In his latest contribution Mathieu Ravier puts forward the position that amongst the noise of digital comment, the dedicated will always seek out and discover the good stuff – films worth seeing, critical voices that illuminate – and that the fact that so many of these voices exist outside of sponsorship and corporate interest can be of huge benefit.
But he also puts forward an urgency in the role of cinephiles in championing under-represented cinema, making the case for audience desire in a market where traditional arthouse cinema access is dwindling. Is it important to have a public reclamation of cinephilia to keep the flame alive and support a community that includes filmmakers?
Andrew Grant also points to the real world action of cinephiles, citing a key element of healthy film culture as institutions opening up to adventurous programming and encouraging open discussion from audiences. He suggests that in Berlin this culture is partly possible due to government subsidy. Should arthouse cinema be supported by public funding?
He also wonders about the culture of being first to review something – citing race to publish the first review of Tree of Life. Is this the primary model for online publications now – to be first?
God knows I would love a little public funding for my project. Thanks for the links and for this series of threads. More later.
“He also wonders about the culture of being first to review something – citing race to publish the first review of Tree of Life. Is this the primary model for online publications now – to be first?”
Isn’t this just an further-accelerated version of a print critic attended a special screening and publishing a review in the newspaper the morning of the day the film is going to open in that local market? That kind of criticism is still all about beating your hypothetical reader to the screen. I’m not at all against this kind of writing about film, but I would hope that there continues to be a proportionate increase in “slow” criticism (MUBI seems to me a potentially excellent outlet for that kind of writing/discussion, but so far it hasn’t fully taken advantage of this potential).
The mad dash to print online seems ridiculous to me. I don’t search out criticism because it is the first to appear — I search out good writers and good outlets. Often the longer they take, the better.