I just posted the following letter to visitors on the AboutFilm.Com home page:
It's been 8 years since AboutFilm.Com went on hiatus, and the reality is that, while I may someday return to AboutFilm, it's probably not going to happen anytime soon. Nonetheless, I'm enormously proud of what we achieved. In 1998 no one had heard of us, my reviews were rudimentary, and my web design skills were terrible. By 2006 I had written 300 reviews, interviews, and features, and many talented other writers had also contributed. We had achieved more than 100,000 page views a month; a community of film lovers thrived on our message boards; and my web design skills were still terrible.
In those years I learned a lot about film criticism, running a website, and editing other writers. I learned that press junkets are populated less by writers interested in the process of making movies than they are by people paid by supermarket checkout-line magazine publishers to assemble sidebars about celebrities' worst summer jobs. I earned a screenwriting degree and came to understand that writing a functional script is much more difficult than I had assumed in my early days of complaining about atrocious straight-to-cable action movies.
Most importantly, I learned that film criticism is inherently subjective. All you can do is express your opinion, explore the reasons for your opinion as best you can, and hope someone else finds your perspective interesting. Looking back, I regret some of the snarky things I occasionally wrote, particularly in the early days, about an actor, a director, or a writer. Almost everyone goes into the process of making a film with the best of intentions, even a low-grade horror, and there are many reasons why something does or does not work. The exploration of those reasons is what I tried to make my focus as I became more experienced.
Everything ever posted on AboutFilm continues to be available in our index. Someday I might even find the time to put the content into a more attractive Wordpress template. I continue to grade movies in our Year in Film section, and some of our community still posts on the AboutFilm Forum here.
The pieces listed below are the some of the ones that proved to be our most popular, or at least garner the most attention. Enjoy.
—Carlo Cavagna, November 2014