at the centre

Film "Film criticism lies at the centre of nearly all intellectual discourse about the cinema, and if we take criticism to be an effort to know particular movies more intimately, it probably deserves its prime place. But contemporary film criticism is failing. In academic venues, it mostly grinds Movie X through Theory Y, in the hope that somehow the exercise will yield political emancipation. Meanwhile, film magazines and free city weeklies promote that self-assured nonconformity which prizes jaunty wordplay and throwaway judgments." -- David Bordwell

Bordwell appears to by writing against the Mark Kermode approach to film criticism and even the sort of thing that turns up in Empire magazine. In the grip of a Film Studies degree I can absolutely understand his thesis -- applying Freudian psychology to films (for example) is a tricky business and can often lead to misunderstandings. I'm actually quoting Bordwell in an essay I'm currently writing about Frank Capra's narratives and his writing has a crisp, clean, ledgible and understandable style. That it was all like that. [via]

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