Press relations officer (Italy-France)
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"Every press officer looks for reviews to give visibility to the films they champion. This platforming can not be reduced to a handful of stars.
As an arthouse cinema specialist, I look for a sharp analysis, through a detailed, well-argued review. By giving readers exhaustive and well-researched keys to understanding films, film criticism, especially when it is positive, helps them exist and arouses in readers an eagerness to watch the discussed works. But a more complex analysis that embeds the film in a filmography, even if it’s negative, can prove useful. Comprehension, reflection, visibility… all of these concepts are jumbled together these days. And thus film criticism can prove beneficial for many reasons. However, when one chooses to pick out one glowing sentence, taking it out of its context and appending it to promotional material, then it’s no longer criticism but marketing.
I’m one of the defenders of the old school: my press releases list articles and interviews, working on the assumption that the more these are developed, the more they benefit the film, and benefit me as well. Generally speaking, I know the films I promote, I’ve watched and rewatched them, I’ve spoken at length with the director and the distributor and yet sometimes arguments made by certain critics may reinforce or enlighten my own understanding of the film. That’s what I enjoy the most about my job, this dialogue. International reviewers, with whom I work a lot in festivals, offer different views on filmmakers and their work, which are sometimes opposite to their French counterparts.
It can be unsettling but it’s always enriching. I don’t know if film criticism 'makes' or 'breaks' films, but it enriches and enlightens our own understanding."
As told to Isabelle Danel