Essays In Film And The Humanities

There is no surround sound, for example; film grain is often removed; and the image will typically be cropped along the perimeter.

(4) Still, for most purposes these are minor problems (and it is worth bearing in mind that literary critics are not able to quote all aspects of a book either: to appraise the quality of its paper, its layout, or font style, they too must resort to description).

Film criticism is a sweeping concept, ranging from amateur blogs to newspaper reviews to dense scholarly studies that shade into film theory and film history.

I will concentrate on the latter pole of the continuum, partly to make the discussion somewhat manageable, and partly because it is in the area of more academically oriented criticism that I think fulfillment of this potential is both most realistic and enticing.

That final statement requires a couple of qualifications, however.

First, film critics have naturally not been incapable of reproducing any cinematic attribute.

It merely depends on where we cast our nets and on what evaluative criteria we bring into play.

What we can say for sure is that digital technology has a great to reinvigorate film and television criticism.

The problem is that text rarely, if ever, functions autonomously in the cinema.

Certainly, when filmmakers started using intertitles in the silent era, critics could accurately quote movie dialogue – but not, crucially, its preceding and/or subsequent visual enactment (presumably the very reason such works assumed cinematic rather than solely literary form in the first place).


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