The days of Hollywood living and dying by the sharp edge of a critic’s pen are long gone. Now even Twitter is becoming a better predictor of box office success rather than the once powerful sway of a critical thumb. In a recent study by HP Labs [pdf], the chatter from Twitter is out performing market-based forecasts. The audience is putting more stock in their social graphs to help them select movies instead taking heed of the professional prognosticators. Peer recommendations are useful for impromptu decisions at the multi-plex but for real film buffs, nothing beats a deep dive into the work.
While some newspapers have shuttered critics in a desperate attempt to stay afloat, actual film criticism is doing just fine.
Serious and informed discussion of film and film theory is flourishing on sights like /Film The Auteurs and Filmspotting. Roger Ebert has found a new audience via Twitter for his standard bearing missives. Over 7 Million people read Ebert each month online. No longer restricted by space, he has found that what the audience desired is a longer engagement.
Film Criticism can serve to bring us inside the filmmaker’s vision by examining the clues between the frames. When done as a celebration of the art form, Film Criticism leads us deeper into the work, helps us understand the full picture.
A fantastic new trend in criticism is taking advantage of media to explore films. Dana Stevens [Twitter] of Slate has launched Dana’s Home Theater, a great example of going deeper with film. Dana examines one of my favorite movies by the Coen brothers – A Serious Man.
Thomas Doherty of The Chronicle of Higher Education has a different opinion – The Death of Film Criticism
What’s your take? Are you finding growth in film communities and online discussions? What are your favorite spots to talk about film?