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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 1. March 4, 1953

My Approach to Film Criticism

My Approach to Film Criticism

I haven't written a script or directed a film, but I go to the pictures at least 60 times a year, listen to "Focus on films" once a week, read during the day at least two chapters on some aspect of film art and spend almost every lecture hour thinking about films. On Saturday night or Wednesday night I pay my 2/3 and sit in the stalls; not in the circle with the high-brows, or in the front row with the low-brows. After the coloured lights have disappeared from the screen. "I let the film wash over me." take the Kelburn cable car to Weir and then "examine the markings in the sand." I ask myself. "Have I been entertained.?" If so, how and why? in order of importance these are my main considerations.

(1)Have the script-writer and director shown subject-sympathy? Is their film truthful and sincere?
(2)Has the director used appropriate technical resources with taste and restraint? ("La Rondo" received full marks in this department.)
(3)Apart from technical considerations, have the actors keyed their performances to fit into the director's conceptions?

If I can give any type of film top grading for (1), (2), and (3) I call it "great." I haven't had to use that Word yet but I am still hoping.