Jul 2, 2024

Internet Archive Rediscovers My Work in its "Way Back Machine"

 In the spirit of the "Way Back Machine" here is a photo taken
at MoMA in 2013 after my interview with production designer 
Dante Ferretti and his wife set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo. 
One of the vagaries of writing for online outlets is that a writer's work can disappear if the magazine or newspaper is sold to another company, or if the outlet decides the work is outdated. That is why hundreds of my reviews, features and blog posts, written as a contributing writer for Film Journal International, are no longer on the Internet. I am delighted to report that five of my interviews found their way into the Internet Archive's "Way Back Machine." If you are a film buff, you know that Internet Archive is the best site for free movies. (These are films with no copyright restrictions, and includes the John Ford masterpiece Stagecoach, 1939.)
I am lucky to have some of my work preserved on databases such as Jstor and The Film Index, as my interview with Ferretti and Lo Schiavo is, and many of my other features and reviews, but often my "small film" coverage, usually about art house fare, especially documentaries, are not available.  The loss of of reviews and features written contemporaneously with the film's release are irreplaceable because the writer more accurately contextualizes the movie, identifying its relevance in that historical moment, rather than reviews written retrospectively that view the film quite differently and sometimes inaccurately. 
While audiences may discover new meanings in the films of the past, it is the critic's job to judge the writer's and the director's original intent so that the historical record is complete. I hope you will read the following reviews and features on Internet Archive, not solely because it revives my work but because it will encourage the website to continue this wonderful practice that, again, preserves the historical record. I have been writing about film for nearly 30 years, and remain one of few critics with an M.A. in cinema studies. 

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