Thursday, April 05, 2012

Interlude: RIP Criticism of Film Criticism

Because the Museum of the Modern Art pushed back its screening of Jeanne Dielman from Wednesday to Thursday, I decided to attend a panel called “Film Criticism Today” by the New School (who last brought us Tarkovsky Interrupts(!), and it was also free). Here were the five most interesting things said:

--Phillip Lopate’s first piece ever as a film critic was covering the first New York Film Festival for the Columbia Daily Spectator, which is where I got my start too.
--According to Paul Brunick, Peter Wollen is unreadable. Huh.
--Apparently when Vincent Canby was writing for the Times, he kept a little film called Chan is Missing in theaters much longer than it would’ve been, since he was a fan.
--The moderator, Noah Isenberg, thinks it’s horrible that film critics or scholars may use IMDB to find info. Lopate responded, “There are so many other horrors.”
--Glenn Kenny (who was not on the panel) joked afterwards that he never had interest in becoming a critic, but Premiere scooted him into the job, and thus ruined his entire life.

I think there was also a debate on film criticism, and points were made about the Internet and what not. Video essays came up, which were praised by Dennis Lim (who started Moving Image Source) for bring the discussion of form back into criticism, and then sort of given the “that’s nice” treatment by everyone else. No podcast talk (despite having a podcaster on the panel), a little talk of critical advocacy (no mention of #teammargaret), and Twitter dismissed casually. That's all folks.

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