To Critique the Critic

There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt.Audre Lorde

I am not a filmmaker. I am not a critic. I may spend some energy “critiquing” a film, (admittedly, very little energy) but all that makes me is a fan with internet access.

I never view a flick for free, number one no one ever offers, number two I think one major element of a film is “Was it worth it?”. Where does it fall in spectrum of preferred avenue of viewing? Worth shelling out the bucks to see it on the big screen? Better to wait and support your local video store with a reasonably priced rental? Or, is it relegated further down the wactchability food chain that a cable viewing will be just fine?

Now, sometimes there is a movie that is simply unwatchable, so unwatchable that if someone offers you money to view; negotiate a higher payment. Of course, this is said knowing there is an audience for virtually every horrible idea ever committed to celluloid.

I think there are elements that influence you in regards to a film, elements that are as important to the viewing as the film itself.

Was the flick seen in theater? How full? What kind of showing, mixed or did you catch the Friday night PG13 crowd?  Did you see it at home? Alone? When you sat down to watch the flick did you sit down to watch or did you sit down to critique?

Every film should be watched. First and foremost you should experience your viewing. Even horrible films had a dedicated cast and crew trying to create something, so you should at least be willing to try and lose yourself in the story before you pull your head up and declare it crap.

Oh, and crap some of it is. Far too many times I will watch a flick and wonder exactly how the hell did this ever see the light of day. Wonder what happened in the creative process where NO ONE was willing to just pause and wonder aloud “I’m sorry, but we all realize this is shit right?”

I have grown into the opinion that most “professional” critics lost their way long ago. I think that once you are paid for your opinion, your opinion becomes skewed, your prism becomes a little shadowed and hesitant.  Unintentionally, but once it is your job to be opinionated, you cannot help but be overly opinionated.

When you sit down to critique a film, you forget why you fell in love with film in the first place. To go on a journy, being taken somewhere outside of the bounds of reason. To be challenged, being reminded the world is larger than you. Or sometimes, all you want is something as simple as enjoying the idea that toys become animated when your back is turned, and keep watch over their own.

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 7:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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