on criticism

Frequently Asked Question: What the hell is a “gay movie” anyway?

After reading BFI’s LGBT list, responding to it, and running up against some of the contradictions and assumptions in the conceptualizations of both, I think it’s about time I answered one question, at least for the purpose of this blog, and at least for myself: what is a gay movie? If you’ve read my own list of significant …

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The 30 Best [Euro-Gringo, Establishment-Cinephile] LGBT Films of All Time?

It’s more than a little weird to me that although over 100 programmers, critics and filmmakers voted on the 30 Best LGBT Films of All Time, there’s not a surprise on it. I appreciate the inclusion of Portrait of Jason and Genet’s Un chant d’amour — the latter still seems radical to me —  but Carol, …

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Richard Brody gets finally cut

I’ve been railing a lot on Twitter about how so many popular, mainstream film critics sound just like marketers. The most egregious and ubiquitous examples of these sorts of adverb-dominated ad-copy can be discovered just by randomly picking a “review” of The Force Awakens, a teenage-boy movie that’s being received with such sated gratitude that you’d think …

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Five or six things I think I know about film criticism

Here they are: No one knows what’s important There is no “we” Context, identity and affinities matter The essence of cinema lives between your ears Nobody’s perfect Films make memories No one knows what’s important One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve tried, for the last three months, to catch up on all the movies I’ve …

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critical response: No Country For Old Men

Jim Emerson over on the scanners blog has chosen not to approve one of my comments. [Actually, my comment was relegated to the junk folder, as Jim explains in a comment on this post. It has since been approved and responded to. Apologies for jumping to conclusions. – Rick] He approved an earlier one in which I suggested that he’d hedged …

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