Preparation of a Young Woman Film Critic

In which I make a checklist

Big news: your girl was selected for the Young Critics Workshop at the Ukrainian Film Festival Berlin!

From this weekend through next, I’ll be working alongside seasoned and up-and-coming writers to probe the genre of film criticism and hone the craft in order to cover this year’s premieres.

It probably goes without saying how excited I am. Aside from researching the history of Ukraine for a bit of cultural context (and hoo boy is that a WHOLE nother ball game), I’m assembling some tools for my aspiring critic’s toolbox. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Read all the biographical material on Pauline Kael you can get your hands on
  • Think about how exhausting it must have been to be Pauline Kael
  • Watch those 2-hour items in your Netflix queue that you ‘didn’t have time for’ even though you had time for 6 20-minute episodes of New Girl
  • Determine once and for all whether you will say ‘movies’ or ‘films’ (pretentious???)
  • Perfect your cool/stoic/appraising/disdainful glance
  • Improve your subtitle reading time as if training for a sprint
  • Get used to saying “Don’t take this personally…”
  • Conceive that you might one day actually find yourself in a position to say 🎶 don’t I know you from the cinematographer’s party? 🎶
  • Incorporate a lot of black sweaters into the wardrobe
  • Start looking for visual motifs wherever they may remotely be found
  • Stop forgetting who Peter Bogdanovich is

Look out, Hollywood, I’m on my way!!

Published by Cecilia Gigliotti

Cecilia Gigliotti (she/her) lives in Berlin with a beloved ukulele named Uke Skywalker. She co-hosts and produces the music commentary podcast POD SOUNDS. Her free time goes toward dancing, reading books new and old, drawing cartoons, taking city walks, and devoting too much thought to the foibles of her heroes. Connect with her on Instagram (@c_m_giglio, @ceciliagphotography, @pod_sounds_podcast) and see what else she's up to (

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