Hoping to write something longer later, but I just drafted a long blog entry on Randy Olson’s Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy that I’ll be publishing later tonight. But for now a quick pointer to two new interesting essays on the ongoing crisis in film criticism:
- First, Craig Lindsey, critic for the Raleigh News Observer and all-around cool guy, offers a passionate argument underlining the need for thoughtful, engaging film criticism. Craig looks back at the history of criticism and connects it to a larger public culture where debate and discussion could take place. It’s a great read and a valuable reminder of what good film critics (or even media critics in general) can do.
- The second, an article from The Guardian by Jay Rayner, offers a broader view of the downsizing of critics of all stripes by print newspapers and magazines as they continue to negotiate how to make profits in a new media environment, especially as a number of bloggers write reviews–often for free–about any subject under the sun. The article points out that many bloggers are even “courted by the PR machine,” and goes on to address what has become one of the thornier issues associated with the critics crisis, the issue of “expertise,” of what qualifies a print critic over a blogger when it comes to writing about film or architecture or whatever. But like Craig’s article, it reminds us that print critics still serve a vital role in fostering these important conversations.
Update: I’d started a longer update, but it got lost when my computer briefly froze, so now I’ll just add a quick pointer to Agnes’s very sharp reading of Rayner’s article.