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Meet Stephen Michael Brown of

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephen Michael Brown.

Stephen Michael, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve reviewed movies since elementary school and started my career writing film reviews and stories for a newspaper and an East and West Coast movie magazine. Even while fulfilling my passion for PR through a job I love – chief innovation officer at Cookerly, I blog at as a way to continue to express my passion for cinema. My reviews reflect a populist slant, inspired by my writing role model, the late Roger Ebert. I also follow the Andrew Sarris school of “auteur” film critique through which the film is viewed as authored by the director, who coordinates words, images and technical craft to make his or her work for the big or small screen. In addition to the capsule reviews on my site, some of which date back to an old syndicated column of mine called “Lights…Camera…Reaction,” I help as a booster of new filmmakers and even help as a sponsor of film festivals, such as Out on Film here in Atlanta. I’ve been a social media influencer for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and a partner to Dolby in covering technologies related to the Academy Awards. I am a patron of the arts in Atlanta, as chairman of the board of Actor’s Express and advisory board member for Alliance Theatre and Center for Puppetry Arts. You’ll find me at a movie screening or event nearly every weekend and many weeknights, among my activities in the city. I’m a pretty social person, except in the cinema, where I demand perfect quiet and a text-light free zone. I’m known to sit on the very front row to not be bothered by the flickering candlelight of cellphones. I love the Landmark Midtown and Plaza Theatre the most for eclectic festivals, special events and the curation of a great cinema culture.

Has it been a smooth road?
Sometimes I feel like the last of the pure-play movie lovers. Spending lots of my free time watching new movies means less time to Netflix and chill like everyone else is doing. I’m not a good person to ask what I’m watching on TV, because unless it’s a movie debuting on a streaming service or video-on-demand, I probably still have it in my queue. It’s a first world problem, for sure, that I haven’t watched lots of the amazing content being made for television. But somebody’s gotta see all the new movies in the theatre!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the story. Tell us more about the business. is a passion of mine. I specialize in short capsule reviews of the mainstream as well as art house movies. I’m proud of my ability to find unexpected movies to recommend or to speak truth to power when a box office juggernaut isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I love to discover movies such as Joderowsky’s Dune, Youth, Tangerine and The Women’s Balcony with something new and different to say. Even the movies that frustrate me – such as mother! – keep me consistently intrigued.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Content has spread from cinema and TV sets to every type of device. There’s so much content these days, that some of the brightest and most original voices are going to bubble up in new ways to get our attention. I always like the game-changers – Boyhood, for instance, filmed over a decade; Get Out that smashed a few genres into a new type of storytelling, Wonder Woman that united the fanboys and fangirls and Baby Driver that felt like an awesome mash-up mixtape of crime dramas and romantic magic realism. Hollywood isn’t the center of the movie universe anymore; it is much more distributed. The ecosystem will continue to embrace new voices and styles. Perhaps movies will start getting taller and vertical to match our mobile phone sensibility.

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