The heart of the newest issue of Cineaste is a massive symposium on that favorite topic of debate of film writers — print criticism versus online criticism, critics versus bloggers, and on and on.
I’ll ‘fess up to only scanning it — this used to be a treasured topic of mine as well, but lately it’s seemed awfully insular, much retreading of old arguments with no ground gained (is there ground to be gained?), focused on medium when its content that’s actually at stake. As laid out in the intro, print versus online is hardly the appropriate divide anymore: “A certain number of longtime print critics have either been forced–or chosen–to become full-time bloggers, writers who started out as bloggers or Web critics have found print jobs, diehard Internet critics occasionally make appearances in film magazines…” The issue is more short form versus long form, or academic tendencies versus populist ones, or those knowledgeable about film history versus those who think cinema started in 1977.
Still, there’s plenty of food for thought there, and I’d like to salute Amy Taubin for making a point I don’t agree with but that should really be used to launch its own symposium:
I never believed that film critics had much stature or authority in our culture. If there is some kind of perceived loss of same, it probably has more to do with the fact that the century in which history was written as cinema is over, and film itself no longer has the cultural, social, and political importance it once did. The Internet has marginalized traditional film culture. Employing the Internet as a means of distributing and exhibiting movies will make more movies available to more people, but it will not restore the status of film culture–neither the status of movies per se nor the chatter that goes on around them.
+ Film Criticism in the Age of the Internet: A Critical Symposium (Cineaste)
+ Critics vs. Bloggers, Chapter 387: The Cineaste Critical Symposium (Filmbrain)
+ Crits Blitz For Net Hits (Some Came Running)
+ Cineaste, Toronto (girish)