My background is in visual art, a field I've worked in for my entire adult life since completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at COFA straight after high school. During this time I've supported my painting and exhibiting through an eclectic range of jobs including proofreading, teaching belly dance and working as an accompanist for classical singing students, as well as the always reliable customer service roles.
Film reviewing is a more recent development, but it had its genesis years ago at art school when my painting took a 'dark' turn and I started looking quite seriously at horror as a genre. My interest in this often misunderstood category endured and paved the way for me to find work reviewing hundreds (literally) of horror DVDs for independent Australian film magazine Filmink. Horror remains a major interest area and is a topic I blog about regularly.
Painting and reviewing are for me very different processes, yet the two often influence each other. My upcoming exhibition, Whistle and I'll Come To You, has overtones of both horror and cinema. It runs 2-12 April at Sheffer Gallery, Sydney. http://www.sheffergallery.com/
While analytical by nature, I've always been reluctant to write about my own discipline of visual art in a public forum, so it feels like the best of both worlds to have the opportunity to critique the related yet discrete medium of cinema. A visual arts background doesn't go astray, especially when reviewing animation. My main aim in a review is to convey the tone and method of a film—how it goes about the business of doing what it sets out to do—without revealing too much of the narrative, though 'spoilers' aren't as much of an issue in a critical essay. RealTime reviews in particular require a great deal of context and nuance, something which continually broadens my horizons while keeping me on my toes.
Though my obligation to readers is to be completely honest about a film, I owe it to the film's creators to stringently back up criticism, to try to ignore personal biases and to remain dispassionate, though on rare occasions anger is an entirely legitimate response! It can be easy to take a cheap shot at something you don't like, however this I try to avoid.
Playful, intimate, humane horror
Katerina Sakkas: Squabbalogic's Carrie the Musical
RealTime issue #119 Feb-March 2014 p47
The crime movie, Indigenously
Katerina Sakkas: Ivan Sen, Mystery Road
RealTime issue #116 Aug-Sept 2013 p18
Two-bit antipodean horror becomes a classic
Katerina Sakkas: Sonya Hartnett on Wolf Creek
RealTime issue #108 April-May 2012 p20
The horror: How Australian? 1
Katerina Sakkas: Australian horror films, part one
RealTime issue #103 June-July 2011 p15
The horror: How Australian? 2
Katerina Sakkas: Australian horror films, part two
RealTime issue #104 Aug-Sept 2011 p34
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