“The truth of art lies in its power to break the monopoly of established reality to define what is real.”
We review films: oftentimes those that receive far too little attention. We aspire to find meaningful moments and performances worth pausing for and denouncing the superficial gloss that film reviewing has become. We look not just towards the colors and sounds on-screen, but into the utility and relevance of the story being told in the context of everyday life. In an age of counterfeit identities and medicated distractionism, we hope to inspire moments of genuine self-reflection. Whether we achieve those aims remains to be seen.
Our slogan comes from a Wim Wenders interview, where he pointed out the decline in independent film criticism, as more and more journalists—tethered to the perks that come with pandering—refuse to be a mirror to the industry. For the last couple of years, we’ve noticed a trend towards review inflation in favor of average films because they endorse the political ideology of “progressivism” (and by extension, Hollywood) and poorly written movies being celebrated due to the intellectual levity that our culture has embraced. We wanted to be a counterbalance to this trend—not because we hate progressivism, but because we hate peddlers. Not because we want to be snobs, but because the film industry will only get better when the audience learns to appreciate substance over mere amusement. As Paul Schrader said once in an interview with Rolling Stones: “[w]henever audiences ask art for answers, art will rise to the challenge and there will be great art.”
Corresponding to the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and adjusting for film choice inflation, our scale works in the following way:
FRESH = B- and up (🍅) | ROTTEN = C+ and down (👎)