Friday, April 03, 2009

Craig Mazin's post The Problem With Film Criticism

Is film criticism a service & a product that is in the process of being re-designed to be useful to current film & related media consumers & new trends in media consumption? Let's hope so.

In order to prep for the 4/18 discussion re: state of film criticism in Atlanta (the event has recently added two new panel members - Gil Robertson & Noralil Ryan Fores) I am doing some research. Stumbled onto the recent The Problem With Film Criticism post by Craig Mazin at The Artful Writer blog. From the post:

" It’s just as likely your taste will not intersect with those of the film critics as it will.

And since they often disagree with each other anyway, who needs ‘em?

You could use one of the grading aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, but again…what’s the real value there? For instance, some movies get a 50 on Metacritic because most critics find the film mediocre. But some movies get a 50 because half the critics loved the movie and half hated it. Different story.

Rotten Tomatoes just tells you what percentage of critics seemed to like a film. Similar problem. Some movies are polarizing and end up with a big splat.

But let’s presume for the sake of argument that there’s a consensus. The grading critics all love Slumdog Millionaire, and they all hate Meet The Spartans.

Who cares? Of what value is there when there’s a consensus among graders? I don’t think those consensuses really move filmgoers to movies. Either they see ads and talk to friends and reach their own matching consensus…or they don’t.

The grading critics can serve a purpose by championing unreleased films. I grant this. But once a studio has decided to distribute Slumdog Millionaire, you know how they’re going to get people to see Slumdog Millionaire?

By advertising Slumdog Millionaire."

Read the rest of the post at The Artful Writer.

- Sujewa

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