Film Criticism

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
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#101 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:02 pm

An interesting article on the Like Anna Karina's Sweater blog in response to a session on film criticism at a recent NYU Film Conference workshop.

And the Shooting Down Pictures blog links to Jonathan Rosenbaum's retirement interview.

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tavernier
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#102 Post by tavernier » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:57 am


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colinr0380
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#103 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:15 pm

A Philip French retrospective.

terabin
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#104 Post by terabin » Wed Apr 16, 2008 4:08 pm

NY Times article: A.O. Scott on Mr. Ebert's farewell to television and his return to written criticism, and, his legacy (see quote below).
It is this print corpus that will sustain Mr. Ebert’s reputation as one of the few authentic giants in a field in which self-importance frequently overshadows accomplishment. His writing may lack the polemical dazzle and theoretical muscle of Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris, whose names must dutifully be invoked in any consideration of American film criticism. In their heyday those two were warriors, system-builders and intellectual adventurers on a grand scale. But the plain-spoken Midwestern clarity of Mr. Ebert’s prose and his genial, conversational presence on the page may, in the end, make him a more useful and reliable companion for the dedicated moviegoer.

His criticism shows a nearly unequaled grasp of film history and technique, and formidable intellectual range, but he rarely seems to be showing off. He’s just trying to tell you what he thinks, and to provoke some thought on your part about how movies work and what they can do.

He is rarely a scold, and more frequently (perhaps too frequently) an enthusiast, and nearly always enlightening, in particular when he has brought calm good sense and moral conviction to overwrought debates about hot-button movies like Oliver Stone’s “JFK” and Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” Other critics (Ms. Kael and Mr. Sarris most famously) have spawned schools, or at least collected bands of acolytes and imitators. Mr. Ebert — do you mind if I just call him Roger from now on? — has no disciples, only friends.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#105 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:22 pm

An interesting debate raging over at the Film Freak Central Blog

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domino harvey
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#106 Post by domino harvey » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:28 pm

Fletch F. Fletch wrote:An interesting debate raging over at the Film Freak Central Blog
Walter Chaw employs Alex Jackson, his credibility has been irreparably shot a long time ago

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colinr0380
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#107 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:01 pm

Talking about credibility being irreparably shot I've just seen the Roeper and Phillips segment on My Blueberry Nights in which Roeper criticises his partner by saying Zabriske Point is an 'obscure reference'. #-o

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Barmy
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#108 Post by Barmy » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:18 pm

The idea that ZP would even be mentioned in a discussion of MBN makes me want to barf. =P~

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david hare
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#109 Post by david hare » Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:51 am

My very favorite clanger of this (or any other) year is this piece by A.O.Scott in todays' NYT headed The Spiirt of 68:

“It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, but the Society in Which He Lives,” Rosa von Praunheim’s deliriously campy, painfully serious critique of gay life in bourgeois society...

Ms. von Praunheim’s movie, an educational documentary in the guise of a sexploitation picture (or vice versa), ends ....."

Rosa is, of course, a male not a "Ms".

This is not to deny the extreme worthiness os Rosa's movie, and its great sequel, Army of Lovers; Revolt of the Perverts in any discussion of radical politics, or a Lincoln Center season of same for that matter, but the movie was made three years after the germinal period Scott describes. Only Mr Scott! And - with the worthy exception of Dave Kehr, the NYT for such quick and glib precis of such a complex movement as '68.

Am still laughing

EDIT: Scott's article reassigns Rosa's gender mysteriously within twenty four hours of this original post. If only all gender re-assignments were so simple!
Last edited by Anonymous on Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#110 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:16 pm

Jonathan Rosenbaum's blog is online.

An article about critic Michael Atkinson claiming that "[T]he existence of full-time staff film reviewers is a nutty aberration in the history of periodical publishing…I’d love to see every magazine employ an army of full-time culture reviewers, and pay them millions, but it doesn’t make very much sense, for the simple reason that it’s not truly a full-time job." which has set Glenn Kenny off.

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Mr Sausage
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#111 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:01 pm

Fletch F. Fletch wrote:An article about critic Michael Atkinson claiming that "[T]he existence of full-time staff film reviewers is a nutty aberration in the history of periodical publishing…I’d love to see every magazine employ an army of full-time culture reviewers, and pay them millions, but it doesn’t make very much sense, for the simple reason that it’s not truly a full-time job." which has set Glenn Kenny off.
The process of clear and sustained thought is always a full-time job. The above quote is a silly, biased claim, really.

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HerrSchreck
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#112 Post by HerrSchreck » Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:27 pm

Fletch F. Fletch wrote:Jonathan Rosenbaum's blog is online.

An article about critic Michael Atkinson claiming that "[T]he existence of full-time staff film reviewers is a nutty aberration in the history of periodical publishing…I’d love to see every magazine employ an army of full-time culture reviewers, and pay them millions, but it doesn’t make very much sense, for the simple reason that it’s not truly a full-time job." which has set Glenn Kenny off.

God bless Atkinson, I could send him a dozen roses for saying what I've been saying for years. Filmfandom is not a science (and 'serious cinema studies' rarely appear in your average rag and are more appropriate for topic-dedicated Arts / Culture Articles and trade publishing), and the more spread out and rotating the job, the less opportunity for studio-co-opting, the less the critic becomes blearily hi-winded, the more "My opinion about this film is," the less "This film is,". But the world is too self-serious for the painful truth about its academic institutions, and blind to the poisonously homogenizing impact of its presence.

But the fact is this is more about the rampaging effects of the web on "corporate" culture (the way record co's have been decimated by the web & digital in general) rather than a total rejection of Opinion Lockdown by the owners of these periodicals. The owners of these conglomorates are of course going to be scrambling for acquireable resources in the blogosphere suitable for plants.. that is, places that are user friendly to operations within the film studio/investments within the portfolio of the controlling corporation. Like Rupe running great reviews for a Fox film in the NYPost-- you think he'd be happy to let go his review staff? Of course not.

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Tom Hagen
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#113 Post by Tom Hagen » Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:47 pm

I picked up a copy of Pauline Kael's For Keeps for $9 at my local used book store yesterday. What a great book! It anthologizes her most important reviews, as well as a good number of essays including the complete "Raising Kane." I really cannot believe that this thing is out of print. Her criticism has a large hit or miss ratio for me (I just finished her pan of Raging Bull), but her writing is absolutely essential for understanding film criticism since 1960. With her influence over the profession, its really surprising to me that her work isn't more widely available.

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Jeff
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#114 Post by Jeff » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:50 pm


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Antoine Doinel
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#115 Post by Antoine Doinel » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:54 pm

Not surprising given the show's abysmal ratings, and Disney's bizzaro and still unresolved issue regarding who owns the "rights" to the thumbs up/thumbs down rating. It's a shame, but the show was never really the same after Siskel passed away.

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domino harvey
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#116 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:00 pm

Has anyone ever cared what Roeper thought about a movie

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swo17
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#117 Post by swo17 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:29 pm

Does this mean Roeper's last televised thought will be a recommendation of 21 against Michael Philips' rec of High and Low?

"Oh man, you had to pull the Kurosawa card."

He sure did like movies about poker.

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Svevan
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#118 Post by Svevan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:58 pm

Antoine Doinel wrote:...the show was never really the same after Siskel passed away.
Siskel was a fireball, but he wasn't all that intelligent about movies. I wouldn't place him too much higher than Roeper.

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Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#119 Post by Barmy » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:03 pm

The very idea of watching a movie review TV show is ludicrous. And Ebert hasn't written anything of note since "This is my happening and it freaks me out!"

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
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#120 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:08 pm

Svevan wrote:
Antoine Doinel wrote:...the show was never really the same after Siskel passed away.
Siskel was a fireball, but he wasn't all that intelligent about movies.
Yeah, that's pretty spot on. I liked Siskel, a lot more than Roeper, but it had little to do with his insights in cinema.

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Tom Hagen
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#121 Post by Tom Hagen » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:35 pm

Svevan wrote:
Antoine Doinel wrote:...the show was never really the same after Siskel passed away.
Siskel was a fireball, but he wasn't all that intelligent about movies. I wouldn't place him too much higher than Roeper.
Yeah check out all of that Truffaut, Rohmer, Kubrick, Bergman, Altman, and Scorsese in his yearly top ten lists. Clearly Gene Siskel just plain didn't get it.

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domino harvey
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#122 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:48 pm

Siskel was an industry joke. Google a bit and you'll come up with some great stories about how many mistakes his editors had to correct in his reviews because he just didn't know anything. I'm sure he liked a lot of films we like on the board, but unlike say Ebert, he was a personality first. I don't hate the guy though, he had his share of good picks nonetheless.

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moviscop
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#123 Post by moviscop » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:25 pm

I wont be losing any sleep over them going off air.

I was tired of Ebert calling Lynch's work racist and writing childish reviews on his films.

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Mr Sausage
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#124 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:09 pm

moviscop wrote:I wont be losing any sleep over them going off air.

I was tired of Ebert calling Lynch's work racist and writing childish reviews on his films.
The criticism was misogyny, not racism, first off. Secondly, Ebert has only stopped broadcasting on television, he has not stopped writing, so you'll have many more childish reviews to enjoy in the years to come.

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Murdoch
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#125 Post by Murdoch » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:21 pm

Mr_sausage wrote:The criticism was misogyny, not racism
He's criticized Lynch for both, I believe it was for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me that he said having a black serial killer in the film was racist, or something along those lines.

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