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Category: Art, Film, & Media Culture

The Critics: A Wish List

A good critic checks all facts thoroughly before she posts. She doesn’t judge from her own assumptions, inattention, or incomplete research and viewing…

A good critic doesn’t put self above or ahead of a film to start…No ridicule — for show, for self-assurance, or for other ulterior purposes…

It is said, all artists need an audience, but that doesn’t mean all should be *ruled* by one. The critic also looks out for the creative person, the whole realm of artistic purpose and freedom – and the frequently ignored audiences that cherish that space.

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The Critics: The Privilege

It is true that everyone is entitled to an opinion. It is also true that critics are not above reproach.
They themselves do not necessarily come with greater authority or even skill in their attempts to assert it…

In fact, the whole realm of review lends itself to an unjustified elitism, an overly cherished and protected opportunity to harm without basis, without self-check or cross-check — or even any productive experience in the field(s)…

Relative to the mind, maturity, and experience of the reviewer, public judgment can be a deceptive and destructive project, unless it’s handled cautiously from that very awareness.

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Roger’s Movie Nation: Trolling Artists

To tackle any harm done and very real pain felt is to make my experience one of those “teachable moments”, something others might find helpful.

Maybe addressing Roger’s deceitful destructiveness and immaturity might generate more awareness and draw clear distinction between good critique and incompetent rant. Maybe we might start to reject the cheap “popularity” or “entertainment” of the latter, achieved at the real expense of another. 

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PR: Potential Ruin

Be wary of quick PR campaigns, under four months…The best campaigns might be more costly, but they make sufficient time for realistic, persistent, or better yet, exclusive outreach. They give a booked and busy press enough time to see and process who you are and what you’re doing… Some PR companies will continue to engage “bad apples”.
Without your fully informed approval, they will knowingly invite the worst to play.

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PR: Production Requirement

The kind of public relations and marketing that can pull your work out of “the noise” (media platforms awash with content) and protect you from theft is no longer a function of self-reliance or your own abilities to produce. It comes down to the ethic, skill, and network of those who represent you and your work…

The cost, time, and brand setback can be very real, if the task of navigating media filters or influencers to reach the people is handled carelessly or poorly – or not at all.

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The Film Festival: Progress in Peril?

As festivals reach for industry’s authoritative involvement or stamp of approval, they limit their potential to build a strong, alternative platform for artists — unknown, unfiltered, and from unlikely places, but no less eye and ear worthy.

The more we can establish festival solidarity around the substantive, life-affirming art of the filmmaker rather than the shallow, killer instinct business of the conformist, the better our chances of creating a strong, visible counter-culture — a healthy, popular perspective and inclusive, support network from the ground up.

We need each other “to touch for good” – to transform lives, even after we leave this planet.

This doesn’t come in the form of obsessively lionizing the disconnected and the dead,
but rather giving meaningful support and opportunity to the living.

I believe festivals have a huge role to play and example to set in that aspiration.

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