A Critical Dismissal, by Tyler Smith

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4 Responses

  1. alex says:

    i hope this comes up in a discussion on the pod. there’s a lot of interesting things you bring up in this article.

    “Smith falls into what is a fairly standard trap for conservatives discussing the arts: he assumes that his own traditional sensibilities are universal and will coincide more with those of the mainstream audience, based on the assertion that liberal Hollywood is out of touch with the average person.”

    — I feel like this extends beyond just movies, where the assumption is that if someone works in government or in academia that they couldn’t “make it” in the free market on more capitalistic terms. (not sure if that’s how to phrase it, but you know what i mean)

    “If, as Roger Ebert once said, film is “a machine that generates empathy”, then it is a critic’s job to try to tap into that empathy, rather than stand at a remove and wonder where exactly this story fits into the larger cultural picture.”

    — Ebert also compared his job to that of a reporter, where the “story” he was reporting on was his reaction to a movie. How do you think that relates to Smith and Gutfield’s approaches? Are they doing something fundamentally different?

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      I think there is a difference between reporting on one’s own reactions to the film and hypothesizing about whether the film will have an audience. Of course, plenty of critics – likely including myself – will often wonder whether anybody will like a certain film, but that is usually due to the film’s craft, as opposed to its content. Kyle Smith says that this film just isn’t for him, which is perfectly fine, but when he begins to speak more grandly, suggesting that nobody would ever want to see this film, regardless of its quality, that’s when I think he’s overstepping.

  2. Norris A Harrington says:

    My thoughts about this article mirror those of Smith for the film.

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