Welcome to movieshrink.com!
The movie reviews on this site reflect straight-up movie analysis of films from all genres, eras, and cultures. However, in addition to these mainstream reviews, I will also post reviews, thought pieces, and articles which will take a psychological approach to cinematic analysis by examining how the mind and movies interact. Such articles will, for example, explain how films are made more effective through film-makers’ understanding of human psychology or how psychology might work unbeknownst to a filmmaker to better or reduce the effectiveness of a film or scene. They will outline and explore our responses to certain films and dissect the way in which bias and personal experience can profoundly affect our appreciation of film. Such articles might be prompted by individual films, film genres, traditions of film, or filmographies.
Although I have been a keen film fan all my life, it’s only in the last few years I have begun to collect my thoughts on the medium in general and individual films in particular. A year ago, this site went live as themoviesyndicate.com the purpose of which was to hone my film analysis through practice, visitor feedback, and discussion. My qualifications as a psychologist are a little more tangible as I have a Degree, Masters, and PhD in psychology and have published several papers in international peer-reviewed journals. As a lifelong movie fan and a psychologist, I am keenly aware of how closely related the studies of film and psychology are. After all, film-making can be defined as the direct attempt to predict, stimulate, and manipulate human perceptions and cognitions. Films succeed or fail both artistically and financially on the basis of how well or poorly a filmmaker can do this. Filmmakers are furthermore required to crawl inside their characters’ minds to predict and justify their motivations and general behaviour. It’s not surprising therefore, that I am constantly using one to understand the other and even though my film reviews are straight up non-specialised reviews, my writing is clearly informed by such thinking. Therefore, one shouldn’t be surprised to find psychological slants to some of these reviews.
The site’s structure and functionality is largely informed by my understanding of psychology also. Thus, every review is written with a full awareness of my bias as a writer and understanding that an avoidance of bias is a psychological impossibility. Therefore, visitors are encouraged to add their own ratings to each film I have reviewed. I have classified my reviews across three lists so that the movies which reflect what I value (The Good list) and don’t value (The Bad list – popular films which I personally dislike – I see no point in reviewing films which I and everyone else recognise as bad) in film are clear and obvious. Moreover, in addition to my Good and Bad lists, there is an Ugly (guilty pleasure) list which includes films for which I have, on my own, identified a personal bias towards (such as nostalgia or personal preference). Lastly, in addition to including a standard visitor rating system, I have included a more novel film comparison facility which taps a more implicit feeling of preference amongst visitors and should therefore be less affected by explicit bias than traditional 5-10 point rating scales.
I hope you enjoy the site 🙂