If so, which ones. If not, are there any decent periodicals that seriously discuss film/dvd both past and present. I’ve picked up a couple of those shiny ones at the book stores, but I think I wasted my $$. I remember reading one years ago that I liked (can’t remember which one) but I liked it because it had loads of info on dvd’s and future releases of dvd’s that included a lot of older/obscure films and actually rated the quality of the transfer and special features. Where are you guys getting that kind of information? In addition to that, I’m more interested in finding reviews of films (past and present) that are longer than one or two paragraphs. tanks
Well, i subscribe to Sight and Sound, and been tempted by Film Comment as they’ve done well-informed and diverse articles. I have little time for mags like Total Film and Empire, the big sellers in UK, as these have always focused mainly on Hollywood, laddish blockbusters and now seem even less interested in world cinema than ever. Part of the general dumbing down? MovieMail (world cinema dvd company in UK) has pleasant little monthly catalogues/newsletters, sent out free to customers
Well Soybean, in terms of magazines, I have no clue, but online, dvdtalk.com rates all the most important aspects of a films, and (using a scale) recommends them. In terms of straight up reviews, rottentomatoes.com catalogs reviews, both professional and amateur. I hope this helps.
For DVD reviews, I go to DVDBeaver which is an invaluable resource for information on the quality of image and sounds of various DVD prints of a film.
As for a film magazine: The one that I read regularly is Film Quarterly which, if you use the online subscription, gives you access to their articles and resources from all way back to their original publication. At least for me, the greatest extent of their coverage is on films and directors which/who aren’t well known, I use it as a jumping off point to discover new films/directors I had not previously investigated.
Currently some of my favorite print publications are Video Watchdog, Cineaste, Sight and Sound, CinemaRetro and the English version of Cahiers du Cinéma. VideoWatchdog focuses a lot of it’s coverage on older and more obscure films available on DVD so you might enjoy that. All of them also offer some of their content online (just Google all the titles) so you can sample them and see if they appeal to you.
Filmmaker (though it’s quality has been slipping)
Those are the three I regularly buy, though I subscribe to nothing. If you want reviews that span multiple pages and really go in-depth, you’ll be incredibly happy with Cineaste.
Wow, thanks for the responses! Sounds like there are at least several decent sources for what I’m looking for. Obviously I can’t subscribe to all of them, are these typically found at Barnes and Noble or Borders? If not, where do you find the print publications?
Soybean-I know the Borders in my area carries most of the major film publications.
i dont care much for film quarterly. its too academic…and I’M an academic! the writing isnt fluid enough, and it also gets impenetrable sometimes.
cineaste is great. i read it regularly. ton of variety, and the writing is excellent. you can dive into an issue of cineaste and feel like you have a months worth of good reading! it’s neverending, and in a good way.
film comment is a favorite of mine too. the layout is absolutely beautiful, and the writing is top-notch. a winning blend between academic and popular. if the look and breeziness and accessibility of film comment merged with the sensitivities, variety, and depth of cineaste, you’d have the perfect film magazine.
back when i was more into the practice of filmmaking, i read american cinematographer regularly. and i was never a cameraman, or even interested in camerawork on that level. but that’s a brilliant magazine, and i learned a ton about filmmaking through it. great writing, even with all of the endless details about camera minutiae.
the few times i read sight and sound, i didn’t like it at all. i never learned much from the articles, and they never presented an interesting point of view. it felt way too superficial to me, in both form and content.
I love Sight and sound but it’s just too expensive in the US. Though when I’m in the UK I’m sure to get it.
there is e-version of Cahiers du Cinéma which costs $45/year but I would love to get Sight and Sound.
Film Comment is not what it used to be, but it’s still very good sometimes.
. . . the Canadian mag Cinemascope sometimes has some good stuff too.
SIGHT & SOUND and FILM COMMENT are the worst. Just glossy, hollywood gossip shit.
Read PREMIERE and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, they have the most thought-provoking lists.