Friday, December 12, 2008

End of criticism

Famed movie critic Roger Ebert wrote a penetrating analysis of published criticism. Here's an excerpt:
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"Death to film critics! Hail to the CelebCult!"
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"A newspaper film critic is like a canary in a coal mine. When one croaks, get the hell out. The lengthening toll of former film critics acts as a poster child for the self-destruction of American newspapers, which once hoped to be more like the New York Times and now yearn to become more like the National Enquirer. We used to be the town crier. Now we are the neighborhood gossip.
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The crowning blow came this week when the once-magisterial Associated Press imposed a 500-word limit on all of its entertainment writers. The 500-word limit applies to reviews, interviews, news stories, trend pieces and "thinkers." Oh, it can be done. But with 'Synecdoche, New York?'"
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Read the rest of the article here:
http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2008/11/death_to_film_critics_long_liv.html
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This is not only limited to American press and to movie reviews. The same thing can be said about art reviews. Newspapers often get unqualified writers who know nothing about art to write the art reviews which leads to sensationalizing the artist's work or labeling the artist as 'bizarre'. No wonder artists despise journalists!
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In my experience, many editors don't want their writers conducting any deep-thinking analysis or making any controversial points. Instead, they want to keep the art review light-hearted and focused on how much money the work sold for and which celebrities were in attendance. (YAWN) Editors, and by extension, the readers aren't looking for profound ideas to ponder over.
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I have had many situations where I had to dumb down my writing and delete any thought-provoking ideas. Praise the blog.

1 comment:

G A L I L E O said...

Even as a reality-based social writer and at time professional journalist, I, too, sing Kudos for the blog!

Thanks for the postmodern commentary of "criticism".

Peace, Lara Lynn Lane, USA