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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)
At Times, Feels Too Much Like a Low Quality PBS Special
For the Love of Movies is an interesting, if rather dry, history of film criticism. It starts from the beginning of cinema going to the present day. Overall, it is a mixed bag with difficulties in pacing.
The long span of the subject matter has both benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, viewers are introduced to now obscure film critics such as Otis Ferguson. You will inevitably come up with a reading list of critics you'll want to track down. However, many of the critics, especially from the first half of the twentieth century, are dealt with in passing, so that it is easy to confuse them.
The film goes into greater depth from the 60s onward, as it examines figures such as Pauline Kael and the debate over auteur theory. However, there are distracting elements such as periodic 'questions' which interrupt the narrative, such as how the critics got their jobs.
Furthermore, it would have been interesting to learn more about how the critics evaluate movies, what criteria they use, and so forth. In the end, the film is worth a rent if you stumble upon it, but is not worth seeking out.
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