I occasionally write short essays about classic films, and have been thinking about converting them into video essay for YouTube.
What I observe are 2 very different types of essay – I'm not sure what to call them.
One type approaches the work as a superfan. The canon story is revered, and the details are often about explaining the ending, or discussing plot points that are entirely within the work. When this type of essay turns critical, it often takes the form of "fixing" the story. Sometimes these videos are clickbait, "trashing" the bad choices of the filmmakers, but since the criticisms are still mostly canon and in-world, I put these in the same "superfan" category.
The other type of essay is more aligned with social criticism. The details in the story are not as important as the technique and intent. The work is put in cultural and historic context, stepping out of the "review" to discuss broader themes, compare other work that covers similar ground, its impact on the entertainment industry or its place in the career of the actors and director, or how the work reflects (or ignores) social conventions of its time.
There is crossover between the two, but the approach is so fundamentally different it's usually easy to separate the two essay styles almost immediately. A superfan review expects the viewer to be familiar with the subject, and speaks as one fan to another. They can feel a bit naive and consumerist. There is social cache in being an authority of the canon.
The social criticism essays don't presume the viewer has seen the film, and can be pretentious and pondering, speaking as one savvy intellectual to another. The viewer probably needs an awareness of film theory and an interest in film as an artform. The social cache is being an authority of art history and social movements.
The films I write about are not current box office, so my essays tend to lean towards the latter rather than the former. Are there any accepted terms – or maybe other cues I can use to signal the difference?