Isabella McNeill is a Film and Screen honours student at Monash University, who is attempting to establish herself as a person who writes words for a living. She is a television addict, a romantic-comedy nerd, and at her happiest when she is sitting five rows from the front in the centre, in a mostly empty movie theatre.
City I call home: Melbourne
Twitter handle: @bellamcneill
Facebook page: facebook.com/bella.mcneill
Type of cinema I am most passionate about:
American independent, documentary, and anything resembling a romantic-comedy; from Ernst Lubitsch to Gillian Robespierre, I’m a sucker for awkward romance.
A film that changed me/my mind is:
Kiarostami’s Close-Up because it taught me that cinema’s capacity to blur the line between fiction and reality is often much more fun than any attempts at discerning it.
I’m looking forward to Critics Campus because:
A week of watching incredible films and then talking about them with an incredibly talented group of cinephiles sounds like my wildest dreams come true.
Cinema excites me because:
Sometimes I feel like I am seeing actual magic on the big screen.
Favourite critic and why:
Anne Thompson (Editor at Large at Indiewire). Never one to shy away from films that many critics would discredit for being too mainstream or too independent, Thompson always considers a new film in regard to its industrial and cultural contexts, ensuring that a film is given the opportunity to be seen for its full value.
The future of film criticism is:
Digital! Digital platforms add new possibilities to audience engagement, textual analysis, and to making cinema global. The places we use to talk about great (and awful) films are evolving and it is important to embrace these changes and pursue the new avenues available.
Film criticism is important because:
Film is how we make sense of the world around us.
The MIFF film I’m most looking forward to: