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!