The pressures facing Professional Reviewers

It’s not an easy life for reviewers, obviously. Ben Peek recounts a tale on his lj that is either amusing or depressing, depending on your point-of-view. In brief, he was commissioned to write a review of the new Australian doco Words From the City, but the editors didn’t like his slant and wouldn’t publish. Check out his review and his account of the “incident”.

I’m not offering any comment on Ben’s review here, as I haven’t seen the film, but the whole thing provides an interesting comment on the possibility of enforced bias in some published reviewing.

I notice that Words From the City has been gaining a lot of praise. In the latest issue of Madman’s Directors Suite Newsletter, it is noted that the Brisbane International Film Festival is screening Words From the City

… which has the glorious honour of being the only film accepted into all Australian film festivals this year, and has already garnered a nomination for Best Documentary in this year’s AFI Awards.

Sort of suggests why a magazine might be reluctant to publish a negative review, but it surely isn’t an excuse for such bias.

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