open forum | are film critics facing extinction?

by eug
April 1, 2008 6:40 AM
1 Comment
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David Carr's New York Times article today on the recent loss of jobs for numerous established film critics is certainly worth discussing. Is the paid film critic an endangered species? From the Times:

“In each city there is a mosaic of voices,” [Tom Bernard] said, “with each reflecting the personality of the town and the readership. For us a movie like ‘The Lives of Others,’ ” -- the German-language winner of the 2006 foreign film Oscar -- “was dragged along by critics until people realized that it was one of the best movies of the year.”

But are print critics really so all-important and sacrosanct with the Web full of debates about all manner of film in places like indiewire.com, cinematical.com and blog.spout.com?

I'd argue that blogs and online outlets (such indieWIRE) are essential places for critical thought on film, but what is the impact on the broader film culture, and for discerning moviegoers in general, when there are fewer critical voices in print or employed by mainstream media outlets such as Newsweek, the Village Voice, Newsday?

I am really curious to hear the reactions of an array of folks here, including any ideas on what can or should be done to fill the potential gap? Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas? Reactions?

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1 Comment

  • Peter Keough | April 1, 2008 7:53 AMReply

    Critics might be irrelevant, but it seems someone is paying attention: nearly all the Academy's Best Picture, Director, Actor, etc. nominees and winers of the past few years had previously been honored by the various critics groups. Or perhaps it was just coincidental.