Film Criticism

A subforum to discuss film culture and criticism both old and new, as well as memorializing public figures we've lost.
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BenoitRouilly
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#1076 Post by BenoitRouilly » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:50 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:50 am
Anyone who fancies a crack at Penelope Houston's 35-year record of editing Sight & Sound can apply here.
That's an ambitious job application! I'm no fit :(
They should really get someone from the film journalism industry (maybe even an onliner), not just a manager who loves movies.
I do hope they transition online as I don't have a newstand that sells it in my area of France since I left Paris...

Jonathan Romney is (usually) a great defender of Contemplative Cinema! (no relation to the above paragraph)

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Film Criticism

#1077 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:43 pm

As a subscriber it does seem slightly concerning to wonder exactly what 'managing the transition from a primarily print-based monthly title to a vibrant digital-first brand with a complementary print edition' will actually entail. Will half of the material go online only? Presumably it will be up to the new editor-in-chief to decide on that once they are in the position.

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Professor Wagstaff
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#1078 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:50 pm

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:50 pm
I do hope they transition online as I don't have a newstand that sells it in my area of France since I left Paris...
I started subscribing because my nearest bookstore that carried it was too far away. With a digital subscription, you get access to the complete archives going back to the beginning of the magazine. I still love the physical copy though. Miffed they forgot to mail me my May issue.

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furbicide
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:52 am

Re: Film Criticism

#1079 Post by furbicide » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:09 am

MichaelB wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:50 am
Anyone who fancies a crack at Penelope Houston's 35-year record of editing Sight & Sound can apply here.
I would so love to (it's been a dream for a long time + moving to the UK would be awesome!), but I also know that I'd need another five to ten years in the industry minimum to even be considered. One day, maybe!

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BenoitRouilly
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#1080 Post by BenoitRouilly » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:06 pm

I was unaware of the digital subscription. It's expensive for online read but it's pretty cool for the access to the complete archive!

From the Information Pack to Editor-in-Chief application :
35% employee discount on all food across BFI Benugo outlets, and 20% staff discount on alcohol
They know how to appeal to editors!

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Film Criticism

#1081 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:16 am

I had missed this Los Angeles Times article from back in April on the late Philip French's library having been donated to the BFI for preservation.

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bottled spider
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Film Criticism

#1082 Post by bottled spider » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:08 pm

In his review of Runaway Train, (the link is to Not David Kerr on Letterboxd), David Kerr refers to "a Tarkovsky thumb sucker like Stalker". Does anyone know what "thumb sucker" is meant to convey?

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Kirkinson
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:34 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Film Criticism

#1083 Post by Kirkinson » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:32 pm

I would imagine he's using it in something close to the journalistic sense of a long, self-aggrandizing think-piece masquerading as "news analysis" despite containing few hard facts or any actual news. So in this case, it would be a long, self-consciously serious film that purports to be about Big Ideas but is really just Tarkovsky "sucking his thumb." Sort of similar to calling something a "chin-stroker," but more derisive. I could be way off, though!

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bottled spider
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Film Criticism

#1084 Post by bottled spider » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:03 pm

Thanks. I hadn't encountered that sense of the word before. I think you're right, but Kerr's usage in that case isn't very apt -- simply "chin-stroker", as you suggest, would have been better.

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BenoitRouilly
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#1085 Post by BenoitRouilly » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:13 pm

Webcast of Jonathan Rosenbaum on on Film Criticism (21 June 2019) 15' and on American Independent Cinema (24 May 2019) 15'

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diamonds
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:35 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#1086 Post by diamonds » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:52 pm

cléo is the latest casualty of an increasingly hostile environment for film criticism.
The end of cléo speaks to a failure of our industry. Film and culture writing has become beholden to a craven economy that makes it all but impossible to hold down staff positions or live comfortably as a freelancer. We did our best to choose quality of work over quantity of clicks. We paid the price for that decision, and we’d gladly pay it again.

...

The end of cléo is also a failure of our governing institutions. Here in Ontario, we are at the mercy of a cold, unfeeling and frankly incompetent Conservative government that, among its many egregious values and acts, does not see the arts as worthy of investment.

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furbicide
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:52 am

Re: Film Criticism

#1087 Post by furbicide » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:54 am

This is so sad. We're really struggling with funding for criticism here in Australia at the moment too – the consequences of neoliberalism and an ideological commitment in government to cutting arts funding at every opportunity.

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DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Film Criticism

#1088 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:16 pm


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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: Film Criticism

#1089 Post by swo17 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:11 pm

That's touching, and I'm glad he was being literal and not just hyperbolic

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mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Film Criticism

#1090 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:50 pm

Incredibly good piece, and my semi-recent decision to get sober came from a similar place of having a mirror held up to me by a piece of popular culture and events surrounding it, so I feel a little less alone in the process. I'm very glad Glenn is able to look back at that milestone so lucidly and I hope that piece can also serve as a mirror that helps somebody else.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Film Criticism

#1091 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:41 pm

Wow. I knew he loved the movie for personal reasons (writing only that it reflected something he was going through, nothing more), but I would never have guessed. Startling because I used to see him at virtually every film screening I went to during that time frame (2009 & 2010), which was a lot - never would have guessed any of that was going on.


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domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#1093 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:23 pm

I stumbled upon a terrific series of clips from the early days of Siskel and Ebert back when they were on PBS in the late 70s / early 80s, presenting their "Dogs of the Week," and it is absolutely worth two hours of your time to watch all thirteen chronological compilations. It's really sweet in a way to see both men at this stage of their career where they clearly like each other and these segments, where each of the two critics goes out of their way to see a movie they think will be bad and then make fun of it (though they will admit if the film they ended up seeing was good and will instead recommend it) in a way that seems solely engineered as a competition to make the other man laugh the most. Some of the funniest lines I've ever heard from this show are collected here, and some of the bad films they watched will be familiar (too familiar to me, thanks to all those Slasher movie screenings) and not all are that bad. But then you hear about something as ludicrous as the Wilderness Family Part 2, Siskel's description of which made me laugh til I cried and Ebert was right there with me, or are treated to Siskel loudly losing it at Ebert's description of the sound effects of Cannibal Girls. What's fun about watching them in order is that both critics get a lot better at coming up with funny things to say as they go along, so you can see comic growth unfurl over the clips. They also cycle through more than one "Wonder Dog" introducing the films, and the technical difficulties in one of the last videos is hilarious when the new dog refuses to stop barking and they have to soldier on through their bits. Highly recommended.

Here's a very long playlist with a lot of extra videos tacked on, but it starts with the thirteen compilations in order

Jack Kubrick
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:13 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#1094 Post by Jack Kubrick » Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:58 pm

LexG has unlocked the gates, allowing the public to see his splendid criticism on Twitter.

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Monterey Jack
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:27 am

Re: Film Criticism

#1095 Post by Monterey Jack » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:27 pm

Jack Kubrick wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:58 pm
LexG has unlocked the gates, allowing the public to see his splendid criticism on Twitter.
Splendid. :D

Jack Kubrick
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:13 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#1096 Post by Jack Kubrick » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:35 pm

There's no other trusted film critic who could nitpick the tedious Indies from the Fanning sisters.

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bottled spider
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Film Criticism

#1097 Post by bottled spider » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:19 pm

If you need some hate-reading with which to fritter away your only and precious life, this guy is awful: Robert McKee, The Aristotle of Our Time. Sort of a Ray Carney for fourteen-year-olds. The polar opposite of Carney, but his equal in preening and dogmatic prescription, with a writing style borrowed from Entertainment Weekly. For a supposed plot guru, he sure is terrible at synopsizing.

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soundchaser
Leave Her to Beaver
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:32 am

Re: Film Criticism

#1098 Post by soundchaser » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:22 pm

I read his book Story for the one and only screenwriting class I took in college, and I found it unbearably prescriptive, but it's a well-respected classic of the genre for some reason.

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Film Criticism

#1099 Post by whaleallright » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:28 pm

Raoul Ruiz's two volumes of Poetics of Cinema are framed, thoughtfully, as a critique of the dogmas of screenwriting gurus like McKee. Vastly entertaining (and silly and idiosyncratic) books to boot.

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Roger Ryan
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: Film Criticism

#1100 Post by Roger Ryan » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:25 pm

bottled spider wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:19 pm
If you need some hate-reading with which to fritter away your only and precious life, this guy is awful: Robert McKee, The Aristotle of Our Time. Sort of a Ray Carney for fourteen-year-olds. The polar opposite of Carney, but his equal in preening and dogmatic prescription, with a writing style borrowed from Entertainment Weekly. For a supposed plot guru, he sure is terrible at synopsizing.
He's brilliantly lampooned by Brian Cox in the Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonze film Adaptation; in fact, Cox's character is actually supposed to be McKee and is identified as such. Here's an excerpt from a memorable moment in the film:

Robert McKee : ...First of all, you write a screenplay without conflict or crisis you'll bore your audience to tears. Secondly, nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day. There's genocide, war, corruption. Every fucking day somewhere in the world somebody sacrifices his life to save somebody else. Every fucking day someone somewhere takes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ sake a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church! Someone goes hungry, somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can't find that stuff in life, then you my friend don't know crap about life! And why the FUCK are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don't have any use for it! I don't have any bloody use for it!

Charlie Kaufman
: Okay, thanks.

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