Poll: Film Criticism

Since the days of Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris or even Siskel and Ebert, the face of film criticism has changed dramatically. Now with a huge amount of social media, it seems anyone anywhere can share their personal opinions of films old and new. What kind of impact is this having on good old film criticism and the importance of the film critic? Do critics in the classical sense still matter? Or are they becoming less important as our connectivity to each other grows?

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9 Replies to “Poll: Film Criticism”

  1. I still read critical reviews of new films, in magazines like ‘Empire’, and others. I do take less notice of review blogs, except ones like this that mainly reflect on older work. My personal favourite reviewer is Mark Kermode, (BBC TV UK) as he seems to have a genuine love of film, and a comprehensive knowledge of the whole industry.
    Regards, Pete.

  2. I think we’re sort of seeing the rise of bloggers and internet critics, which is a cool thing, because theoretically everyone has a shot so it’s more democratic. TV and printed reviews are less important yes, but I think you can still find great quality on the web, surely you have more to chose from and also more niche which is great for lesser known films.

  3. The idea that the internet makes anything more “democratic” is a fairy tale. Like all new territories, there is an initial anarchic rush as everyone sets out to stake their claim, but as time goes on things stabilize around certain large cartels, conglomerates, or other organized power structures. Authority is a self-fulfilling prophetic cycle. If a large number of people agree that X is good and authoritative, then X establishes organization Y and confers there authority on Z, A, and B, and so people listen to the voices of Z, A, and B and just generally associate X and Y until Y is so established that it remains even when X is gone. The internet does not and cannot alter human nature.

  4. It depends on whether or not the person writing the article comes off as someone who understands the medium, the trials and tribulations the filmmaker goes through to get the final work out there and so forth. The “critique” has to be just that, a critical interpretation that takes into account every elements, emotion and thought process that goes into the film on top of the final film itself. There are few out there capable, but those that are I do read on a regular basis. Unfortunately they’re unknowns, bloggers and filmmakers. I don’t necessarily take to the mass media publications too much.

  5. Added: I don’t particularly like anyone who treats film/movies like disposable entertainment. There are pseudo critics out there that will treat a 10k dollar movie like a 100 million dollar movie and while I am generally for equality – in this case that’s just ridiculous. It’s like comparing Armageddon to Clerks.

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