How CINEMA does its work

finding the Good News in blockbusters

Left Photo by Monica Silvestre from Pexels

Not a censorship body, it aims to bring about a film literate citizenry who can judge for themselves which movies promote Christian values, the true, the good, the beautiful. CINEMA reviews, classifies, and rates films to foster a discerning appreciation of film and to guide the viewing public in the critical choice and patronage of films.

The review for publication is written in English for foreign films and Filipino for local productions. Before writing the review, the reviewer will have seen the film, analyzed and discussed it with assessors and other reviewers using the accomplished assessment forms, may have downloaded information from the internet, seen the ads, press releases, movie commentaries and theater posters. The review consists of the following:

The credits: general information about the cast and crew of the movie reviewed.

The ratings: These give an assessment of the technical excellence and moral content of the film. Films are given scores, “1” being the lowest and “5” the highest. Aside from being graded, films are also rated for their audience-appropriateness.

The review article: This has usually three paragraphs:

Paragraph A: The Synopsis
Paragraph B: Technical and Artistic Merits
Paragraph C: The moral or value aspects projected by the movie.

The whole review has about 30–35 lines: Paragraph A and B about 8–12 lines each and Paragraph C about 15–18 lines.

Paragraph A: The synopsis, whether in English or Filipino, is written in the present tense. The synopsis contains the introduction of the movie story, the names of the important characters (with the corresponding actors/ actresses names in the parenthesis) and the main events leading to the point of interest or crisis. So as not to spoil the interest of the moviegoer, the ending is usually not given although leading questions may be asked.

Paragraph B: This presents the technical and artistic merits noted by the writer, using the data on the assessment forms and other possible source of information.

Paragraph C: This calls attention to the way life or the human condition is presented in the film. Is it a truthful presentation or is it falsified or distorted? It notes the ethical and moral values (may be universal/ human cultural/ Filipino) projected. How does the film project good and evil, right and wrong? What can be learned from the film in the light of the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church? What should we watch out for, to be accepted or rejected? This paragraph helps the viewers appreciate the value of a good film.