Sunday, April 4, 2010

Film Critics In Focus

New Theories; No Consensus
By Bryce Renninger (April 2, 2010)

  • Gives a great summary of the wave of "film criticism's demise" articles that have been released recently.

The Highlights
  • “There used to be James Agee, and now there is Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten movies routinely make huge sums of money in spite of the demurral of critics. Where once reasoned debate and knowledgeable evaluation flourished, there are now social networking and marketing algorithms and a nattering gaggle of bloggers.” - A.O. Scott 
  • “Insofar as we think of criticism as evaluation, we need to distinguish between taste (preferences, educated or not) and criteria for excellence.”  Responding to the assumption that film criticism should foster a love of films, he said, “Enough with the love, already.”  And finally, “Opinions need balancing with information and ideas.”David Bordwell
  • Kevin Smith recently decided that his new film “Red State” will not be screened for free in advance for critics.  This in response to the critical bashing of Smith’s latest film “Cop Out.”
  • "In the end, we get a few more views on the relevance of the craft.  As Smith says those that pay for tickets have the only relevant opinion, critics wonder if he’s afraid of criticism, if he realizes the financial status of a critic, and if he values the act of talking critically about art at all.  In this new turn of events, we have a few new theories on relevance but no consensus. "

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