Film Criticism

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
knives
Posts: 14126
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#976 Post by knives » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:49 pm

That's fair, and a lot more reasonable than what I took Tenia as saying. I don't, to run with my example of African American cinema, see evidence that every African American is connected to that artistic culture for example while some white or Asian people are. That said, and I hate to sound like Scalia here, but if the pool of critics is largely people from the same two or three schools who grew up in the same ten neighborhoods than that limits the opportunity for natural diversity. In that vein as much as I, for example, may enjoy and have a mature understanding of black theater, but that diversity of thought isn't going to be the same as someone naturally born and raised in that cultural milieu.

All of this reminds me of that reaction to that AXIOS photo which was rather monochrome. Certainly, as you say, there could be a diversity of knowledge and experience in that group, but by not being inborn to that experience their very perspective of that knowledge will be lacking. Mine, and I hope these actresses, argument isn't for more bubbles. Rather it is for a greater diversity of starting points.

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Posts: 3635
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Film Criticism

#977 Post by tenia » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:01 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:34 pm
We need people who can get outside their own bubbles, not more bubbles.
That's very well said.
knives wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:41 pm
This is blatantly true with what gets imported and celebrated (how many African comedies get imported compared to dramas).
We've had the same issues with Japanese and then Korean movies in the early 2000s, when these 2 countries were mostly seen in Occident through their action and gangster movies, as if they were only producing these kind of movies. That was very problematic because it has, on the long run, created expectations about how these countries were "thinking" on screen and thus what their views towards this or that was. For Korea notably, I remember seeing a lot of reviews using the more violent movies as an explanation about how Korean industry was simply more lenient towards violence, almost as if a cultural thing. I highly doubt this was the case, but that this impression simply came from the kind of movies we were importing.
knives wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:49 pm
That's fair, and a lot more reasonable than what I took Tenia as saying.
I might have poorly phrased my view, but Mr Sausage's post sums up quite well what I wanted to convey : summoning different communities to review this or that won't automatically mean a wider wiser view on what is reviewed, but might just mean getting other biases.
I also strongly believe that there shouldn't be the idea of people being put in "silos" like this, but only people with a higher willingness to dig and be curious about what they're going to write about, and I don't believe that, say, being Asian automatically makes you a better reviewer for some Asian movie (the reverse being true too).

I've seen that myself with Get Out : I had a colleague that went as far as saying that the main character could have been white and that it wouldn't have changed a thing in the movie (clearly missing the whole movie, to be it simply), while I had to remind him about how heavily referencial the movie was to the current US socio-racial climate and how this is a clear core element of the movie. But we're both white middle class men in their 30s, and yet, I was willing to dig a bit more about the movie, and he simply wasn't. He just didn't have this general knowledge, despite most of these references being explicited on the movie's IMDB trivia.
I hope I'm clearer that way.


This being written, I also strongly believe that there is a high need of new fresh blood in the current critics pool and that this renewal should come with a better demographic representation.

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14126
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#978 Post by knives » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:10 pm

That's all fair and it seems to what extent there is disagreement it could fit on a needle's head. Certainly the Chinese thing is still true. Just look at what Johnnie To movies get exposure to see the whole thing in miniature. It would be theoretically nice for critics to be able to naturally think outside their bubbles and engage with works that don't fit their preconceived notions, but that's not an easy trait for people to acquire in general and until it becomes more greatly emphasized in schools, training, etc having more women or African American or Korean Americans or people not named Dave is a perfectly fine bandaid (which I suspect is the limit of our disagreement lies).

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Posts: 3635
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Film Criticism

#979 Post by tenia » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:19 pm

I actually understand and partially agree with your last point. It might be a fine band-aid until more people are able to go outside their comfort and habit zone, I'm just unsure of that, but it might just be a case of needing a demonstration through the example.


User avatar
gcgiles1dollarbin
Posts: 370
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:38 am

Re: Film Criticism

#981 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:32 pm

tenia wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:33 pm
In any case though, this is just a case of "Who needs film critics" (as the Guardian writes it). In France, it's almost a running joke as old as cinema itself. It turns out it mostly just is some kind of cognitive biases' personification : when people like or dislike movies, they prefer to be said they're the norm, not the outliers. Who's better for movies than film critics, just like you'd go to a doctor if you think you're ill or how you'd trust an airplane pilot to fly a plane ?
There should be distinctions made between film criticism and film reviews--not because there can't be insightful criticism in a film review, but because a reader needs to appreciate the job the writer was hired for: Is this a piece where I can expect explorations of a film's function, regardless of whether it's "good" or "bad," or is this, before anything else, a consumer guide with a ranking? The vast majority of misnomered online film "criticism" is aimed primarily to guide the movie consumer toward worthwhile products, and this necessarily entails clearcut ratings and an unambiguous endorsement or rejection of the film by the reviewer. I have a big problem with rankings, because they always privilege writers' biases--or, at the very least, force writers to apply criteria and methods that lead to a simplistic thumb-up or -down--whether those biases are based on the ignorance of alternative viewpoints or simply a self-aggrandizing attempt to canonize what they happen to enjoy in any film. Built into rankings is the assumption that one formal quality or type of film is "better" than others. Given that movie reviews have this primary mission of qualifying--given that it is intensely limiting because of this--then it absolutely does behoove us to find writers from a myriad of backgrounds. Reviewers are representing themselves more than the films they review.

I like Ignatiy Vishnevetsky's reviews, for example, because they occasionally explore his own expectations almost in spite of the letter grade he obligatorily attaches by the end. Most film reviews don't bother with this kind of nuance, and I say this, again, not without sympathy for those writers; they have restrictions on word count, tone, mode, and ambiguity imposed by editors--that's the gig. But given this, we can't expect film reviews to be anything much more than a stand taken, which by my lights, is the shallowest approach to cinema. And certainly not one that can contain an expansive view, except by way of including caveats like, "This is too violent for children," or, "This is a long overdue subject, even if the film is not good." Worthwhile critics need to go against their own grain, alternately assert and doubt.

I realize the dictionary definition of "criticism" includes evaluation, but I take the more academic approach toward the term, which necessarily entails analysis that is embarked upon in the spirit of discovery, with the intent of deepening our understanding of cinema beyond just a one-movie case history--and however complex or tidy, not merely compiled evidence toward a work's value intuited in the immediate aftermath of a viewing. Most reviews, I would argue, don't even go as far as to compile evidence! Instead, they replace evidence with mystifications and vague feelings that, again, delineate the reviewer's personality more than the film's value. You read Anthony Lane for his bons mots--his extremely limited breadth of tone--more than his judgment, and I think Lane is better than most! He has more wit, energy, and personality when he is mocking a film than when he extols one, which is not uncommon. Movie reviews accommodate the well-crafted putdown more than rich analysis. "Hot takes" are often ridiculed on this forum, but I would argue that 99% of film reviews are precisely that: excluding judgment imposed in the midst of a new release's attraction of readers' eyes, carving out a personal aesthetic sense that can be applied identically with every release, exploiting the attention drawn by a new release in order to inscribe deeper one's own brand of discernment.

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Posts: 5949
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Film Criticism

#982 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:54 pm

knives wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:10 pm
That's all fair and it seems to what extent there is disagreement it could fit on a needle's head. Certainly the Chinese thing is still true. Just look at what Johnnie To movies get exposure to see the whole thing in miniature. It would be theoretically nice for critics to be able to naturally think outside their bubbles and engage with works that don't fit their preconceived notions, but that's not an easy trait for people to acquire in general and until it becomes more greatly emphasized in schools, training, etc having more women or African American or Korean Americans or people not named Dave is a perfectly fine bandaid (which I suspect is the limit of our disagreement lies).
There's nothing in your posts that isn't perfectly fair. It's the other side of the dialectic. But I'm going to complicate the issue a bunch:

Your bandaid solves a political and social problem more than it solves one of ideas or opinions. That's to say, giving excluded socio-political groups increased opportunities is an obvious good thing. But it's more complicated when it comes to ideas.

Most people don't know much about their own culture. Not through lack of interest, tho' there is that, but just through taking it for granted. Think of it as trying to define a word, a phrase, or an idiom that you'd picked up in childhood and have always just used instinctively: you know how and when to use it, know implicitly what it means, and know for sure when it's being used improperly. But if you're asked suddenly to define it, how quickly all your knowledge disappears and you're left unsure of what to say. You realize what you thought you knew was more a feeling than a thought, more a behaviour than an idea. That's how most people interact with their own culture; and similarly, most of them are going to have a hard time communicating their culture to other people, falling back on cliches, received ideas, or a shrugged 'that's just how we do it' to make up for a lack of explicit knowledge. Truly understanding your own culture takes thought, a deliberate attempt to make your implicit knowledge explicit to yourself. And communicating that to others, especially those outside your culture, requires not insider knowledge but adopting an outside perspective on what you inhabit. To defamiliarize what has been far too familiar. One of the reasons experiencing and learning about other cultures (and history!) is so important is that it's the best way to know your own: it forces your own differences on you.

Even then, for all its benefits, insider knowledge is its own limitation. There is a real benefit to an outsider's perspective, if it's learned and thoughtful. Insiders take things for granted, and don't see what an outsider can. Both are necessary perspectives, and we should be wary of over-privileging one or the other.

So the assumption that a particular member of a particular group is going to know their own culture well and have a different and needed perspective on things is not a given. Merely being part of a socio-cultural group is not enough. You also need to be thoughtful, critical, and familiar with a range of things outside your own culture with which you can compare and contrast. Indeed, in my experience, the group that tends the most towards diverse opinions and perspectives is that amorphous group of people who are between categories, who have parents from different cultures or who grew up in multiple countries or milieus, ie. people who have both an insider and outsider perspective, who grew up without any one culture being a given. But then that group can attract a lot of fear and hostility for not having an easy-to-spot identity or in-group. Mary Douglas did a good job of showing how our ideas of taboo and (blood) pollution are a result of our fear of things that are between categories or have no stable identity. But I digress.

The above is not an argument for the status quo, because the status quo's big problem is precisely that its entrenchment breeds complacency which breeds narrowness, and we need less narrowness.

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14126
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#983 Post by knives » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:36 pm

I think we largely agree which is why I made sure to mention that there are African Americans devoid of any knowledge or expression for something as specific as African American theater. There's clearly two measurements we are talking about. On one hand there's knowledge and ideas where we seem to line up on and on the other there's experience where we seem to disagree on the value of slightly.

To give a slightly personal example is you asked Juan from San Ysidro to give a serious examination of border existence he would likely flop such a thing relying only on his experience especially when compared to Katy Mae from Dayton who has studied the topic professionally. If we were to train Juan though and give him the knowledge and ideas to explain his own experience that shift in perspective from Katy Mae would be invaluable. I agree there is immense importance to the outsider as well as the insider, but neither category is monolithic. There are multiple outsiders so, for example, immigrant So Yeen from S. Korea who grew up in Fairfax is an outsider as well, but a very different one from Katy Mae. Their differences while both being outsiders are equally important as long as they work in a dialogue and not just in their bubbles.

That might be were our disagreement lies (this is mostly for me working out the problem). We both seem to be against just adding more bubbles, but I think that the additional bubbles, if used correctly, can externally pierce the hegemonic bubble while it seems to me that you are giving more primacy to an internal bubble bursting through an expansion of knowledge, experience, methods of thinking, and all the other things that would make for a good critical thinker. We both agree that the external and internal are necessary going forward. It is just the assumptions of an algorithm to get to that more ideal state is different.

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Posts: 5949
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Film Criticism

#984 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:54 pm

It does seem like we're just voicing different aspects of a problem we largely agree about. Your comment about our slight differences is fair and well observed.

I take your points above. Nothing I've said is an absolute; there are going to be situations and contexts where an insider's perspective is a lot more valuable than an outsider's. A life-or-death border crossing, for instance.

At the same time, over-privileging insider perspectives ends with everyone sticking to their bubbles and is the true death of diversity (as you no doubt agree). It's one of the reasons I'm so irritated by our current identity politics debates: there's this idea that we all ought to separate into our respective milieus, small as they are, stifling that cross-pollination we need to become wiser, more thoughtful, knowledgeable, and mature people.

Thanks for the chat. It's given me some things to mull over.

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14126
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#985 Post by knives » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:32 pm

Thank you as well. This likewise has given me a lot to chew on as I find myself having to look back on some deeply held beliefs and ideas that don't seem to be enough as my own leftist milieu finds discomfort with my development as a person.

User avatar
Boosmahn
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:08 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#986 Post by Boosmahn » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:23 pm

Not trying to undermine(r) the points made here, but I'm touched by the diversity of this thread. CriterionForum: from eye-opening realizations on the nature of individual perspective to a critic's fetish with Elastigirl.

User avatar
colinr0380
Posts: 8508
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Film Criticism

#987 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:13 pm

That Guardian article from the previous page appears to be causing its own storm of controversy as an article by a woman was originally commissioned and then cancelled.

User avatar
furbicide
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:52 am

Re: Film Criticism

#988 Post by furbicide » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:30 pm

The piece that was spiked, for comparison:

https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/arts ... sm-matters

There seem to be three different things going on here: one is whether it's right to agree to publish a piece and then dump it when a better one turns up (it sucks, but that's normal behaviour for big news organisations, I think); second is whether it's ok, when faced with a choice between a female and male writer on gender issues, to pick the latter (clearly it must be, in circumstances where one piece is substantially better and more relevant than the other; so why not one that is, in the editor's view, marginally better? Where do you draw the line?); and third is whether the editor was wrong and Salmon's piece itself was inadequate (in its, say, failure to include the voices of female film critics).

I understand the writer's frustration, but I know of few publications that are more devoted to women's issues and promoting marginalised writers than The Guardian. So the fact that this one time a female writer's piece on gender was pushed aside for a man's (unless we argue that all men's writing on gender is inappropriate always, and I'm sure there are some who would) suggests to me less evidence of systemic discrimination than a legitimate editorial choice.

User avatar
Reverend Drewcifer
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:16 pm
Location: Cincinnati

Re: Film Criticism

#989 Post by Reverend Drewcifer » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:49 pm

Due to the rolling-thunder collapse of all media, The AV Club and the other Gizmodo sites are on the block...again

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and A.A. Dowd will (hopefully) land on their feet at another site or at AVC 4.0. D'Angelo, however, should search his couch cushions for spare change. If I were the buyer, I would implement a key-man clause in the sale specifically to exclude D'Angelo.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11995
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Film Criticism

#990 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:58 pm

I don't know if he's interested were the opportunity to arise, but I think Vishnevetsky would be a wonderful fit as the 1st critic up at some publication. He tends to get more obscure second and third-fiddle review assignments at The AV Club despite more of an interesting perspective than Dowd, and some of his most enjoyable reviews tend to be of blockbuster or prestige fare, often finding an angle that many critics have not on whatever film he's focusing his attention on.

MongooseCmr
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#991 Post by MongooseCmr » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:28 pm

I thought IV was being wasted at AV for a while now. Watching him invent columns to write about the obscurities he watches over whatever blockbusters the site would rather cover and see two comments under it was always a bit sad.

User avatar
Kirkinson
Posts: 865
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:34 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Film Criticism

#992 Post by Kirkinson » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:43 pm

I also think IV's writing thrives at greater lengths and deeper dives than AVC tends to give him space for. I often feel like his reviews there are just getting interesting right when they seem to get cut off. I like Dowd too, and I enjoy their back-and-forth Film Club videos (though I also wish those were longer — a podcast would be great).

I've even warmed to D'Angelo somewhat since I started following him on Letterboxd, where he seems to be able to express some of his more weirdly subjective idiosyncrasies in a way that feels more honest and personable.

Of course I don't want any of the writers there to be out of a job, even the ones I don't get especially excited about, so I hope everything works out one way or another.

User avatar
BenoitRouilly
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#993 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:47 am

A new study released Monday by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University found that the gender divide in film criticism has a tangible impact on the overall exposure and evaluation of female-led films, and films with women directors. (...)

Men accounted for 70% of critics writing for trade publications like Variety or The Wrap, 70% of those working at general interest magazines and websites, 69% writing for a news website or wire service, 68% writing for newspapers, and 68% writing for movie or entertainment-focused publications.
What Does The Gender Divide In Criticism Mean For Women Filmmakers? (Anne Cohen; July 17, 2018)

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Posts: 3635
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Film Criticism

#994 Post by tenia » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:37 am

I don't want to sound like I'm against what the study is trying to do, but methodology-wise, this is very poorly performed.

First because it doesn't assess precisely how all these male critics are indeed a limited and limitating sample (ie : demonstrating they're indeed limited in how they choose and reprensent what is good or not in cinema because of their gender).
Second because when it deals with women reviewers, it doesn't assess if they're more likely to give positive remarks towards female directors because of their gender (ie : a problematic bias) instead of because the actual quality of the movie.
Finally because it doesn't put in perspective the representativity of the reviews per gender vs the directors gender. This is a study that opens on the AFI list and complains it doesn't contain a single movie directed by a woman, but within the main era that usually constitutes such a list, how many movies were directed by women to begin with ? 1% ? 2% ?

I've seen tons of movies and with my age, I've seen most of them in a very retrospective way, but despite this additional step-back and knowledge, I still don't have a single woman-directed movie in my own Top 100.

In the end, it's unfortunate because the article doesn't really answer its own title, or only in a quite superficial way.

User avatar
BenoitRouilly
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#995 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:09 am

tenia wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:37 am
First because it doesn't assess precisely how all these male critics are indeed a limited and limitating sample (ie : demonstrating they're indeed limited in how they choose and reprensent what is good or not in cinema because of their gender).
Second because when it deals with women reviewers, it doesn't assess if they're more likely to give positive remarks towards female directors because of their gender (ie : a problematic bias) instead of because the actual quality of the movie.
from the article:
"[Critics]They’re kind of arbiters of taste, and only having a male, or having a predominantly male sensibility helps reinforce the idea that things that are 'male' are more interesting, more serious, than things are that 'female,' said Cristina Escobar, director of communications at The Representation Project."
"Lauzen's study found that a larger proportion of films reviewed by women tended to have female leads or be directed by women. 25% of the reviews written by women were of films with female directors, as opposed to 10% of those written by men. Women were also more likely to name a female director in their review, and to make exclusively positive comments about that director's skills."

No Chantal Akerman, Agnès Varda, Lucrecia Martel, Claire Denis, Sofia Coppola, Kelly Reichardt, Maya Deren, Vera Chytilova, Naomi Kawase, Ann Hui, Danièle Huillet, Samira Makhmalbaf, Jane Campione, Ida Lupino, Larisa Shepitko, Germaine Dulac, Agnès Jaoui, Barbara Loden, Yasmin Ahmad, Forugh Farrokhzad, Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsay... in your Top100? Not even one of them?

I agree with you about the AFI list... it's a strawman fallacy.

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Posts: 3635
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Film Criticism

#996 Post by tenia » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:35 am

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:09 am
tenia wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:37 am
First because it doesn't assess precisely how all these male critics are indeed a limited and limitating sample (ie : demonstrating they're indeed limited in how they choose and reprensent what is good or not in cinema because of their gender).
Second because when it deals with women reviewers, it doesn't assess if they're more likely to give positive remarks towards female directors because of their gender (ie : a problematic bias) instead of because the actual quality of the movie.
from the article:
"[Critics]They’re kind of arbiters of taste, and only having a male, or having a predominantly male sensibility helps reinforce the idea that things that are 'male' are more interesting, more serious, than things are that 'female,' said Cristina Escobar, director of communications at The Representation Project."
"Lauzen's study found that a larger proportion of films reviewed by women tended to have female leads or be directed by women. 25% of the reviews written by women were of films with female directors, as opposed to 10% of those written by men. Women were also more likely to name a female director in their review, and to make exclusively positive comments about that director's skills."
Which is exactly what I said : it doesn't assess in depth what it thinks it means.

About "having a predominantly male sensibility helps reinforce the idea that things that are 'male' are more interesting, more serious, than things are that 'female"" : these male critics would show it in their reviews by demonstrating a bias coming from their gender, which is what such an affirmation implies. IE : male critics push in a biased way male-directed movies and male critics undermine in a biased way female-directed movies. This isn't demonstrated, only implied that because critics are male, they prefer manly stuff directed by men, something the article and the study never proves.

The 2nd part : Women are watching more movies from female directors (this one is OK, it's a clear bias straight from the figures), but if women are more likely to make "exclusively positive comments about that director's skill" in their reviews, isn't that another gender bias that might be as bad as any other ? It means that, say, Eva Husson is likely to get more reference and positive reviews from women reviewers just because she is one. It's a gender bias too, but this one isn't highlighted nor it's discussed more deeply (again).

As a whole, the Thumbs down study is an interesting compilation of figures to see what the states of things are but I'd be very wary about how to interpret those figures like that because the figures don't go further than this state of things.
BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:09 am
No Chantal Akerman, Agnès Varda, Lucrecia Martel, Claire Denis, Sofia Coppola, Kelly Reichardt, Maya Deren, Vera Chytilova, Naomi Kawase, Ann Hui, Danièle Huillet, Samira Makhmalbaf, Jane Campion, Ida Lupino, Larisa Shepitko, Germaine Dulac, Agnès Jaoui, Barbara Loden, Yasmin Ahmad, Forugh Farrokhzad, Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsay... in your Top100? Not even one of them?
I actually don't. I can't say I have watched all of these directors work though (unwatched : Lucrecia Martel,Maya Deren, Vera Chytilova, Danièle Huillet, Samira Makhmalbaf, Ida Lupino, Larisa Shepitko, Germaine Dulac, Barbara Loden, Yasmin Ahmad, Forugh Farrokhzad), but amongst the ones I have, some of them have been in my Top 100 but aren't anymore.
But what I meant is that I don't think movies and best movies and Top 100 stuff at all in terms of movie directors and even less so in their genders. I love The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation, was stunned by Trouble Every Day and Wuthering Heights, moved by Sweet Bean, etc etc. But I just preferred other movies and that's... just it.

User avatar
BenoitRouilly
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#997 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:08 am

tenia wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:35 am
isn't that another gender bias that might be as bad as any other ? It means that, say, Eva Husson is likely to get more reference and positive reviews from women reviewers just because she is one.
Conversly, do we accuse male critics of gender bias just because they review mainly male directed films? It would be a bias if they only reviewed female movies (like men do with male movies), or if they systematically dismissed male directed movies. But in this case there is just a slight increase in female directed films compared to male critics... so the question is rather whether male critics review enough female filmmakers (because female critics prove that these films exist) than whether female critics reviews "too much" female directors (because it's only a slim percentage and not the majority like for male critics and male directors)

But this is just an article about the study... maybe the study says a bit more, or maybe it was just a survey to start with.

Some of the women I listed feature in the Sight&Sound poll! But I agree that it's a reverse argument to blame the Best Films of All Time list, because precisely the gender equality is only starting to improve now. The fact is that Film History is male dominated, and greatest films as well consequently. However it doesn't stop us to be more mindful in our selection toward the few female filmmakers that do exist and try to survive...

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Posts: 3635
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Film Criticism

#998 Post by tenia » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:43 am

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:08 am
tenia wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:35 am
isn't that another gender bias that might be as bad as any other ? It means that, say, Eva Husson is likely to get more reference and positive reviews from women reviewers just because she is one.
Conversly, do we accuse male critics of gender bias just because they review mainly male directed films? It would be a bias if they only reviewed female movies (like men do with male movies), or if they systematically dismissed male directed movies. But in this case there is just a slight increase in female directed films compared to male critics... so the question is rather whether male critics review enough female filmmakers (because female critics prove that these films exist) than whether female critics reviews "too much" female directors (because it's only a slim percentage and not the majority like for male critics and male directors)
In Hollywood in 2017, 12% of movies are directed by women.
In Europe, it's between 16 and 20% (page 53).

If women reviews are comprised by 25% of women directed movies, they're actually over-representing women in their reviews.
I don't say it's a bad thing. But it is a thing.

The other question would be why male reviewers review less female-directed movies. Are they less thorough ? Or are the women reviewers reviewing less and leaving lots of male-directed movies unreviewed ? Again, this isn't discussed in the survey nor the article.

So the question is very valid but as they are today, the figures aren't looking at this deeper angle, which is my main concern (because it kind of makes it a mooter survey than what it could have been) and the reason for my original post.
BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:08 am
But this is just an article about the study... maybe the study says a bit more, or maybe it was just a survey to start with.
The study is indeed more of a survey to begin with, that's why you can't go much further in the analysis, sadly.
BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:08 am
Some of the women I listed feature in the Sight&Sound poll! But I agree that it's a reverse argument to blame the Best Films of All Time list, because precisely the gender equality is only starting to improve now. The fact is that Film History is male dominated, and greatest films as well consequently. However it doesn't stop us to be more mindful in our selection toward the few female filmmakers that do exist and try to survive...
Exactly.

User avatar
BenoitRouilly
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Film Criticism

#999 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:50 am

tenia wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:43 am
If women reviews are comprised by 25% of women directed movies, they're actually over-representing women in their reviews.
One thing to consider is maybe the female critics are asked by editors only when they need a female-themed movie to be reviewed, thus blowing up their stats in favor of women.

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Posts: 3635
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Film Criticism

#1000 Post by tenia » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:15 am

It'd be revealing an underlying professional gender issue as to how women are given genderized tasks, but yes, that's an element I thought about.

Post Reply