The Playgoer: Endangered Film Critics

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Endangered Film Critics

Interesting prophecies of doom amongst our brethren in the cineamtic quarter. Here's a good primer article laying out the problem: basically the dumbing down of film criticism in major newspapers and media outlets to be barely a step above blurbdom. If that.

The pontifical voice of the old-school critic grows faint; his insight, his syntax are no longer required. No time now for elaborate intros or long retrospective glances. What editors want, according to Kehr, is capsule reviews, eye-catchers, quick reactions, recycled celebrity gossip, and chatter about ``the industry." Personality cults, of the sort achieved by the swaggering Pauline Kael at The New Yorker in the `70s, are out: The writer should sound, if possible, like a reader who has just strayed onto a computer terminal.

What? You mean blogging? Speak for yourselves Boston Globe.

If you don't think the same thing awaits theatre criticism down the road, think again. Or just look at a smaller regional daily...

(For more on this I also definitely recommend following the Globe article's links to and

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