scarface when making a binary options strategy that works. The only difference would be I’m doing something legal. Binary options trading is regulated by the government so it’s safe. Anyone can feel like a Don after their investment gets them huge returns.

These films mentioned above are just my favorite films by Coppola, Scorsese, and de Palma. I still think they are the best crime films ever. The crime films of today just can’t compare. There is something to be said about crime TV series though. Shows such as Breaking Bad and the Wire are better than the crime films of today. When I think about what makes shows like Breaking Bad good, I can only come to one conclusion: they are influenced by the Coppola, Scorsese, and de Palma films. I don’t want to get into specifics because I don’t want to spoil Breaking Bad for anybody, but some parts of the show are obvious homages to the Godfather series.

Crime films are just the best. Hopefully, you’ll check out the movies and TV series I mentioned in this post. While the crime films of today may not be as good as the crime films of yesteryear, the spirit of 70s crime films still lives on in TV series such as Breaking Bad. Will someone be able direct a film as good as the ones I mentioned in the future? Who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see.


Watching Films is Good for Your Health

Movie watching & HealthThis is good news and now you have a very good excuse to sit, relax and watch a good film without guilt along with an excellent response if family members or friends disapprove of your time spent watching films!

On a serious note, studies have shown that watching films can be beneficial for your physical health, as well as your emotional and mental health.  The below lists the positive health benefits that can be felt when watching films.

Physical Health

Good quality films stimulate your emotional sensors which results in physical reactions in the body.  For example, a good comedy will make you laugh heartily.  The laughter helps you cope with stress, can strengthen your immune system and helps lower blood pressure.  Be aware though that you have to choose your films wisely if you want the health benefits from movie watching, generally this would be heart felt, feel good and inspirational films.  A grossly violent sickening film will provide no benefit to your health because of the disgust, fear and shock you’ll experience emotionally and physically from watching such films displaying atrocious inhumane acts of violence.

Therapeutic Uses

Some therapists prescribe films to assist their clients explore their thoughts, emotions and to deal with a difficult issue or circumstance they are currently facing.  This type of therapy can have very beneficial effects on most people except for those with psychotic disorders.  The way it works is that movies are chosen based on themes that reflect the patient’s current issue.  For example, if the patient is trying to cope with a serious illness of a loved one, then the movie “Beaches” would be therapeutic for this situation as its storyline is also about a character dealing with a loved one’s illness.  When watching the film, the patient is to observe how the issue is dealt with by the characters.

Films can also provide a vehicle for emotional release, for instance after a stressful day a good light hearted movie can help you to relax and release the tensions of the day.  Or, watching a sad movie may trigger suppressed feelings of grief and sadness which enables you to release those feelings out of your system.  A sad film can have another effect in that it can make you happier.  This was shown in a study where students watched the sad and tragic movie “Atonement”.  Afterwards the students reported that they were happier with their lives because the film caused them to think about their loved ones and be grateful for what they have.

Helps You Lose Weight

Studies have shown that a good horror film can burn up calories.  I can imagine people all over the world jumping up and down with joy over this finding!  This is an enjoyable way to combine your love of watching films with losing weight and there’s hardly any effort involved.  How this works is when you watch a horror film, the intense fear you feel creates stress in your body – ie the pulse quickens and blood is pumping faster throughout the body.  In response to this stressor adrenaline is released which is known to reduce the appetite and increase the metabolic rate which in turn burns more calories.


Film Making Insurance – Amazing Facts

Insurance & filmmakingWhen you think about film making, you would imagine beautiful actors and actresses, the red carpet, glitz and glam.  Even the behind the scenes production side of film making looks glamorous, as it appears so exciting and fun.  I bet the last thing you would think about when it comes to film making is film production insurance.  What!  There’s such a thing?

You bet there is, millions of dollars are invested into a large scale film and a big monetary loss could be detrimental financially to the production.  In fact it is really quite interesting what film production insurance can cover, maybe enough for it to be associated with the hmmm “intrigue” of film making.  And the cost is hefty, it can be up to 4% of a movie’s total production costs.

Here is a sample of what a film production can be covered for with insurance:

  • The costs associated with death or sickness to the cast, this can also include an assessment of the current health and habits of the actors
  • Health and safety of cast and crew
  • Damage or loss to props and costumes
  • Crowd control
  • Foreign and high level of risk shooting locations
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Stunts and special effects
  • Aircraft, watercraft and railroad usage
  • Animals involved in the film making
  • Filming equipment damage or loss
  • Damage and loss to negatives, hard drive or video tapes
  • Bad weather in case of having to re-shoot because of the weather conditions

If we drill down even further to how some of the items covered by film making insurance is appraised, it gets even more interesting.  Here are some real life accounts of insurers and film making – claims, coverage and insurance appraisals.

  • John Candy passed away from a heart attack at age 43 in 1994 whilst making the movie “Wagons East” in Durango, Mexico.  The claim was extraordinarily expensive at more than $15 million.  After John Candy’s death the insurer paid more attention to an actor’s weight and heart health in their assessment for insurance cover.
  • Injuries and accidents lead to delays and huge financial burdens – large scale films can lose $250,000 or more per day.  Patrick Swayze broke both legs when he fell off a horse and hit a tree during the filming of “Letters from a Killer” and was unable to work for 6 weeks.  The insurer did not confirm whether money was paid out to cover the financial loss, but they did mention that they were not advised that Patrick would be riding through a forest, they thought it was a field with no trees.
  • The movie set for the film “13 Days” was located in a jungle in the Philippines.  In assessing the insurance coverage for this film the insurer had to consider the dangers of working in a jungle including the humidity, insects and the costs of moving people, equipment and costumes.
  • Angelina Jolie wanted to perform most of her own stunts for the movie “Salt”.  This included high danger activities such as jumping off a bridge and hanging off a ledge of a high rise building.  The insurer approved it on the provision that she wore a safety harness.

The Top 6 North American and Canadian Film Festivals

 

North American & Canadian Film FestivalsFilm festivals in North America and Canada are right on par with the world’s best.  The selection below are the top festivals that are well worth a visit if you are eager to experience one or more in the coming months.  This would also be the perfect chance to see the scenic delights of the country by making the journey in your car (but make sure your vehicle insurance is still active, as you wouldn’t want any unpleasant surprises to dampen your travel and festival experience!)

1.    Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah

Although initially named as the US Film Festival, in 1991, Sundance was given its’ new name after it became part of the Sundance Institute under actor Robert Redford’s stewardship. These days, Sundance is regarded as among the premiere independent film festivals worldwide. Every year, it screens over 125 feature-length films, and a further 90 or so short films. The festival takes place in January, and lasts for a total of 10 days.

2.    Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto Film Festival started in 1976, where the emphasis is on screening films from other top film festivals from around the globe. There’s no argument that Toronto has become a primary festival within its’ own right, and not merely within North America. The festival lasts for 10 days and takes place in the month of September.

3.    Ann Arbor Film Festival

The longest-running of any film festivals in North America, Ann Arbor Film Festival opened its’ doors in 1963. The awards on offer go to a variety of categories, including animation, experimental, narrative, and documentary. The festival lasts for a total of 7 days and takes place in March.

4.    Miami International Film Festival

Miami International Film Festival has been running for over two decades. It showcases American as well as international films, with particular emphasis upon Ibero-American cinema (works from Portugal, Spain, and Latin America in general). The festival is responsible for launching a number of notable film directing careers such as Atom Egoyan (‘The Sweet Hereafter’) and Pedro Almodóvar (‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’). The festival takes place in February, and lasts for 10 days.

5.    Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)

This, the Seattle International Film Festival or SIFF, is the largest film festival in the US, and was started in 1976 by a couple of movie buffs, Darryl Macdonald and Dan Ireland. Yearly prizes on offer for top films is generally around $20,000. The festival is held in May and June and lasts for a total of 4 weeks.

6.    Tribeca Film Festival (New York)

The Tribeca Film Festival was established in 2002 as a response to the World Trade Center attacks, by Robert DeNiro, Craig Hatkoff, and Jane Rosenthal. The original concept was to revitalize the culture and economy of Lower Manhattan by way of an annual celebration of culture, music, and film, as well as to promote New York City as a prominent centre for filmmaking which would help filmmakers reach as broad an audience as possible. The festival lasts for 12 days and takes place in April and May.


How to Become a Film Critic

How to become a film criticDo you have a passion for watching films?  And then afterwards do you love talking about the movie, discussing the highlights, the performances of the actors and the negatives and positives with friends, colleagues, family and anyone who will listen?  You may have wondered whether you can make money through your passion by being a film critic but then decided it was for someone who was interested in journalism or has a journalism degree.

Well you may be surprised that you do not require a Journalism degree (although it can be helpful) to become a film critic!  What you do need is some good writing and communication skills.  Here are some tips to give you a head start on working your way towards being a film critic.

  1. Read a selection of film reviews written by others.  Note down what was discussed by those reviewers.  Observe the way the film review was structured.  How does the reviewer begin their review, what is in the middle and how does it end?  It normally begins with a general description of the movie, then in the middle it drills down further to discuss and critically assess the plot, acting, special effects etc.  The end of the review contains the reviewers concluding assessment and overall rating of the movie.
  2. Start to practice writing film reviews using the structure and style you have researched in the previous point.  In addition, keep in mind the reader – discuss the features of a film that a reader would be interested in such as the storyline, acting and special effects.  Be aware that film critics are in the business of reviewing all categories of film, so watch all genres whether you like them or not.
  3. Search online for websites that allow people to post film reviews and allows others to post comments and feedback in return such as Movie-Blogger or Yahoo Movies.  It gives you experience and practice and you have an online sample of your work to supply to a potential future employer.
  4. Enrol in a writing class to improve your writing skills.  A writing class also has the benefit of gaining specific feedback by the teacher.  A writing group may also be useful as members can provide you with commentary on your writing pieces as well as being a forum for all members to share their experiences.
  5. Volunteer to write film reviews in your local area or if you are studying – in your educational institution.  Contact any group that provides a free publication such as a library, small associations and clubs such as an arts and crafts club, retirement homes, churches etc.  Write for as many free publications as you can.  You are giving up your time with no financial reward to receive valuable experience, to build your name and credibility and to generate your personal portfolio of samples to provide to a potential employer when applying for positions as a film critic.
  6. Ask your readers that are receiving the free publication for feedback and use it to improve your writing for future reviews.
  7. Once you have written enough reviews for the free publications, try contacting local newspapers around your area. Select the best reviews you’ve written to be included with your resume.
  8. Once you have gained enough experience as a paid film critic, continue to approach other publications or try local radio stations who may require a film critic to review films on air.