Inception

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Dear 'The Truth'

Not seeing a film and then reviewing and publishing review of that film under the guise that you saw it shows a complete lack of integrity and journalistic merit, no matter how pressed you are for a deadline or how important it is to include the film in the magazine. There are no two ways about this, not through rhetoric or reference to how nice Ms Troester may be.

Forget Danielsen for a moment. Who cares what he has to say, or whether he reads ExBerliner or even likes Troester. ExBerliner committed nothing short of fraud by publishing their review on Inception without having seen the film. Period. Perhaps the magazine could have kept their capsule review intact along with a disclosure below it which stated that the reviewer had no time to see the film. While this wouldn't be great, it would be a hell of a lot better than what ended up as the ultimate result. Perhaps the New York Times or the USA Today would be expected to have something to say about a new Hollywood blockbuster, and thus feel pressured to put something down on the page. I doubt this is the case for ExBerliner. If in fact they are truly the independent, cutting edge, fringe magazine you make them out to be, then why include reviews of any big budget Hollywood films at all? Especially films they did not see.

If we to follow your the logic in your world of journalism, it would be okay to publish a travel blog on Greece if 'your Aunt was there and really liked it', write an authoritative narrative on stem cell research having passed High School Biology or review a tuna salad sandwich that 'your friend' tasted. There is an implicit trust between author and reader when we read a publication like Exberliner, that while not always perfect, the journalist has made every attempt at properly researching the facts behind the story before putting the proverbial pen to paper. ExBerliner and Troester have violated that trust. While the damage done from a misguided phony review of Inception may be trivial, the entire editorial integrity of the magazine is compromised. I for one will never pick up another issue again, and I know several others in the ex-pat community that feel the same way. The magazine needs to address what has happened here and explain why publishing a review of a movie its film editor didn't see was not only an acceptable thing to do, but why anybody should ever believe another word amongst its pages ever again.

The Voice of Reason more than 6 years ago

The truth

I have worked at Exberliner and I can tell you, Änne and her team are definitely not hacks. Not only do they watch the films they review, they also see films that don't even make it into the magazine.

What does happen is that very, very occasionally - maybe two or three times a year - a big Hollywood blockbuster comes out that cannot be reviewed before print time (always because its distributors/production company have refused to release review copies and hold advance press screenings). If they are too important to be ignored, these two or three Hollywood blockbusters are given a minimal capsule review based on the extended segments and insider knowledge Änne gleans from her friends in the industry, as well, of course, as her knowledge and research as a professional film critic of some nine years standing.

So... all this to say that Shane Danielsen's rant in Indiewire - his positioning of himself as a great crusader for good, honest, old-school film reviewing, and Änne as the immoral hack who's only in it for the freebies - is so misguided as to be ridiculous. Danielsen claims to be taking on the fakes who are killing off ethical film journalism, but instead writes a character assassination of an extremely conscientious reviewer at a last-stand independent magazine. (Exberliner, for those who don't know, is still run by the three journalist-editor-publishers who started it just under a decade ago.)

And, because it's an independent (read idealistic) magazine, Exberliner watches the films it reviews. At the very least, this fact is made clear by the example Danielsen himself gave in his Indiewire rant: Exberliner gave "Toy Story 3" a worse rating than "Shrek: Forever After" because the reviewer was repelled by Toy Story 3's insidious right-wing agenda.

Danielsen's beat-down is therefore not directed at a bad film critic who doesn't watch films: it's directed at a film critic who watches all other films (indie, art-house, obscure, mainstream, you name it) with tenacious thoroughness, but very, very exceptionally doesn't see a Hollywood blockbuster in its entirety.

Hmm... so remind me. Who's the hack here?

EXB insider more than 6 years ago

didn't see the film

Dear a_fag_against_posers,
Not does your post make no sense whatsoever, it's filled with unnecessary, bile infused anger for absolutely no reason at all. Instead of posting your bitter antagonistic diatribe, try answering the question at hand. Did Troester see the film or not? If she didn't, why is she writing a review about it. If she did see the film, and the Indiewire piece is bogus, than Troester should come forth and respond to the ridiculous allegations. If however the author of the piece is right, I am willing to overlook his Ex-Berliner criticisms and listen to the core of his complaint, which is that Ex-Berliner's integrity should indeed be called into question. In this day and age of fleeting Internet blogs and random message boarding (much like what we are engaged in here), the ability to rely on real journalists to disseminate both the facts and their fact based opinions is extremely important. The alternative is having to read the dribble of guys like you and me.

a_fag_against_posers_who_spew_anger more than 6 years ago

Please, bitches

Whatever you may feel about a film preview being printed in a magazine, if you read the indiewire piece it's just oozing with nothing but contemptible, bone-to-pick pus. I have to wonder about a guy who randomly inserts a criticism about Ex-Berliner's thoughts on Shrek and Toy Story for no discernible reason and NO context. To bully a woman publicly that he's never met before and then complain about the indignation he has suffered at the hands of ALL of Ex-Berliner's film criticism smells of nothing more than a jealous, middle-aged turd who didn't even had the decency to write to the editor or call in the first place. Where did he get his journalism tactics? Fox News? I've seen Ex-Berliner - all the contact info is right there in the front. And for all these dumb internet fanboy "crusaders" to continually rip on someone who clearly was caught off guard, you are cowardly and sheeplike. You want to pick on bad journalism, then go pick on Lynn Herschberg of the NYT.

a_fag_against_posers more than 6 years ago

Rubbish

You guys don't know what you're talking about. Änne has her sources. She just keeps schtum about them when she's talking to idiots...

more than 6 years ago

Exberliner reviews are bogus

I cant believe that they would even print a review without seeing the film. Thanks for the link...wow

bennyjb more than 6 years ago

did Exberliner see this film

I dont think they even saw it...

whatajoke more than 6 years ago

Exberliner did not even see the film

Check out this article:

http://www.indiewire.com/article/shane_danielsen_among_the_grifters/

thetruth more than 6 years ago

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