Happy Birthday Above The Line

Above The Line: Practical Movie Reviews celebrates its one-year birthday! 

Twelve months ago I created this blog and posted my first review of the film Baraka – a film that remains one of my favorites of all time, the sort of movie that ‘defies plot, genre and explanation’ and one of the many reasons I decided to start this whole thing.  I’ve kept my approach about the same, covering movies in theaters and new releases (or on the splash page at your online rental portal) as well as those from the not-so-distant past (Black Swan), the obscure (The American Astronaut) and the challenging (The Stoning of Soraya M.).  I can’t get to them all, but that is another reason this medium of exchange is so rewarding – I get to write about films that have affected me and people get to tell me about the ones that have affected them.  The result is sharing in the collective world of cinema in ways that exceed geography, ideology and in fact create relationships with film enthusiasts from all persuasions.  Here it is a year later with nearly 150 reviews, countless exchanges with people from all over the globe (nearly 16,000 unique page views and counting) and it feels like I’m just finding my stride.  I have also been fortunate and privileged to supply my reviews, editorials, entertainment news and commentary to other sites: from the Los Angeles based entertainment network www.actorsandcrew.com where I contribute to their online magazine, to the folks at www.movie-vault.com as a contributing writer, and as far away as South Australia for Rodney and www.fernbyfilms.com.

I was asked recently why I spend so much time writing about movies I don’t like.  At first it seemed like a silly question.  From the beginning I wanted this blog to be an extension of my creative writing, enlivened by my passion, pursuits and formal education in filmmaking.  It would be the perfect opportunity for me to marry the perspectives of a film theorist and critic with that of an actual filmmaker.  From this vantage point I can dig deeper into the process, look beyond the 3D trees and CGI accoutrements to offer unique and informed insight from an industry insider.  And to be honest, I just can’t not write about movies.  I enjoy writing about films and sharing my personal experiences, observations and opinions while leaving the door open for debate.  I have even been inspired to revisit a film that I disliked the first time around, giving it further consideration and from time to time expanding my original review.  Every once in a while I’ve even changed my recommendation from “miss-it” to “see-it”.  So that being said, aside from my own enjoyment I think there is a lot to be learned and experienced from all films – even when you might feel had or cheated out of the price of admission.  Just remember, movies are a lot like reviews – you don’t have to like them or agree with them but it’s helpful to keep in mind there’s something for everyone.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to revel with you in the theater.

Additionally, you can read more about me and Above The Line Online at:

www.mubi.com – a collection thoughts about films and filmmakers

www.linkedin.com – a professional portfolio and network

www.vimeo.com – a respectful community of creative people

www.facebook.com – nuff’ said


About rorydean

Rory Dean is a multi-medium artist, writer and new media strategist with a background as a creative consultant and technology liaison in the San Francisco Bay Area. His broad experiences and specialties include print-to-web publicity, promotions and design marketing using traditional and social media networks. As a motion pictures and television professional, his short films, productions and commercials have screened to domestic and international audiences. His connections to a diverse client base include artists, entertainers, corporations, non-profits and everyday people.. Dean is co-owner and founder of Dissave Pictures, a boutique production company focusing on audio, video, photography and multi-media designs. Dean's personal and professional background includes dreaming and avid notebook journaling, creative and copy writing, promotions and marketing, audio/video production, photography, videography, editing, web design and new media. He’s also a fan of collaboration and knows when to turn the reigns over, offer feedback, lead the team and step aside. His portfolio includes print, online, film, video, photography, graphic design and promotions. He’ll show you. He has a book and everything. "When not juggling various online worlds, I do a pretty good mime – but that’s another story."
This entry was posted in Essays on art, Essays on Film, Online, philosophy and film, Speak-Freely, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Happy Birthday Above The Line

  1. CS says:

    Congrats on a great year of blogging. Looking forward to reading many more years of your reviews and posts.

    • rorydean says:

      Hey Man — thanks for the props! You too – do you even know how many hits you’ve gotten over at your site? I dug your comparison of Mann and De Palma. Best to you too->

  2. Rodney says:

    Wow, a year already? Big congratulations from down under mate, I’ve loved reading your work over the journey, and look forward to even more in-depth analysis of all your favorite (and not so favorite!) films…

  3. T. Li says:

    Love this post. I definitely appreciate the variety in the types of films you write about. Not terribly interesting to follow a blog that only has positive reviews! Keep up the good work.

    • rorydean says:

      Hi and thanks for the kind words. I just popped over to your blog, walked through the mud with my shoes on so to speak. I’m glad you noticed, actually. I’m not amazed any more, but I used to be when people asked why I spent so much time writing about movies I didn’t like. Well, because I don’t always like every movie for one, and for another I enjoy it. I think you really can learn something from the bad ones and maybe even from the conversations that stem from disagreeing about them.

      Lets face it, they’re not all bad, more like a box of chocolates – damn, don’t you hate how that metaphor got all blown to hell after that movie? Anyway, like a box of….chicken nuggets, you never know what part of the chicken they’re coming from. Ha! Actually, you do but you toss em’ back with some bb sauce because taking a bite and putting them back in the box would be, well, messy.

      That being said, see ya around…

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