What is a Cinephile?

Here at CineJourneys we like to say this is a place that is “For Cinephiles, By Cinephiles.” And while that is certainly true, we also realize that some people might not exactly know what the word “cinephile” means. Or if they do know what it means, they might be discouraged by the very concept of our motto based on past experiences and interactions.

When we were in the early stages of developing what would become CineJourneys, there were two things that we wanted to avoid: snobbery and toxic behavior. We strongly believe that film is for everyone. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy film, so long as you find what you love and embrace it. And perhaps be open to broadening your interests in hopes of discovering a new cinematic passion. We hope to achieve the following: 

  • Foster an inviting environment where people from all backgrounds can discuss film regardless of their level of cinematic expertise– and without the trappings of most online communities.
  • There will be no gatekeeping, snobbery, and shaming. Is it your first time seeing a film? Great! We love it when someone discovers a new-to-them film. It allows us to relive positive memories from our first viewing of the film.
  • Create a space that brings people together to experience the power of cinema– not turn them away because of a lack of expertise.
  • With the future of film literacy at risk, it’s more important than ever to maintain an open and welcoming platform for folks to share and learn.

So what is a cinephile?

Well, to us, it means having a love of film that goes beyond just watching a movie. It’s not about specific genres or filmmakers or working down a list of “essential” films. It’s really about having an open mind and a desire to learn. It’s about sharing the ideas and feelings experienced when watching a film. It’s the joy of sharing a favorite movie with a friend or loved one.  That collective experience of seeing a film in a theater with an engaged audience. The memory of watching a film for the first time. That’s what being a cinephile means to us. When we say “For Cinephiles, By Cinephiles,” it might as well be “For Anyone Who Wants to Learn, By Those Who Are Still Learning.”

George Clooney and Tim Blake Nelson in O Brother, Where Art Thou? sitting in a darkened movie theater.