Briefly Noted: “Redeeming Criticism”

Some thoughts on the strangeness of film criticism, courtesy of The New Yorker, “Redeeming Criticism”  —


None of this is of course covering new territory that Oscar Wilde hasn’t already navigated for us, but it never hurts to stop and reflect on the purpose of an(y) act of criticism — the usual sorts of questions of objectivity vs. subjectivity apply here:


Perhaps what sometimes irks us in a particular work of criticism is the presumption of objectivity —

“Most critics, myself included, lapse into the shoddy shorthand of our own pleasures when we feel constrained in space or time … The goal isn’t a more collegial sort of criticism—getting to an artist’s world view or inspiration doesn’t mean approving of it—or, for that matter, a less passionate one, but, rather, one that reflects the critic’s position and the responsibility that it entails, toward the film and toward oneself as a critic.” 

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