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Favorite Film Critics


CaveGirl
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In my history of reading film reviews I have come to respect the likes of James Agee, Andre Bazin, Bosley Crowther and Jean-Luc Godard. 

 

Unfortunately most of the ones on my list are no longer with us, so I have to resort to occasionally listening to the remarks of the likes of even some of the younger set like Timpani Valdes.

 

I will say that it is fun seeing great graphics on such sites and hearing music in the background but I digress.

 

But who do you like if you really want to make sure your money is well spent for a current movie or if you are buying an dvd of an old movie?

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For current movies I don't trust anyone. I just go on trailer, plot introduction, cast and director.

 

For classics I often read the review by Roger Ebert. He often remarks things I hadn't noticed. Laura Mulvey has an original, feminist point of view that can also be interesting.

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For current movies I don't trust anyone. I just go on trailer, plot introduction, cast and director.

 

For classics I often read the review by Roger Ebert. He often remarks things I hadn't noticed. Laura Mulvey has an original, feminist point of view that can also be interesting.

Thank you so much, Cora!

 

I can concur, except for occasionally reading Timpani's reviews which are always so revelatory.

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Current films--I trust nobody, Especially the "critics" who loudly proclaim a film as "Best of the Decade" and then shut up once the film is Actually Released.  I go on Cast and director.

 

Classic movies--I go by James Agee, Pauline Kael (her books through "Reeling" (1975), and her book "1001 Nights at the Movies" (I forget the copyright date), Danny Peary's "Guide for the Film Fanatic" (1986).  Roger Ebert's trio of books about films he Hated is funny and useful for searching out dreadful films.

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Of current critics, I sometimes rely on Manohla Dargis of The New York Times. For older movies, I don't rely on critics. I rely on the director, cast and crew, and subject. One critic I particularly DO NOT like is Graham Greene, who had a far too literary approach. He didn't understand that the language is also in the visuals.

 

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J. Hoberman

Stuart Klawans

Jonathan Rosenbaum

 

Collectively, they have brought to attention most of the greatest new directors of the last three and a half decades, such as both Andersons, Burnett, Carax, Cisse, Cronenberg, the Dardennes, Davies, Denis, Hou, Jarmusch, Kiarostami, Lanzmann, Lee, Lynch, Ruiz, Sokurov, Tarkovsky,  Tarr, Trier, Wong, and Yang.  (The one gap is that none of them have written much about Theo Angelopoulos.)

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Roger Ebert is my favorite, though at times he's really trashed one that I like a lot. On those occasions, I'm always left wondering how he and I can be so together on the other films and so completely opposite on this one - or that.

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When Roger Ebert hated a film, he didn't mince words. Here are some movies he absolutely loathed (including a couple of surprises) and his dry assessments of their value....

 

http://mentalfloss.com/article/76485/36-movies-roger-ebert-really-hated

I did like Ebert, Siskel too. After they passed, I have yet to find anyone I care for. The film industry has the capability to put out ten straight duds in a row. But, a critic can't simply say they all suck. She/He has to pretend to like a few of them. That's where I get off. Even when the "big stars" are involved, the movies aren't very good.

 

At this point, I only go for superheroes or some sequel where I already know what I'm getting into.

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