After a few weeks hiatus, when the original editor of the Criticwire blog left, and a new one came in, the Criticwire Survey is back. This week asks for the Critic's origin story - how they got to be a film critic in the first place. As I have done a few times when answering these questions, I'll say that I don't really consider myself a critic - I write about movies mainly for myself, to work out my own feelings towards a movie, and if others get something out of the reviews, great. I don't paid to write, probably never will get paid to do so, and I'm fine with that. It is a hobby - although one I do take seriously as I continually strive to get better - but I'm happy in my tiny corner of the internet.
So with that out of the way, how did I start writing about movies. It started by falling in love with movies - I always liked movies as a child, but remember a few moments in particular where I knew I loved them - a very long bus ride with my brother's hockey team (after they played like shit, are were quiet all the way home) where we watched Oliver Stone's JFK is still seared in my mind, even though I was 10 at the time (and no, I don't recommend watching any movie on a bus, but this time worked). Than over the next few years being pulled in my movies like Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers (yes, I was too young to see them). I also remember my yearly trip to my Aunt's where we would often end the day watching a classic movie - this is how I got exposed to the Marx Brothers, Casablanca and Citizen Kane for the first time. It was also at my Aunt's house that I first encountered film criticism - in the form of one of Roger Ebert's Video Guide, which I read a lot early in the morning, since I was an earlier riser than everyone else. As my love of film grew, I read more Ebert, starting watching Siskel and Ebert, and eventually starting reading reviews by others as well.
And then, at some point, I started writing about movies. It started slowly in high school and throughout college - brief reviews that I didn't do anything with, and then reviews I posted in the user's section of IMDB - but I grew tired of that. It wasn't really until about 2003 that I actually started writing reviews for every new movie I saw - and some older ones as well. After six years, and more than 1,000 reviews I did nothing with, and enough people telling me I should start a blog that I did in fact do that. So I've been writing reviews for 10 years, publishing them on this blog for 4 years, and I don't see that changing any time too soon.