DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
A WRITER NAMED PHIL HALL (director: Leszek Drozd; cast: Phil Hall; Runtime: 24; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Leszek Drozd; Story Teller Films; 2007)

 
"The next best thing to having writer/journalist/film critic/PR man Phil Hall in person to inspire the writer in you is to have this DVD."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The next best thing to having writer/journalist/film critic/PR man Phil Hall in person to inspire the writer in you is to have this DVD, admittedly only of interest to those who aspire to be writers. The personable Phil, among too many other things to list in his busy life, is a former United Nations correspondent for Fairchild Broadcast News, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, a contributing editor for the online magazine Film Threat, a former owner of a publicity house called Open City Communications and the author of three books ("The Encyclopedia of Underground Movies: Films from the Fringes of Cinema" (2004), "Independent Film Distribution" (2006), and "The New PR" (2007)). In this no-nonsense, no frills, visually static documentary one gets to hear the 43-year-old Phil as he sits on a sofa and nonchalantly rattles off things about his life as a writer and what he learned from his career and watch him promote his books. It might sound a bit too much like an infomercial but Phil comes off as a sincere regular guy who enjoys life, helping other artists get recognized, and using words to illuminate, inspire, and tell stories. He also comes off as being somewhat of a master PR man who knows how to sell a product, freely share pointers on the road to success and with the know-how to get a writer, filmmaker or some forgotten film some recognition. The film is grounded in the reality of commercialism and the struggles the writer faces in getting known rather than the writer's usual inward struggles. For a quickie film, running only 24 minutes, that fits into the category of a self-help video, it might interest the aspiring writer and filmmaker who could use some advice on how to get ahead in the arts.

REVIEWED ON 12/29/2007        GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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