Amor_Lucis's profile

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Saturday, April 29th, 2023 4:27 AM

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Question about Declined Review

The below review was declined. Can someone please tell me what IMDb guidelines this review violates? I ask because I have a history of having my reviews declined when I comment on the regressive sexism of a film and then when I come here and ask why the review was declined or deleted, the review is then reinstated. There seems to be a bias against allowing reviewers to speak frankly about sexism in films. 

This review is about the film and gives specifics about what did not work for me about the film. Plenty of other reviews on IMDb use an entertaining polemic tone and they seem to get approved. Is this a case of hearing a review from a woman's subjective reality as too "harsh" while not hearing the same "harshness" in other reviews with a similar tone?

The problem is the sexist tropes in the film, not the person pointing out the sexist tropes. It reeks of gaslighting the whistleblower, IMDb. And, as I said, it's happened several times before.

Submission #230428-003708-434704

Film: Emily (2022)

Title: Really Very Bad

Review:

We actually walked out of the theater halfway through. Can we please stop making movies about incredibly accomplished women that tells us nothing about what she is incredibly accomplished about? In this case--her writing? Instead, we are treated to a microscopic analysis of her--wait for it--infatuations with men. Good thing she's got a man around to 'splain how to reach "womanhood" - through porny masochistic sexuality with a dominating man. The portrayal of Emily Bronte was so crabby, pouty and morose. Let's take an "enigmatic" woman of history and just paint whatever we want to project onto her blank slate and call it her story. Three stars for the costumes and sets but, even that could not save this clunker of a film.

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1 year ago

The rhetorical device "Can we please stop making movies about incredibly accomplished women that tells us nothing about what she is incredibly accomplished about?" could stand to be rephrased as something more along the lines of "This movie is about an incredibly accomplished woman, but it tells us nothing about what she is incredibly accomplished." However, the question isn't really a violation, if the guidelines are interpreted strictly. The point is that the movie review system isn't for soap boxes pertaining to all the ongoing problems transpiring in the "creative" industries. Also, using the first person plural pronouns ("we", "us" and "our") can often manifest sentiments that drift into controversial territory. Similar may be the case with the utilization of second person pronouns ("you", "you" and "your").

37 Messages

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810 Points

@jeorj_euler​ 

Thank you for your reply. You state:

"The point is that the movie review system isn't for soap boxes pertaining to all the ongoing problems transpiring in the "creative" industries."

A few things.

First, what is wrong with identifying that something in this particular movie is indicative of a larger trend in film? What if I were talking about a particular type of editing and said that it is a current trend that I personally dislike? Aren't we suppose to give "context" for our critique? Isn't that important context? That this type of narrative is done frequently? It's a recognizable pattern? Which implies that it's lazy and cliche?

Second, your characterization of this as a "soapbox" is exactly the type of bias I am talking about. What makes this a "soapbox?" I am making a viable critique about biographical movies that leave out the context of why the person is renowned and that with respect to women, that is replaced with their romantic affiliations.

Also, your reasons seem unverifiable because on this title alone, other approved reviews utilize the same semantic devices that you are suggesting resulted in my review being declined. For example, here is a line from another review of this same title.

"But I think in a biopic, you shouldn't rampantly ignore all information about your characters."

This reviewer is making a statement about biopics in general (as did I) and they also used the second person pronoun "you."

This quote from an approved review (also from "Emily") gets on a "soapbox" about the NYTs review of the movie, rather than sticking to a critique of the film itself:

"What's really sad to me is that even the NYT critic raves about it. She has a masters in film studies and I suspect hasn't read the novels or biographies either."

Another approved Emily review that uses the second person pronoun is:

"Are you nauseated yet?"

And here is yet another from "Emily" using the second person pronoun

"Snogging your employer's wife in church in Victorian Yorkshire? I don't think so!"

As for my "we" statement, you conveniently edited out crucial context. What I wrote was...

"Can we please stop making movies about incredibly accomplished women that tells us nothing about what she is incredibly accomplished about? In this case--her writing?" [emphasis mine]

I am relating a specific critique of this movie to a larger trend in biopics, exactly as another reviewer did in the approved review I referenced above.

Again, it seems that when a reviewer is perceived as female, her language is interpreted as more "political," "emotional" and "controversial" than if the speaker is not perceived as female.

I have pointed out--with evidence--the double standard that was applied with respect to my review. You have also stated that my review did not "strictly" violate guidelines. You have also not pointed to any specific language in the guidelines that I violated. Does it say in the guidelines that you can't use first person plural pronouns? Does it define what a "soapbox" comment is and isn't? 

Otherwise, I think this is an after-the-fact attempt to justify why this review was declined.

Please reinstate my review.  Thank you.

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223.9K Points

Just to note, I am not an IMDb employee, ergo I have no power to "reinstate" anything having to do with anything of the movie review data type. I was simply providing a very small amount of insight as to why somebody may have reported the review as abusive and the IMDb data editors subsequently approved such an abuse report. Also, just because a review has been approved, doesn't mean that every piece of its content belong on the site. If a review author is tired of having to come to this forum to complain about his or her work being declined for publication, then there really isn't a solution to that apart from simply dialing back frequency and voracity of the contributing, unless somehow the matter could actually be escalated without any mendacity or gaslighting. While a lot of people think highly of IMDb, I do not. And that's not to say that there is nothing great about IMDb, but seriously the site (the database) has been on the decline lately. Recognize.

From https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/contribution-information/user-review-guidelines/GABTWSNLDNFLPRRH#, the provision mainly pertinent to the particular review in question is the one that forbids "personal opinions on real life events or subject matter on which a film is based." Which is perhaps subject wildly to interpretation, but there it is. Also, an important thing to be mindful of the provision that forbids "Expressions of hatred or intolerance for people on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender or gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability, including by promoting organizations with such views." Just having anything that resembles a bigoted subtext toward, say, women, could be a problem. Capisce?

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810 Points

Thank you for your response. My question was "what about this review violates guidelines?" Since neither you (nor anyone else, yet) has show that something in my review violated any guidelines, I am left with the impression that IMDb has a bias against permitting reviewers to comment on how films perpetuate sexist tropes in narratives. Pointing out aspects of narratives that are lazy, cliche, or that perpetuate stereotypes towards a particular demographic is valid content in a review and is neither hatred nor intolerant. Quite the opposite. 

I'm guessing that if someone pointed out tired, cliche racist stereotypes in a narrative, that would not be censored nor would it be viewed as a "soapbox."

We do agree on one thing. I do not think highly of IMDb, either, because of bias like this. A website with this kind of monopoly and influence over culture deciding what can be critiqued in a narrative and what cannot is dangerous censorship.

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223.9K Points

Well, mention of the way that films (at least some in general) perpetuate sexist tropes is a bit off-topic in IMDb's movie review system, since doing such a thing isn't consistent with the overall mission of movie reviews posted to IMDb. Each review is supposed to be focused on the content of the specific movie, with some reasonable allowance for references to predecessor works (in the case of reviews of sequels or spin-offs) and knowable sources of the studio/filmmakers's sources of inspirations. IMDb may indeed be "biased" in that sense. Which would only really be a problem (or a source of heartache) if it isn't concisely codified in IMDb policy. Usually the bias lay in the way that ordinary IMDb members interact with the abuse report feature of IMDb movie reviews. Whereas the IMDb data editors are more likely to be rather indifferent, unless it is clear that somebody is submitting the same false reports repeatedly, especially if on purpose.

37 Messages

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810 Points

Whether or not a narrative passes the smell test for believability is definitely part of the overall mission of movie reviews posted to IMDb.

If women are portrayed as cliche caricatures having no resemblance to the actual real person the narrative is portraying, that is definitely relevant to an audience member's experience of watching the film.

It is also relevant to point out a trend in film.

The problem here is not that my comments are off-topic of in violation of guidelines. The problem is that the IMDb community wants to twist itself into a pretzel of sophistry to convince itself that it doesn't have the obvious bias against women that it has.

There is nothing in my review that violates guidelines and there is also nothing in my review that is not also in other reviews that are approved.

The more cyberspace continues to gaslight the public by making fallacious excuses for its sexist double standards, the more the public will lose faith in websites like IMDb and you will be left with an echo chamber of a brodeo talking to itself.

You can already see the bias in how many men vs. women review movies. It's obvious. We can all see it.

#LetWomenSpeak

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The IMDb Community doesn't run IMDb. The company owned by Amazon does. I could agree that no explanation at all is better than a supposedly sophist one. What would you have me do, apologize for bothering to remark at all? I'm not going to that.