Saturday, 23 April 2011

Everyone’s a critic!

Film critics… what are they good for and who do they think they are? Film lovers that didn’t make it in the production side of the industry? Failed journalists looking for an easy ride? Film snobs? Just people that love movies? Experts on film? Entertainers? Artists?

And what gives them the right to pass judgment on any film that producers, directors, writers, countless crew members have sweated over, poured their hearts into?

Well… as I can’t think of a more perfect job than sitting and watching films and then writing my thoughts down, I’m a bit bias.

So, how do I become a critic and is there any nobility in it? I got a book out called ‘Five Stars: How to Become a Film Critic, The World’s Greatest Job’ by Christopher Null. He says to become a critic you need to have ‘seen a ton of movies’ and be able to ‘separate them into good and bad’, ‘have the ability to write well’, ‘watch and review five or more films a week’ and find ‘an outlet for publishing your work’.

Seen a ton of films. Know which ones I like. Can’t get through 5 a week unless I quit my job. Can write ok. Could publish my reviews on this here blog. So I’m nearly ready.

But what gives me the right to say what I like and dislike when people have sweated over making these films? Can’t I just write reviews of films I think are great? After all, I was always taught if you got nothing nice to say, don’t say nothing at all!

But then I kept reading Null’s book. He says: ‘there are critics who strive merely to entertain us… there are those that deeply analyze a movie… and there are those rare critics who do both. This is when criticism becomes an art form on par with the movies themselves’.

Not sure I quite agree with that but instead of thinking about the negatives… I’m going to consider reviewing movies an attempt to entertain other movie lovers. After all I’ve read every issue of Empire and Total Film for over a decade now and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Negative reviews and all.

So for now I’m going to concentrate on reviewing movies I like. Movies I respect, love and have positive things to say about. Probably not too many rom-coms.

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