Friday, August 13, 2010

Academic Film Criticism

For several reasons, academic film criticism is biased toward the obscure and the constipated. Part of it is due to the elitist background of the profs and the secluded environment within which they work and live. A stronger reason is that it's how they justify their jobs. It makes little sense for them to show films widely seen on Turner Classic Movies. They go instead toward movies the vast proportion of their students would not have seen, usually European filmmakers named Malle, Godard, Herzog, Bergman, and so on. The important thing to know about the movies raved about is that they're not very good. Students graduate overvaluing either A.) editing virtuosity, which has only a tangential relationship to the depth and power of real art; B.) pseudo-intellectualism.

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