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Critics vs. Reviewers

by : jeff_v [ email this article to a friend ]
I don't think a critic has any responsibility whatsoever to mirror the tastes of his audience. But that's because I'm referring to critics, not movie reviewers. I wish more folks would make that distinction. A reviewer acts as a public service guide -- should I see this movie or should I not see this movie. A critic interprets film as an artform. Don't expect a critic to tell you to go see "The Mummy Returns" when his interest lies in evaluating the film as art. Similarly, don't expect a reviewer's column to contain many insights into the artistic merit of the film.

Personally, I don't have much use for a movie reviewer. I know what my tastes are and I'll usually just scan the star rating or numerical grade to get an idea of a few trusted reviewer's opinions. In combination with whatever I know about the talent involved, that's enough to determine for me whether I should see the

Movie criticism is an artform in itself. I enjoy going back to read the criticism on a film after I've seen the movie. A good critic is able to realize the vaporous thoughts that float around in your mind when you've come out of the theater. All that stuff that's on the tip of your tongue, but ineffable. When you've read a good piece of criticism, your understanding of the film in
question has widened. It's not a matter of agreement or disagreement, but thought engagement. Therefore, a good critic is not someone you agree with the most, but someone who makes the world seem a little larger than it was before you started reading his piece.

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