deadCenter Review: ‘For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism’
“For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism”
Directed by Gerald Peary
It’s not the best time in the world to be a film critic — dozens have been laid-off from their full-time positions and the proliferation of critical voices on the Web — both accomplished and amateur — has made the field ruthlessly egalitarian, for better or worse. Everyone really is a critic these days.
It’s into this tumultuous environment that director Gerald Peary — himself a film critic for the Boston Phoenix — has released this history and analysis of the profession. The film traces film criticism from its earliest days as a novelty and advertising gimmick up through its current state — although the Web is mostly reduced to a few personalities like Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News. This untrained, fanboy side of Web criticism is certainly worth examining, but it doesn’t represent the whole picture.
Former full-time critics such as Glenn Kenny (Premiere) and Jonathan Rosenbaum (Chicago Reader) both offer serious critical thought online. Rosenbaum retired and Kenny lost his job when Premiere folded, but they both continue to reach audiences online. Peary made clear in his post-screening discussion that his film is not anti-Web, but it certainly doesn’t examine Web criticism in any substantial way.
What the film does well though is offer a history primer that most filmgoers and certainly the general public will learn from. Elements of the history are necessarily brief, but it is rather thorough, descending from its cursory viewpoint occasionally to document certain movements in a more in-depth manner, such as the auteur theory and the resulting feud between Andrew Sarris and Pauline Kael.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 21543Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 10852Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 8707Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 8666Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 8648Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 7837Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 7718Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 7246UPDATE: Search continues for boy, 17, missing in Uncle John Creek in Kingfisher
- 6857Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates
- 5852Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients