Over the past decade, as digital media has expanded and print outlets have declined, pundits have bemoaned a “crisis of criticism” and mourned the “death of the critic.” Now that well-paying jobs in film criticism have largely evaporated, while blogs, message boards, and social media have given new meaning to the saying that “everyone’s a critic,” urgent questions have emerged about the status and purpose of film criticism in the twenty-first century.
In Film Criticism in the Digital Age, ten scholars from across the globe come together to consider whether we are witnessing the extinction of serious film criticism or seeing the start of its rebirth in a new form. Drawing from a wide variety of case studies and methodological perspectives, the book’s contributors find many signs of the film critic’s declining clout, but they also locate surprising examples of how critics—whether moonlighting bloggers or salaried writers—have been able to intervene in current popular discourse about arts and culture.
In addition to collecting a plethora of scholarly perspectives, Film Criticism in the Digital Age includes statements from key bloggers and print critics, like Armond White and Nick James. Neither an uncritical celebration of digital culture nor a jeremiad against it, this anthology offers a comprehensive look at the challenges and possibilities that the Internet brings to the evaluation, promotion, and explanation of artistic works.
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MATTIAS FREY is a senior lecturer in film at the University of Kent. He is the author of Postwall German Cinema: History, Film History, and Cinephilia and co-editor of Cine-Ethics: Ethical Dimensions of Film Theory, Practice, and Spectatorship.
CECILIA SAYAD is a senior lecturer in film at the University of Kent. She is the author of Performing Authorship: Self-Inscription and Corporeality in the Cinema and O Jogo da Reinvenção, a Portuguese-language study of Charlie Kaufman’s filmography.
"Frey and Sayad assemble both academic and popular analyses on the dearth – perhaps death – of the working film critic, caught up and rubbed out in the brave new World Wide Web of bottomless blogs and 14-character tweets. Refusing a simplistic 'thumbs up/thumbs down' approach, this useful if fitful anthology merits several stars." (Journal of Film and Video)
"Offers such distinguished critics as Armond White and Nick James a chance to weight in on the need for informed, responsible film criticism in the digital era... Highly recommended." (Choice)
"This is a great and highly important volume for film studies as a discipline and cultural and media studies more generally." (Dana Polan New York University 2014-07-28)
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