Before The Moviejerk became an international film blog that it is now – having navigated through both the shitty and classy Hollywood terra firma, the radical world of arthouse cinema and found a genuine, irrevocable love for covering premier film festivals in Cannes, Berlin and London – it’s worth noting that this endeavour began on the humble pages of an A6 notebook. Not many film blogs started as handwritten journals, mind. Prior to the advent of the Internet, the immeasurably crap yet resourceful function of a notepad smaller than a paperback was my personal armour against classroom tedium, scribbling all my thoughts about the latest films I’ve seen with my sixteen-year old eyes inbetween lectures, schoolwork and lunch breaks. Not exactly too-cool-for-school, but more cinephile-in-the-making.
So, allow me to guide you through the brief yet colourful history of The Moviejerk as we roll back the last decade (gasp – it’s been ten years!) of passionate, no-holds-barred film reviewing.
The year that started it all. As a bored-stiff student who refused to harken to snore-inducing Geometry and Chemistry classes, I channelled my movie enthusiasm into writing and began scrawling my film rants on a miniature notebook, one which I personally smothered with shamelessly cut-out images from
stolen library magazines, featuring a few of then-influential celebrities of the period. That explains why Sarah Michelle Gellar, Hayden Christensen and Jennifer Lopez were all on the front-and-back covers, just to accentuate how really shit my taste was ten years ago. At least the adage “Keeping it real” remained a guiding principle until now. Letter grade was my rating system of choice back then, as demonstrated in contrasts by watching the beloved classic Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind next to the godawful Godsend. Hands up who remembers Godsend. None. Alas, that film is now immortalised in the pages of this notebook.
The summer of 2005, my film reviewing non-career saw a huge leap in advancement from A6 to A5. A brand-new notebook twice the size of its forebear was purchased, its pristine pages waiting to be filled with cantankerous rants and raves of everything about movies. Pretty soon, that blank cover was furnished with none other than Uma Thurman’s rampaging Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill Vol. I, complete with cut-out letters from magazines assembled like a ransom letter. More significantly, this film journal was confiscated during a lecture by my teacher, who took it for a week and then returned my property by asking why I liked The Dreamers. Because it’s Bertolucci, duh.
And lo and behold – The Moviejerk, as you know it, migrated online and rode the film blogging wave on the fateful day of 5th of June 2006, when I published a review for Date Movie (a strong contender for the worst film of all-time) on Blogger, the king of blogging platforms circa 2006. No more notebooks, hello Internet. My handwriting barely saw the light of day ever since, as I typed every bile, every praise and every passion-fuelled thoughts into the blogosphere, where I made a personal, life-long oath to critically decry, vilify and blowtorch everything that’s wrong in the movie industry and champion films that really matter from all corners of the globe. This was also the year I launched The Moviejerk Awards to counter that of Oscars, which, to my horrible realisation, is a pantomime show.
For four solid years, I remained loyal to Blogger until I finally gave in to the gorgeous temptations of the sexy-as-fuck WordPress, which is arguably the final word in blogging conversations today. The Moviejerk was refurbished, rebranded and revitalised – continuing its notoriety for scathing, snarky, independent film criticism, so far refusing to sell out (no cash offers, that’s why). But that game changed when in 2012, I attended the BFI London Film Festival as a press member, and one of the best films I’ve ever seen that year Beasts of the Southern Wild graciously utilised my star rating on its film poster (the first in The Moviejerk’s short history) in the name of publicity. It’s the one film that this website feels truly indebted to, a mention that resulted to a growing number of amazing followers that still remain faithful to this day.
No one expected that such a relatively small blog read by a few hundreds would reach Cannes Film Festival, which is exactly what The Moviejerk did in 2013 – the defining year of the website’s lifetime, no doubt. I nearly fell off my chair as soon as I received my accreditation and soon enough, I found myself washed ashore in the world’s most prestigious and glittering film festival set in the French Riviera. I blogged and tweeted the shit out of the twelve-day event like it was the last festival in the world I’d ever had the chance of attending – only to find myself jet-setting to Germany a few months later to cover the Berlin Film Festival. This year was pure, unfettered joy.
As you would’ve guessed by now, this website has been solely run by one person, myself. But 2014 has brought unprecedented changes, leading The Moviejerk to open its horizons and embrace evolution. Earlier this year, the site has upgraded to a whole new minimal look, adopted an Art Deco-inspired logo and a fresh 10-point rating system, abandoning the press-friendly star system. Ubiquitous as it may be, I personally found the star rating to be analogous and inaccurate in some levels, whereas assessing a film through its various aspects (Direction, Screenplay, Performances, Cinematography and Sound) seems more scrupulous and justifiable.
Now and again, you will see some corporations whoring their latest products on the site – but that doesn’t mean we’re selling out. Our critical opinions remain fiercely independent, liberal and non-conformist than ever. It is only our available surrounding white space that’s managed by one of the world’s best media agency Mode Media (previously known as Glam Media), while our text and content within the frame remains – steadfastly – The Moviejerk‘s.
We’ve also opened our doors to a few contributors, whose witty and thoroughly engaging content grace the slick pages of this site, all in service to honest, madly committed film criticism.
The maxim “Passionate. No bullshit. Just mad about film.” has been this website’s guiding principle ever since, and will remain until the day this blog dies.
We look beyond the popular, the outcast and the misunderstood to give you the good, the bad and the ugly – here, now and tomorrow.
Founder/Editor of The Moviejerk