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Relied upon by some moviegoers and reviled by others, film critics for over 100 years have represented a form of journalism that sought to find and judge film as an art in a way others might want to heed. This film presents a comprehensive history of this form of writing as it developed with the film medium itself. With historical profiles on major contributors like Pauline Kael along with interview with contemporary figures like Roger Ebert, the nature of the profession is explored both for its illustrious past and its uncertain future. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2009)
*** (out of 4)
Somewhat uneven but entertaining documentary taking a look at film critics from the past to the present. The documentary from director Gerald Perry actually features plenty of interviews with actual critics, which is a major plus as they get to comment on various subjects including the history of film criticism, how they got into doing it, their relationship with studios and directors and there's even some nice talk about the theory that everyone is a critic. As someone who loves movies, loves writing about movies and loves reading other's opinions on movies, this documentary kept me entertained from start to finish. I really liked the knowledge of how film criticism first started back around 1907 and it was fascinating to learn about the few critics who were out there at the time. It was also fascinating being able to see how the profession has changed throughout time and during which eras were critics most important when it came to people listening to them. The likes of Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris are discussed as well as what Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert brought to the table. Other critics like Rex Reed, Owen Gleiberman, Elvis Mitchell, Janet Maslin and even Harry Knowles are interviews as well. FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES certainly has some faults including how it jumps around on its subjects too much. I'm not sure if this was originally much longer and then edited down but it just seems like several subjects are brought up and not fully discussed. Either way, if you're a fan of film then this here should keep you entertained and especially if you like discussing and debating movies.
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