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The relevance of film critics?

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St. Gloede
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#81

Post by St. Gloede »

Onderhond on Jan 5 2018, 10:31:05 AM wrote:
St. Gloede on Jan 5 2018, 09:59:42 AM wrote:1. Gone from critics need to explore and find films from accross the world and genres to - Critics should keep up with Netflix
2. Critics have a collective pool of 20-30 film to Critics have a pool of hundreds to thousands of films
3. Critics only pick the same films from 2-3 pools to there are legions of pools
1. As an example of a large selection of available films they're completely ignoring.
2. First number was in relations to top 10s, second to watched all year. And I went with hundreds, not thousands. Before long you'll be saying that I'm agreeing that they're covering millions of films each year.
3. Nopes
1. Fair enough, but I just need to restate how a lot needs to and should be ignored
2A. Well, the one disproves the other, plus if you are still holding to it after I demonstrated it incorrect with the S/S stats you are denying reality.
2B: You don't think critics around the world sees a larger variety than a few hundred? Each (full-time) critic is likely to see a few hundred each, throw in the varying focuses, location, festivals sent to, etc. the tally gets quite high.
3. How? (Well, I guess we will never know)
And I know we covered several things before, but writing about it as if we agreed on it is kinda weird. I never agreed that the primary function of critics is writing about films that are already getting exposure. In fact, that's the opposite of what I think they should be doing.
No we did not agree on it, but I am restating it, as you don't seem to get that this is the most important and main focus of a regular publication critic's job, as it should be.

I guess this is getting us nowhere, so I will just repost the main arguments I previously made, which I don't think you contemplated/gave a reply to, despite being the main issue at hand.
Onderhond on Jan 5 2018, 08:35:57 AM wrote:
St. Gloede on Jan 5 2018, 08:35:57 AM wrote:This is not something you can in any way expect. You won't find much if anything matching your description among the forum users here either.
The "exceptions to the rule" concept is extremely human and should be expected always. Unless one limits himself extremely strictly (or has incredibly high autism marks), these things pop up. You might feel bad disclosing them maybe, but let's not even go there.
This is an absurd truism, that given your criteria and definition is impossible. A critic could list something ultra commercial like Dunkirk, next to something creative like Song to Song, and even throw in Get Out and something like Happy End, and you would not be surprised by the extreme diversity. You would reject it because these films, appealing to 5 entirely different disciplines and audiences. This is because your standard for this is measured against your own extreme diversity – and you don’t seem to understand that this is very, very rare.
Onderhond on Jan 2 2018, 07:59:28 AM wrote:
St. Gloede on Jan 2 2018, 07:59:28 AM wrote:and that you are one of the extremely few people with a deviating taste. This is not meant in a negative way, but more most cinephiles this is not a negative as they can find the school of thought they are closest to, and see what like minded people agree on.
It's not that I'm personally looking for people to represent my taste, it's that all their lists are copies or at least picked for a pool of maybe 30 films tops. I don't believe that kind of consensus is realistic and if it is, I guess that means "different strokes for different folks" is a big fat lie :) I just want to see a little diversity so that it might trigger people to watch more stuff outside of their own comfort zone. Availability isn't that big of an issue anymore. Hasn't been for the past 15 years or so, but now it's even legally possible.
What you don't understand is that a massive variety of tastes are being explored through these festivals, not a standalone taste. Almost everyone are being served. Whether you like contemplative, minimalist, essayist, ultra violent, meta, surreal, traditional, heartwarming, easy, etc. films, and essentially any combo, you can find it.

The problem is that your taste is so far outside of the realm of tastes that you cannot really get cover.
The only thing you replied to the last comment was that your taste must be normal as Netflix had one film you like, needless to say thousands of films that don't appeal to critics, most audiences or even curators, get some kind of release. And how do you know no one wrote about it? Niche horror sites might have, but if it didn't wow them the buzz probably didn't hit outside the bubble (and if it never reached the bubble that is a marketing/curator issue).

But the main point there was the massive amount of tastes and styles represented, and how you keep denying it/refusing to see it, and set impossible standards.

And that's what this is really about.

Because of a very specific and rare bias you have invented a largely false problem, and are even trying to enforce a non-needed, and even destructive function onto critics (see everything, promote everything, discover everything). This would just dilute their attention from what really matters in their work.
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#82

Post by monk-time »

Onderhond on Jan 5 2018, 01:27:32 PM wrote:/ directors and studios skipping critics and blaming sites like RT and MC directly for lack of interest
/ critics almost universally lauding films like BR2049 and Mother! and audiences not caring
/ studios simply not inviting critics for press screenings because of "unfair" reviews in the past
/ newspaper changing their review formats in order to force reader to read the review rather than glance at the rating
The plural of anecdote is not data.

Sometimes studios make a blatant marketing mistake, finance an 'artsy' work from a popular director and sell it to general audience as an accessible "can't-miss" event. It has happened before and will happen again. Killing Them Softly bombed. Haywire is 80%/41% on RT. The VVitch, The Informant!, The Tree of Life, Hail Ceasar!. Not to mention all those box office flops that became cult hits. Just because two such high-profile releases happened in close proximity doesn't mean much, it's most likely just a statistical blip.

Studios had complicated relationship with critics since time immemorial. It will still continue, because critics are very good at providing infotainment with a veneer of authority that thousands of amateur reviews on IMDb are incapable of.

A whopping one newspaper getting rid of scores is not news either. I recall one local magazine here did this 15 years ago. It also got closed three years later. So what. You are imagining a trend from isolated insignificant events, which also seems to be fueled by your personal experience that critics are no longer useful to you.

P.S. And nobody would blame RT for anything if it wasn't relevant, the fact alone that they put the blame on them proves that such sites have influence. And by blaming them they mean "critics as an institution", I wouldn't jump to a conclusion of individual critic irrelevance from it.
Last edited by monk-time on January 5th, 2018, 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#83

Post by Onderhond »

St. Gloede on Jan 5 2018, 02:10:40 PM wrote:But the main point there was the massive amount of tastes and styles represented, and how you keep denying it/refusing to see it, and set impossible standards.
If you'd take every critic out there and combine their work, then you'd probably have everything covered. I'm not denying that. But I don't speak Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French nor German, so it's just the Dutch and English-speaking critics for me. Even then I can't follow 2000 people hoping to uncover something good, especially as signal to noise ratio becomes completely negligable.

99% of them pass me by, so I'm counting on that 1% to do a good job, but since most critics are pretty much stuck within their own writing niche, the coverage is pretty depressing. My problem also isn't so much finding things within the niches I like, I got that covered (though not legally). It's about finding things I like outside of my established interests. If the biggest and most commercially minded streaming service (so I don't see how that qualifies my taste as way out there) can do the job (and it's not just "one film", but several each year and in rather different areas of film making), I think critics are not doing a good enough job. At least not for me.

As for the extreme diversity in your 4 examples, I don't see it. Malick and Haneke are popular arthouse darlings, Get Out & Dunkirk are elevated multiplex films.

@monk-time: main problem cited with sites like RT is not that the critics are writing bad stuff about their films, but that the aggregated rating is negative. In other words, 180 carefully worded reviews, all brought back to a single score and then averaged to one single number. That's what the people are looking at. I wouldn't want to calculate the ROI of all those hours upon hours of writing. Furthermore, studios are now at a point where they feel confident they can simply ignore critics that don't write favorable reviews for their films. You can call that an anecdote, I call it a clear mentality shift. Not one that proves my point of course, your summary at the end is quite correct. Hence the question mark in the topic title.
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#84

Post by St. Gloede »

Onderhond on Jan 5 2018, 05:34:25 PM wrote:
St. Gloede on Jan 5 2018, 02:10:40 PM wrote:But the main point there was the massive amount of tastes and styles represented, and how you keep denying it/refusing to see it, and set impossible standards.
If you'd take every critic out there and combine their work, then you'd probably have everything covered. I'm not denying that. But I don't speak Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French nor German, so it's just the Dutch and English-speaking critics for me. Even then I can't follow 2000 people hoping to uncover something good, especially as signal to noise ratio becomes completely negligable.

99% of them pass me by, so I'm counting on that 1% to do a good job, but since most critics are pretty much stuck within their own writing niche, the coverage is pretty depressing. My problem also isn't so much finding things within the niches I like, I got that covered (though not legally). It's about finding things I like outside of my established interests. If the biggest and most commercially minded streaming service (so I don't see how that qualifies my taste as way out there) can do the job (and it's not just "one film", but several each year and in rather different areas of film making), I think critics are not doing a good enough job. At least not for me.
That's the point of the sorting mechanism, where films not picked up on the smaller level, doesn't reach higher up. The system obviously loses interesting films, but is far more valuable than everyone scrambling, and leads so many interesting films into the limeligt.
As for the extreme diversity in your 4 examples, I don't see it. Malick and Haneke are popular arthouse darlings, Get Out & Dunkirk are elevated multiplex films.
Well, that was my point, that you would not see it.

Haneke creates horrifying and cold studies, Malick creates beautiful and poetical work, Dunkirk is a very traditional war film from the old guard, Get Out is a socially challenging satire.

These films&#092;styles are for completely different target audiences. Saying arthouse and multiplex are largely meaningless labels as they both cover a large amount of different styles, and pools.
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#85

Post by Onderhond »

St. Gloede on Jan 6 2018, 03:44:59 AM wrote:That's the point of the sorting mechanism, where films not picked up on the smaller level, doesn't reach higher up. The system obviously loses interesting films, but is far more valuable than everyone scrambling, and leads so many interesting films into the limeligt.
I guess we hit a core disagreement then. I don't believe it is. I can't prove it is of course, the full complexity of such systems is beyond my understanding, but since I consider it broken, I wouldn't mind trying something new :)

As for the four examples you gave, give me any two films and I tell you why they are very different and would speak to different audiences. Point is that commercial venues are assembling these films and putting them next to each other as options for their core audience, so they too seem to think that they speak to the same people. You could say that Malick and Haneke are probably more targeted at arthouse fans and Nolan and Peele are more geared towards commercial audiences, but if one of their films would cross over to the other venue it wouldn't even be all that surprising. I mean, I've seen Haneke and Malick films in my local multiplex. I know they are all different in genre and approach, but by and large these films still target the same crowds.
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#86

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Yeah, 99% movies playing in a cinema target to people that go to cinemas.
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#87

Post by St. Gloede »

The problem with your statement is that it renders your entire argument irrelevant and rejected, by yourself. Why? Because the same could be said of any film you feel they are not covering.

If the only two things that exist is arthouse, commercial (and genre as a third option), then the critics, regardless how many additional movies they manage to grab a hold of, will have each film fall within this as well.

This means what you are asking for cannot exist, and as such is meaningless.

(You already see films of every kind, from almost every country and taste break through and be promoted, the amount is breathtaking, you could always hope for even more voices and focuses, but as I keep saying what you are asking for either already exists, or is irrelevant)
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#88

Post by Onderhond »

But they aren't just arthouse or commercial titles, they belong to the select few that get played in movie theaters. Places specifically built to show films that appeal to large audiences of a certain kind. If there would be no common ground between those films, they wouldn't be featured in the same building, 20m apart from each other.

And I really don't see why you try to paint me as some extremely adventurous film fan, I really am not. I stick to my niches, venture out once in a while on my own accord and stumble upon films that are great. With all the film-related stuff I am following not pointing me in the right direction, that leads me to believe critics are failing as beacons of good taste.

The same discussion on another forum led to an interesting idea though. I don't mind critics so much when they are writing essays about film (but let's be honest, that's not how most earn their paycheck), instead it's the ambassador part of their job that's really feels irrelevant nowadays.
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#89

Post by St. Gloede »

No, that is incorrect. There is no truth to what you are saying.

In large cinemas it is possible to see everything from Transformers to High School Musical to The Blind Side to The White Ribbon. Cinemas show films they think will appeal to people, all groups sizeable enough to come out. That can mean a very limited release like Loving Vincent got in Malta, to a multiple month release like Star Wars, to a sizeable release like Victoria and Abdul. Very rarely will any of the same people see these films.

You have constructed an absurd false narrative.

And again, you make your point irrelevant, because if everything shown/represented is the same, then every inclusion will be the same. It doesn't matter how many different kinds of films are explored because as soon as they have traction they are the norm.

Please try to understand what you are saying, please, I'm genuinely begging you to understand that your logic is demonstrably false.

(As for your taste, I thought you had already accepted that you are an extreme outlier, this has been cemented in so many threads before. There is nothing wrong with this (aside from disliking and not exploring past cinema, which I hope will come in time), in fact it is very refreshing - but you must understand that you are an outlier. You did this at the very beginning of this thread, and reaffirmed when you stated it would be great if you had a similar taste to the critics - who cover such an extreme range.

But then, this may also explain the confusion, and ties back into what we were trying to tell you earlier, that your extremely different taste and extreme scope gave you a an extreme bias - which shows again and again, and again. You can't even tell the difference between Get Out and Dunkirk)
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#90

Post by Onderhond »

St. Gloede on Jan 6 2018, 08:16:54 AM wrote:As for your taste, I thought you had already accepted that you are an extreme outlier,
Sure, but outlier and adventurous are just two very different things. I don't vouch for any comments of mine where one world is randomly substituted by another one.

I also never said that every film every made needs equal treatment and exposure, I do think a much better and broader balance is possible than currently exists today, that film critics have responsibilities there and that they are the ones currently contributing to the narrowing of that balance. But if you're going to take such statements and turn it into black/white 1/0s, then sure, you can come up with something demonstrably false.

I also never stated I couldn't see the difference between Get Out or Dunkirk. On the contrary, I said give me any two films and I'll tell you how they are different from each other. But the common ground between Get Out and Dunkirk is definitely more substantial than the differences that exist between them.
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#91

Post by Onderhond »

St. Gloede on Jan 6 2018, 08:16:54 AM wrote:aside from disliking and not exploring past cinema, which I hope will come in time
Well, please point me to some critic I can (semi)trust. I do take the time to explore past cinema, but a lot of it is just horrible to me.

Stats (pre-1980 films):

540 films seen
------------------------
1 masterpiece (4.5*)
7 favorites (4* or higher)
85 likes (3* or 3.5*)
58 decent (2.5* - depending on where you live this qualifies as a pass or fail)
390 dislikes (0.5*-2.0*)

I get a lot of flack for exploring past cinema and looking at the ROI it isn't even all that strange. I'm sure there are very interesting things out there I simply never get to see, but without proper guidance it's pretty hard.
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#92

Post by St. Gloede »

Onderhond on Jan 6 2018, 09:04:21 AM wrote:
St. Gloede on Jan 6 2018, 08:16:54 AM wrote:As for your taste, I thought you had already accepted that you are an extreme outlier,
Sure, but outlier and adventurous are just two very different things. I don't vouch for any comments of mine where one world is randomly substituted by another one.
I never called you adventurous though. This is a very odd side note.
I also never said that every film every made needs equal treatment and exposure, I do think a much better and broader balance is possible than currently exists today, that film critics have responsibilities there and that they are the ones currently contributing to the narrowing of that balance. But if you're going to take such statements and turn it into black/white 1/0s, then sure, you can come up with something demonstrably false.
I'm sorry, but when you deny the extreme diversity that exist, and how critics keep seeking out films outside of their comfort zones and outside their audiences' comfort zones, then nothing can be done.

I have kept saying that if you are arguing for even more variety I'm with you, always a good thing.
I also never stated I couldn't see the difference between Get Out or Dunkirk. On the contrary, I said give me any two films and I'll tell you how they are different from each other. But the common ground between Get Out and Dunkirk is definitely more substantial than the differences that exist between them.
Again, a false narrative making everything irrelevant. Everything is different, your acknowledgement is irrelevant. If you think that these films have more in common than they do not, this is again, impossible, you don't see extreme distinctions due to your extreme view and extreme taste - and thus, again, every argument becomes irrelevant. Remember, the only similarity you pointed out was that they were shown at multiplexes for wide audiences - that's not even a similarity.

What next? That they are both films? Film critics should really start telling us about more about releases that aren't films? Why aren't film critics also telling us about books, music and video games (granted, some do), when I see a top 10 from a film critic why are there just films on it? I expect the top 10 to include everything from that year. When was the last time you saw an album, a poet collection or a theater performance or vacation getaway?
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#93

Post by St. Gloede »

Onderhond on Jan 6 2018, 09:18:53 AM wrote:
St. Gloede on Jan 6 2018, 08:16:54 AM wrote:aside from disliking and not exploring past cinema, which I hope will come in time
Well, please point me to some critic I can (semi)trust. I do take the time to explore past cinema, but a lot of it is just horrible to me.

Stats (pre-1980 films):

540 films seen
------------------------
1 masterpiece (4.5*)
7 favorites (4* or higher)
85 likes (3* or 3.5*)
58 decent (2.5* - depending on where you live this qualifies as a pass or fail)
390 dislikes (0.5*-2.0*)

I get a lot of flack for exploring past cinema and looking at the ROI it isn't even all that strange. I'm sure there are very interesting things out there I simply never get to see, but without proper guidance it's pretty hard.

Sure, but then why should critics keep going back to things that don't interest them ? Note they do, probably several times a week,but you want to crank up the volume even more.
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#94

Post by Onderhond »

St. Gloede on Jan 6 2018, 10:16:04 AM wrote:Sure, but then why should critics keep going back to things that don't interest them?
Because you can only say something valuable about a film after having seen it. Dismissing it up front as uninteresting makes for a very bad film critic, but it does explain a lot. Even so, I get the feeling they're just not looking all that much, if you look close enough you'll find things that interest you, even in niches you tend to dislike on the whole. You say it's up to fest programmers to uncover those films, I say it's up to the film critics to do the dirty work.

I don't quite feel like going a discussion about Get Out and Dunkirk's similarities though. If you feel these are completely different films, that's fine with me, I don't (at all). I don't see the absolutes and impossibilities there, but hey ...
I never called you adventurous though
I misread one of your statements, my mistake :)
when I see a top 10 from a film critic why are there just films on it?
I know you're trying to pretend this is super crazy, but that S&S top 10 had a TV series in its Top 10 :D
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#95

Post by St. Gloede »

The extremism is still not addressed, and you don't seem to understand why you are an extremist, and why you are requesting something you are defining impossible (and which I would define as pointless).

What you don't understand:

1. Critics are already exploring hundreds of films of extreme variety
2. Critics (almost) always go out of their comfort zones
3. Critics (almost) always go out of their audiences comfort zones
4. (Essentially) Everything you state is invented, false and based on your own bias

Just the fact that you, because of their commercial releases, see primarily similarities between Get Out and Dunkirk underlines this extremism and odd bias to such an extent that I am more or less at a loss of words. If these two films are primarily similar, and as is Song to Song and Happy End, and all of these 4 together, then all films are primarily similar - maybe if I threw in a Benning, but hey, that would still just have been arthouse I suppose.

This, renders everything you argue as irrelevant, had the Netflix films been picked up, you would have called them mainstream, accessible and pushed, just like Okja, a Netflix film. Every time a critic picked a film you thought fit your definition of something they had to explore, it would stop fitting the description, as it was explored and noted.

No one can never win against this, as you have defined the action of doing what you wish impossible.

Since I don't think you will ever understand, nor acknowledge the core points of reality, I will leave you again with my key statements, as they were never understood/addressed, and end the conversation. Hopefully you will understand the impossibility of your logic.
Onderhond on Jan 5 2018, 08:35:57 AM wrote:
St. Gloede on Jan 5 2018, 08:35:57 AM wrote:This is not something you can in any way expect. You won't find much if anything matching your description among the forum users here either.
The "exceptions to the rule" concept is extremely human and should be expected always. Unless one limits himself extremely strictly (or has incredibly high autism marks), these things pop up. You might feel bad disclosing them maybe, but let's not even go there.
This is an absurd truism, that given your criteria and definition is impossible. A critic could list something ultra commercial like Dunkirk, next to something creative like Song to Song, and even throw in Get Out and something like Happy End, and you would not be surprised by the extreme diversity. You would reject it because these films, appealing to 5 entirely different disciplines and audiences. This is because your standard for this is measured against your own extreme diversity – and you don’t seem to understand that this is very, very rare.
Onderhond on Jan 2 2018, 07:59:28 AM wrote:
St. Gloede on Jan 2 2018, 07:59:28 AM wrote:and that you are one of the extremely few people with a deviating taste. This is not meant in a negative way, but more most cinephiles this is not a negative as they can find the school of thought they are closest to, and see what like minded people agree on.
It's not that I'm personally looking for people to represent my taste, it's that all their lists are copies or at least picked for a pool of maybe 30 films tops. I don't believe that kind of consensus is realistic and if it is, I guess that means "different strokes for different folks" is a big fat lie :) I just want to see a little diversity so that it might trigger people to watch more stuff outside of their own comfort zone. Availability isn't that big of an issue anymore. Hasn't been for the past 15 years or so, but now it's even legally possible.
In large cinemas it is possible to see everything from Transformers to High School Musical to The Blind Side to The White Ribbon. Cinemas show films they think will appeal to people, all groups sizeable enough to come out. That can mean a very limited release like Loving Vincent got in Malta, to a multiple month release like Star Wars, to a sizeable release like Victoria and Abdul. Very rarely will any of the same people see these films.

You have constructed an absurd false narrative.

And again, you make your point irrelevant, because if everything shown/represented is the same, then every inclusion will be the same. It doesn't matter how many different kinds of films are explored because as soon as they have traction they are the norm.
Oh, and one addition:
Onderhond on wrote:
Gloede on wrote:when I see a top 10 from a film critic why are there just films on it?
I know you're trying to pretend this is super crazy, but that S&S top 10 had a TV series in its Top 10 :D
And note how you, even when they included a TV show, just thought it was a collection of exactly the same type of films. That should frame this conversation beautifully.
Last edited by St. Gloede on January 6th, 2018, 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#96

Post by flaiky »

Sorry to go off topic for a moment, but...
St. Gloede on wrote:Dunkirk is a very traditional war film from the old guard
Do you really think Dunkirk is traditional? I don't think it's a typical war film at all, I can't think of anything similar.
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#97

Post by St. Gloede »

flaiky on Jan 6 2018, 12:57:10 PM wrote:Sorry to go off topic for a moment, but...
St. Gloede on wrote:Dunkirk is a very traditional war film from the old guard
Do you really think Dunkirk is traditional? I don't think it's a typical war film at all, I can't think of anything similar.
I really enjoyed the fluidity of it, especially the scenes on the ground had a great semi-contemplative quality to it, and the slight play with timelines certainly makes it even more interesting - but it still has the sentimentality, patriotism, solemnity and overall atmosphere as so many war films before it. By traditional here I am also referring more to the general audience that can appreciate it. Those growing up with anything from the darker and less patriotic Full Metal Jacket to ultra sentimental and patriotic Saving Private Ryan will likely feel right at home - this then compared to something like Get Out, which might not feel as comfortable.
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#98

Post by flaiky »

St. Gloede on Jan 6 2018, 01:25:23 PM wrote:
flaiky on Jan 6 2018, 12:57:10 PM wrote:Sorry to go off topic for a moment, but...
St. Gloede on wrote:Dunkirk is a very traditional war film from the old guard
Do you really think Dunkirk is traditional? I don't think it's a typical war film at all, I can't think of anything similar.
I really enjoyed the fluidity of it, especially the scenes on the ground had a great semi-contemplative quality to it, and the slight play with timelines certainly makes it even more interesting - but it still has the sentimentality, patriotism, solemnity and overall atmosphere as so many war films before it. By traditional here I am also referring more to the general audience that can appreciate it. Those growing up with anything from the darker and less patriotic Full Metal Jacket to ultra sentimental and patriotic Saving Private Ryan will likely feel right at home - this then compared to something like Get Out, which might not feel as comfortable.
I guess this kind of depends on whether we're talking about form or meaning. Get Out follows a much more typical formula IMO, but is fairly challenging in its message, while Dunkirk won't make any viewers uncomfortable with its content but has a more daring style and tone. I'm sure some viewers struggled with the abstract characters, disjointed narrative, and the relentless, disorientating score.
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#99

Post by Onderhond »

St. Gloede on Jan 6 2018, 12:27:53 PM wrote:And note how you, even when they included a TV show, just thought it was a collection of exactly the same type of films. That should frame this conversation beautifully.
Ironically, they weren't they only ones to have done so. But I'm sure that including one of the most lauded TV series of the year is another great indication of their extreme diversity, even when other publications included the exact same series in their top 10. You gotta wonder how deep they had to dig to find that Lynch (who?) made another TV series (who watches that)!

Reading through your summary of the discussion, all I see is a weird abomination of some of the things I've said here, with little relevance to my actual arguments. I understand you're puzzled, but only because you are arguing against some completely made up statements nobody here is thinking. I guess that only show how we don't really get through to each other, so it's probably better to end it here :)
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#100

Post by St. Gloede »

Yes, probably best. I still have no clue as every time I tried to get a specification, you only replied with another extreme, or at least an apparent/presumed extreme, communication can be tricky, but usually not this much. :D
Last edited by St. Gloede on January 7th, 2018, 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#101

Post by Torgo »

Bumping this thread without reading a single post in it or being actually on topic, if I may - just looked like some place to leave a question ..

When I started browsing some film sites in the mid 00s, I learned that James Berardinelli was a rather popular film critic, not on Roger Ebert's level, but of some prominence. Since my activity on ICM, I can't remember to have him mentioned anywhere and he certainly doesn't have an official list of favorite/most important films (like a handful of critics have).
Was I mistaken? Is he just some mid-level successful guy? Or did he gain popularity in the rising days of web 2.0 and lost it since then?

In general, there are no critics I'm actively reading, except for one Swiss who happens to have exactly the same taste like me, so I usually compare our conclusions. Other than that, it's just collected opinions, e.g. Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, ICM comments, IMDb reviews, Letterboxd reviews etc. for me.
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#102

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

Torgo wrote: March 3rd, 2021, 10:12 pm Bumping this thread without reading a single post in it or being actually on topic, if I may - just looked like some place to leave a question ..

When I started browsing some film sites in the mid 00s, I learned that James Berardinelli was a rather popular film critic, not on Roger Ebert's level, but of some prominence. Since my activity on ICM, I can't remember to have him mentioned anywhere and he certainly doesn't have an official list of favorite/most important films (like a handful of critics have).
Was I mistaken? Is he just some mid-level successful guy? Or did he gain popularity in the rising days of web 2.0 and lost it since then?

In general, there are no critics I'm actively reading, except for one Swiss who happens to have exactly the same taste like me, so I usually compare our conclusions. Other than that, it's just collected opinions, e.g. Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, ICM comments, IMDb reviews, Letterboxd reviews etc. for me.
I don’t know how popular he was as a film critic, but I’m pretty sure Berardinelli himself was a regular poster on the Film General board at IMDB, under this profile: https://www.imdb.com/user/ur44562270/. He didn’t broadcast who he was, but I remember putting two-and-two together and asking him in a PM at one point, and he basically confirmed it.
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#103

Post by Torgo »

Huh, I already bumped this thread once. Odd. :sweat:
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#104

Post by magnusbernhardsen »

I just thought of this thread while reading an article on Black Girl by what is probably my favourite film writer, Guri Kulås in Klassekampen. Now, she wrote about this film this week because it recently was made available on Mubi in Norway, but I think it is obvious it also is a choice made because she loved it, not just as part of any PR campaign.

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#105

Post by St. Gloede »

magnusbernhardsen wrote: June 30th, 2022, 8:51 am I just thought of this thread while reading an article on Black Girl by what is probably my favourite film writer, Guri Kulås in Klassekampen. Now, she wrote about this film this week because it recently was made available on Mubi in Norway, but I think it is obvious it also is a choice made because she loved it, not just as part of any PR campaign.

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Nice to see another Norwegian here, and a very good read indeed. It really made me want to rewatch Black Girl and had I not seen it I would have jumped on it. I think you are right this is a great way for critics writing for fairly mainstream publications to get the word out on films that are (by comparative standards) little-seen, and will definitely have an impact. I also liked that she took the time to highlight two of his other films (including my favourite, Camp de Thiaroye, and even added in a push for Mati Diop, for a more contemporary recommendation. (My only possible critique here is that her briefly mentioned uncle Djibril Diop Mambéty did not get a small box as well given that he is the other big director, but anything more might also be too much for more mainstream audiences, even those who read Klassekampen).
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#106

Post by St. Gloede »

I was actually about to share a very similar anecdote/footnote from S&S, where the critic Pamela Hutchinson (who has the fixed column "The Long Take") did a full page on one of my least seen and most beautiful favourites Vesnoy / In Spring (1929) made by the man with a movie camera himself Mikhail Kaufman (Dziga Vertov's brother and frequent cinematographer). She captured the beauty of what makes it remarkable and separates it from The Man with a Movie Camera very well, and also merged it in the contemporary Ukraine context, as unlike his brother's film it is set entirely in Ukraine. To sell the film it is a season symphony rather than a city symphony and in the context of cinematic symphonies one of the best of its kind. I actually have the poster hanging in my office in canvas form, and was stunned when I saw it in the middle of the page.

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Adding to my old disagreement with Onderhond from a couple of years ago, I do think this kind of coverage is something we should hope for, and even expect, from critics writing for cinephile magazines, and while it is not what I expect from writers of mainstream publications it is very much welcome. (Re: Black Girl - It makes sense that it was a publication like Klassekampen doing it. I have seen some of their film coverages previously, though I have not lived in Norway for almost a decade, so losing touch a little there)

Minor Norway connection, Hutchinson saw Vesnoy at the Tromsø Stumfilmdager back in late April. I think it is also an example of the value venues like this can bring, especially if snapped up by the right writer with the right angle. I do hope there is a Vesnoy revival of sorts, as it does belong in the canon.
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#107

Post by magnusbernhardsen »

I have to commend Klassekampen for having a two-page spread on a 56-year old film. I think they are also the only Norwegian daily to send reporters to Cannes these days, and overall they treat film quite well. I would love for them to do a film/TV magazine like they do for music and literature.

Criticsism is getting booted from papers and magazines, in favour of just consumer-oriented capsule reviews and celebrity news. Samtiden says they will focus on critiquing the critics going forward, but there are hardly any left.
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#108

Post by St. Gloede »

Not overly shocking, but a sad turn for all film buffs.

How do you find Klassekampen's film reporting in general? I take it this two-pager is a bit of an anomaly?
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#109

Post by magnusbernhardsen »

No, it's not an anomaly. I think this is part of a new summer series about movies you should have seen. Last week they wrote about two new films in cinema; Elvis and Berdreymi, and had a short review of Alex Langlois' short De la terreur, mes soeurs!.

I made a list with their favourites from 2021:
https://letterboxd.com/magnusbe/list/be ... ssekampen/
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#110

Post by magnusbernhardsen »

This week they have a two-page spread on Jean-Louis Trintignant.
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#111

Post by magnusbernhardsen »

My point with these tidbits from a mid-sized Norwegian paper is that it is possible to have a broad(er) film coverage and that there are relevant critics out there.
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#112

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I know someone who is/was on the staff of Klassekampen. Does Tromso have 24-hr film festivals in winter?
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#113

Post by kongs_speech »

I saw a sad graph yesterday. It showed how ridiculously inflated Rotten Tomatoes scores have become over the course of the 21st century. Practically everything Hollywood farts out gets at least a 60 now. They've got so many hacks with official Tomatometer status, the site really has no legitimacy anymore.
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#114

Post by Torgo »

Oh, this sounds great. Are you still able to find the source?
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#115

Post by magnusbernhardsen »

3eyes wrote: July 7th, 2022, 1:26 pm I know someone who is/was on the staff of Klassekampen. Does Tromso have 24-hr film festivals in winter?
It's dark 24 hours in January, so they can have outdoor screenings all day and night. I don't know if they do, though.
https://www.tiff.no/en/information
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