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Friday, April 11, 2008


Posted By on Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 9:06 AM

Patrick Golstein of the Los Angeles Times has an interesting piece in today's paper on the decline of the critic.  He observes, "There was a time when critics were our arbiters of culture, the ultimate interpreters of intellectual discourse. When I was growing up, eager to write about the arts, it was just as important to read Pauline Kael, Frank Rich and Lester Bangs as it was to see a Robert Altman film, a David Mamet play or listen to the latest Elvis Costello album. Critics gave art its context, explained its meaning and guided us to new discoveries."

I've written about the decline of film critics frequently in this space.  It's troubling, but the web has proved to be a medium where people - former film critics or emerging ones - can find a voice.  Today, Michael Wilmington, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, posted his first review for the popular internet film site Movie City News.  As Goldstein notes, "The Web isn't the enemy of critical thinking. The land of a million blogs is a medium brimming with opinion. What's different is the reader gets to decide whose opinion matters the most. It's a big adjustment, but maybe it's time critics, like many artists, realize they should pay more attention to their audience." 

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