Film Criticism as a Cultural Institution: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Film Criticism as a Cultural Institution

1st Edition

By Huw Walmsley-Evans

Routledge

202 pages

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Hardback: 9781138186583
pub: 2018-04-06
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Description

At the beginning of the 21st century film criticism was described as in crisis. The decline of print journalism, a series of lay-offs of prominent critics, and the rise of "amateur" reviewing online spurred a conversation about the decline, even death, of film criticism. This discourse flourished in part because film criticism has been little examined in scholarship to date. This book takes a deeper look at film criticism by focusing on its institutional contours. This is achieved through a combination of archival research and interviews with prominent film critics and stakeholders, including Adrian Martin (LOLA), Stephanie Zacharek (Time), Peter Bart (Variety), and Andrew Sarris (The Village Voice).

Film Criticism as a Cultural Institution first examines the contemporary crisis conversation surrounding film criticism, comparing this to historical precedents. It then provides what today’s crisis conversation does not: an account of film criticism’s institutional formations. Using primarily U.S. and Australian case studies based on interviews, observation and archival research—as well as accounts from other national schools—the book maps contemporary film criticism. Across various sites, such as publications or online spaces, and organisations, such as film critics circles, it elucidates film criticism’s institutional practices, tasks, comportments, and personae.

Looking at the history of conversations about film criticism shows us that "crisis" has always been a leitmotif. While acknowledging the considerable changes and challenges that film criticism faces today, this book situates these within an historical context and proposes an institutional framework that allows us to move beyond crisis discourse. Looking at film criticism in this way allows us to see that the very question of what counts as film criticism is continually contested within an institutional ecology made up of distinctive critical comportments addressed to distinctive audiences.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Film Criticism as a Cultural Institution

Part I: Understanding the Conversation

  1. Crisis and Continuity in Film Criticism
  2. Institutional Approaches to Film Criticism
  3. Part II: Towards an Ecology

  4. Sites of Film Criticism
  5. The Profession of Film Criticism
  6. Film Critics Circles
  7. Film Criticism and the Internet

Epilogue: Film Criticism in the 21st Century

About the Author

Huw Walmsley-Evans has taught film, media, communication, and cultural studies for a decade at institutions including the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology. His writing has appeared in Screening the Past, Senses of Cinema, LOLA, and Screen Machine. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Queensland Film Festival. He received his doctorate from the University of Queensland in 2013. This is his first book.

About the Series

CRESC

Culture, Economy and the Social

This series establishes the importance of innovative contemporary, comparative and historical work on the relations between social, cultural and economic change. It publishes empirically-based research that is theoretically informed, that critically examines the ways in which social, cultural and economic change is framed and made visible, and that is attentive to perspectives that tend to be ignored or side-lined by grand theorising or epochal accounts of social change. The series addresses the diverse manifestations of contemporary capitalism, and considers the various ways in which the `social', `the cultural' and `the economic' are apprehended as tangible sites of value and practice. It is explicitly comparative, publishing books that work across disciplinary perspectives, cross-culturally, or across different historical periods.

We are particularly focused on publishing books in the following areas that fit with the broad remit of the series:

  • Cultural consumption
  • Cultural economy
  • Cities and urban change
  • Materiality, sociality and the post-human
  • Culture and media industries
  • Culture and governance
  • Emerging forms of cultural and economic practice

The series is actively engaged in the analysis of the different theoretical traditions that have contributed to critiques of the `cultural turn'. We are particularly interested in perspectives that engage with Bourdieu, Foucauldian approaches to knowledge and cultural practices, Actor-network approaches, and with those that are associated with issues arising from Deleuze's work around complexity, affect or topology. The series is equally concerned to explore the new agendas emerging from current critiques of the cultural turn: those associated with the descriptive turn for example. Our commitment to interdisciplinarity thus aims at enriching theoretical and methodological discussion, building awareness of the common ground has emerged in the past decade, and thinking through what is at stake in those approaches that resist integration to a common analytical model.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC000000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General