Wednesday Links

It’s the first full day of summer vacation here at Fayetteville State University and the home office of The Chutry Experiment is now in full swing (which essentially means that the pot of coffee is warm, KEXP is playing in the background, and piles of unread or reread journal articles are stacked on the floor).  I’m about to dive into a couple of shorter writing projects, so here are some quick links:

  • Harry Tuttle has already offered his annotations of a recent interview between Chris Fujiwara and Gerald Peary, who recently directed For the Love of Movies, a documentary history of American film criticism.  The depiction of a divide between traditional or print-based film criticism and its blogging, Twittering rival now seems pretty tedious to me (Karina captures that tedium rather well).  Harry Knowles has been reviewing films online for about a decade now (maybe longer?), and there are a number of other online film critics who have been working for a long time, both in blogs and in print publications.  Certainly the structural place of the professional film critic, supported by a major newspaper, is changing, and to Peary’s credit, he is attentive to the fact that online critics are often serving the same function that past generations of critics such as Sarris, Kael, and others did: championing the films and filmmakers they admire and getting conversations going about films and film culture.
  • IndieWIRE has the scoop on plans for Sally Potter’s film, Rage, to use an alternative distribution strategy, in which “Babelgum will be releasing the film as a series of episodes, timed to coincide with the film’s release in each territory.”  Rage, according to the article (I haven’t seen it yet), focuses on a series of interviews conducted at a fashion show that appear to have been shot by a cameraphone, so this new hypermobile, fragmented distribution strategy makes a lot of sense, a point that David Hudson made in his February review of the film after seeing it in Berlin (IndieWIRE article also via David).
  • Jessica Clark points to two articles discussing the state of journalism, one an older article by Eric Alterman characterizing Jon Stewart as a modern-day Eward R. Murrow.  I don’t know whether Stewartholds the same structural place as Murrow did–Stewart’s status as an outsider to both politics and journalism offers him a slightly different rhetorical position–but through his position as a news satirist, he has been able to perform some of the most vital media criticism of the last few years.  Clark also points to a recent Frank Rich column that makes a similar point.  Both are good reads.


  1. McChris Said,

    May 13, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

    I first learned about Harry Knowles at an undergrad computer lab job around 1997, so I know he’s been around longer than a decade. My coworker acted astounded that I hadn’t heard of his site, so I looked it up now, and Wikipedia says it launched in 1996.

    To go super old-school, I remember Compuserv offered libraries of Roger Ebert’s and Joe Bob Briggs’ reviews back in the late eighties. Although Ebert is certainly a definitive print reviewer, I wonder if Briggs got a good chunk of change for online publishing.

  2. Chuck Said,

    May 13, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

    I seem to remember 1996 as the launch date for AICN, too, from research I did while writing my book. I didn’t know the specific history of Briggs’ reviews, but I guess my main point here is that these “debates” have been going on for ages.

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