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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wim Wenders and Opinion-less Criticism

If you are like D.B. your door is always open to Wim Wenders. Anyway who should happen to drop in the other day and just listen to what he had to say:

"Nobody can expect that movies would change so drastically as they have changed over the last 20 years and that criticism wouldn’t change. So, as this age of consumerism has had an enormous impact on the whole of audio-visual culture, it has also had an enormous impact on writing about films. I think in a way, Serge (Daney) was like a dinosaur and that his approach to describing movie experiences was almost from another age. He was also able to bring very contemporary philosophical, sociological and aesthetic elements into what he was writing about. Maybe he was the last really great writer or poet writing about movies. More and more I feel that today film criticism has become a way to control the whole consumer aspect of the industry .... we fill pages, deliver headlines and gossip and deliver above all, opinion. The kind of opinion needed to consume movies faster. More and more I feel that critics furnish such opinions, and opinion is the one hateful thing in film criticism. I really loved Serge for being in this way ‘opinion-less’ and for being instead such an acute describer of experiences. I really miss that. Most of the time now when you read a review it’s not describing but judging..."

Dead Beat warns us all to be wary not to fall into this trap - Dead Beat whole heartedly agrees that true critics leave their opinions outside the door with their dirty boots.

Remember that the next time you are in a writer's workshop or are writing a review of a piece of writing.

I have always thought this, that reviews reveal more about the reviewer than the work they are reviewing. In other words, a review is limited by the skills of the reviewer. Perhaps it is time to review reviewers.

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