Ty Burr, the film critic for the Boston Globe, published an article in last Sunday’s Globe entitled “Sandra, meet Ingmar: the education of a critic“. This article was reprinted in Wednesday’s National Post with the (better) title “Everyone’s a film critic – or are they?“.
Burr’s article was a response to the academic-I’m-better-than-you crap published by the Guardian UK‘s scholar and critic Ronald Bergan, entitled “What every film critic must know“, published back on March 26.
So why am I telling you all this? …
Well, because, as regular readers know, I do write a fair number of film reviews. His Ivory White Towerness Bergan is of the opinion only those hoitytoity and duly educated-enough ought to write reviews. Reviewers apparently need to know the difference between a pan and dolly shot or simply aren’t up to snuff. Typical hogwash from a British upper-class prat.
Burr, counters and suggests, rather than having to know the difference between pan and dolly shots, a reviewer ought to 1) know how to write, and, 2) allow the reader to see a film in a different light. Valid points both.
My own take – and I can write my own take as this is my blog – is this …. I almost always write my review immediately after seeing the film and tend to write from 1) my initial gut reaction, and, 2) with total, utter, undisguised bias (i.e., I dislike Jack Nicholson immensely so it’s fair to say any film with him in it I’m gonna pan … even if Jack was outstanding). Sure people take issue with this approach (but like I care!).
I capture my thoughts in a paragraph (or very occasionally two) cause I don’t wanna read reams of deep meaningful twaddle on the subtleties of a film or a film-maker. Can you say: boring!
All this to say here’s a *raspberry* to Bergan and his ilk, and long live us common folk reviewers!
hahaha… yeah, you should write whatever you like, just make sure not to give people spoilers which they failed to mention (or I missed it) in those articles you cited…
I love the common folk review. I find your reviews more honest and open than the so called professional. It could be that I have viewed some movies you recommended and enjoyed them!