More notes "on a ‘film journalist’"


ninety9:

natashavc:

(*just a note on a ‘film journalist’. This is a moniker that has been bandied about several high brow film blogs. But these journos don’t do any actual reporting. Not on studio deals, union politics, the messy re-writes, oscar ballot campaigning, or any of the grit and tension that comes the Hollywood Industrial Complex. No, instead these are tertiary on lookers who believe their MFA in film theory, their membership pass to Film Forum, and the refined love of Soviet Era silent films entitles them to reputation of some hard nosed “journalist”. They are critics and fans. And that’s fine! But there’s a difference, no?)

Um, isn’t that just the difference between critic and journalist? Nothing wrong with preferring to be a critic over being a journalist or vice versa. I would also hazard anyone spouting off about Last Year at Marienbad thinks Spike Jonze is a hack.

1) Critics and reporters are two types of journalists. My MA in Cinema Studies probably doesn’t qualify me to perform either type of journalism, but I’ve managed to fake it as a critic for a few years and it’s going okay so far. I don’t trust criticism when it comes from a reporter with cultivated sources inside “the Hollywood Industrial Complex.” But that’s just me. We all eat food. We should not all be allowed to write about it. I certainly shouldn’t.

2) There is a gap on the harmlessness scale between stating opinions and using inaccurate facts to back them up.

3)  There are legitimate critics that think that both Last Year at Marienbad and Spike Jonze are awesome. Criticism is not about picking highbrow over lowbrow (and, really, in the context of contemporary culture, Spike Jonze is a difficult auteur).

Natasha is upset because a number of film critics/bloggers (myself included) have taken issue with her laziness in regards to basic film knowledge and the flippant, “anyone can do this” tone of her film writing — weirdly, the opposite approach that she applies to her meticulous Mad Men blog. Which I like.