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From the Wire: Jonathan Rosenbaum on the State of Film Criticism

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by Matt Singer
January 25, 2013 2:27 PM
1 Comment
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"Ratatouille."
"Ratatouille."

You can add critic, author, and historian Jonathan Rosenbaum to the list of people who believe film criticism isn't quite dead yet. In a blog post for his website, Rosenbaum reprinted an interview he recently conducted with the Brazilian newspaper Estado de Minas on the subjects of Charlie Chaplin and the current state of film criticism. There is an entire section of the conversation devoted to the topic of criticism, but here is perhaps the most direct and most pertinent statement:

"As a rule I tend to disagree with friends and colleagues who argue that we’re "approaching the end of cinema as an art form and the end of film criticism as a serious activity," but this is mainly because, unlike them, I don’t necessarily equate cinema with celluloid and analog projection and what’s currently playing at commercial cinemas, and I don’t necessarily equate criticism with what’s published on paper in magazines or books."

And here is Rosenbaum explaining what he thinks it means to be "a film critic in the 21st century:"

"More choices in terms of both viewing and reading, at least if you wish to be aware of those choices and are focused about following your own particular interests. Fewer choices in terms of both viewing and reading if you choose to be unadventurous and conform to what most people are doing."

Those choices remain entirely up to you. For the moment, I encourage you to choose to click over and enjoy the rest of the interview.

Read more of "Interview on Chaplin & Film Criticism For Estado de Minas."

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More: Jonathan Rosenbaum, From the Wire

1 Comment

  • Arch | January 26, 2013 6:02 AMReply

    Just when I was gathering my thoughts to comment on your "Two thumbs up" piece, this gives even more to think about.
    PS: I realize it may be a weird thing to say. It's just that it seems to me that - Ebert/Siskel's "responsibility" aside - we're circling around the same problem(s) here.

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