Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jonathan Rosenbaum on the End of Film Criticism

  • Published in  Cahiers du Cinéma Españaran in their January 2009 issue (No. 19). — J.R.
  • Interesting comments coming from something published over a year ago.
The Highlights:

  • "It’s by no means unusual for a “retired” film scholar such as myself to find more work as a freelancer since my retirement late last February than I did for most of the previous two decades as a staff reviewer for the Chicago Reader."
  • "Some of this fixation seems to stem from the unfortunate conflation of film reviewing (a profession that has suffered some recent losses in the U.S. since my own voluntary retirement, as a partial reflection of the many layoffs that have taken place this year in print journalism) with film criticism as a more general activity."
  • "Some of it seems to reflect an apocalyptic reflex that affects many of the arts (as in periodic  announcements about The Death of the Novel)."
  • "One reason why film reviewing in the U.S. appears to be undergoing a loss of prestige is the rapid growth and expansion of Internet film reviewing and blogging, which has intensified the already popular idea that anyone can be a film critic (unlike, say, a dance critic or a sports commentator — two other professions in which some background knowledge is regarded as essential). "
  • "As for those with blogs, I prefer those who are cinephiles, know something about film, and know how to write and do research….”

Is film criticism in the future just a hobby? Will the number of employed film critics drop to a select few that actually get to make a living off of it?

Do you think all aspects of art journalism will eventually go through this faze?

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post, thanks so much for sharing this with us.