Thursday, June 17, 2010

For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism

US (c) 2008 AG Films. P: Sharon Brooks, Amy Geller. D+SC: Gerald Peary. DP: Craig Chivers, Amy Geller, Nick Kurzon, Ed Slattery. M: Bobby B. Keyes. S: Jason O'Neill. ED: Aleksandar Sasha Lekic, Sabrina Zanella-Foresi. Narrator: Patricia Clarkson. With: Jami Bernard, the voice of Vincent Canby, Richard Corliss, David D'Arcy, Roger Ebert, Otis Ferguson, Owen Gleiberman, Molly Haskell, J. Hoberman, Harlan Jacobson, Stanley Kauffmann, Stuart Klawans, Harry Jay Knowles, Karina Longworth, Leonard Maltin, Janet Maslin, Elvis Mitchell, Wesley Morris, Lisa Nesselson, John Powers, Rex Reed, B. Ruby Rich, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Andrew Sarris, Richard Schickel, Lisa Schwarzbaum, A.O. Scott, David Sterritt, Mike Szymanski, Kenneth Turan, Scott Weinberg, Michael Wilmington. Digibeta from Gerald Peary. Viewed on 17 June 2010 at the Little Tent, Sodankylä.

An outstanding documentary film on American film criticism. It is a rise-and-fall story.

1. The Dawn of Film Criticism
2. 1930-1953 Cult Critics and Crowther
3. 1954-1974 Auteurism and After
4. 1968-1980 When Criticism Mattered
5. 1975-1995 TV, Fans, and Videotape
6. The Present

Recognizing the emergence of the cinema as a key moment in the history of human consciousness (Vachel Lindsay). Robert Sherwood was the first film critic to enjoy fame and glory. The early intellectuals in film criticism included Harry Alan Potamkin, Otis Ferguson, Manny Farber, James Agee. In the 1960s Andrew Sarris wrote "The Book" and Pauline Kael put the sting back into the writing. 1968-1980 were the golden years. The biggest change has taken place since the 1990s, as we have entered the age of do-it-yourself criticism in the internet. We are experiencing the downfall of the print media, and the great critics are getting fired.

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