276 posts tagged with Criticism.
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The David Spade Index

Which Actors Are Hated by Critics but Loved by Fans? Not a listicle.
posted by ogooglebar on Jul 30, 2016 - 33 comments

Your favorite TV show sucks

Mad Men to Seinfeld: TV's most criminally overrated shows — The Guardian's reviewers unburden themselves. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jul 26, 2016 - 194 comments

Your Name; Name of animal that licked block; Type of animal(s)

This September, the 10th annual Great Salt Lick Contest will be held in Baker City, Oregon. There's also a short public radio piece on a past event, and a less frame-filled facebook image gallary of past winners.
posted by eotvos on Jul 24, 2016 - 9 comments

Movies With Mikey

Movies With Mikey is a YouTube series by video game voice actor and writer Mikey Neumann. In every episode, Mikey anaylizes an often misunderstood, under-rated, or critically panned movie (or sometimes just a movie he really, really likes), blending humor and a blustery narrative with thoughtful insight. (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by gc on May 19, 2016 - 11 comments

“I have three children & a husband who is prime minister. I need help.”

Criticism leveled at Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of prime minister Justin Trudeau, dismissed as ‘sexist and spiteful’ after she says she needs more staff. [The Guardian] The wife of Canada’s prime minister has sparked a fierce national debate after saying she needs more help to expand her official role and take on more public duties. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau last week told a French-language newspaper that she wanted to do more, but struggled with just one staff member. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 16, 2016 - 238 comments

Those 70s Shows

Every 70s Movie: The Best, The Worst, The Weirdest, and Everything in Between. A new review a day since October 2010.
posted by MoonOrb on May 13, 2016 - 39 comments

Digital Humanism

The Digital in the Humanities: An Interview with Franco Moretti - "the term 'digital humanities' (DH) has captured the imagination and the ire of scholars across American universities. The field, which melds computer science with hermeneutics, is championed by supporters as the much-needed means to shake up and expand methods of traditional literary interpretation and is seen by its most outspoken critics as a new fad that symbolizes the neoliberal bean counting destroying American higher education. Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes lies a vast and varied body of work that utilizes and critically examines digital tools in the pursuit of humanistic study. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 9, 2016 - 21 comments

"The two women were alone in the London flat."

The Golden Notebook Project: the complete text of Doris Lessing's novel, with copious annotations and responses from seven women readers.
posted by Iridic on Feb 15, 2016 - 7 comments

“A fatalism I share with the western tradition at times.”

Obama as Literary Critic by Edward Mendelson [The New York Review of Books]
“Recently, while writing an essay on T.S. Eliot for The New York Review, I read or reread the work of many earlier critics, and was impressed most by two of them. One was Frank Kermode, who was ninety when he wrote, in 2010, one of his greatest essays, “Eliot and the Shudder,” [London Review of Books] a breathtakingly wide-ranging and sharply-focused piece about Eliot’s unique response to the common experience of shuddering. The other was a twenty-two-year-old college senior named Barack Obama, who wrote about Eliot in a letter to his girlfriend, Alexandra McNear, when she had been assigned to write a paper on The Waste Land for a college course.”
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Jan 7, 2016 - 30 comments

"Starving silences who you really are."

There Once Was a Girl. A work of criticism and of memoir on the false narratives surrounding anorexia in life and literature.
(Some may find the descriptions in this essay disturbing or triggering.)
posted by zarq on Dec 10, 2015 - 9 comments

“...things get broken, and sometimes they get repaired,”

Debate erupts as Hanya Yanagihara's editor takes on critic over bad review of A Little Life. [The Guardian] The editor of Hanya Yanagihara’s bestselling novel A Little Life has taken to the pages of the New York Review of Books to defend his author from a review that claimed the novel “duped” its readers “into confusing anguish and ecstasy, pleasure and pain”. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Dec 4, 2015 - 30 comments

"how weakness is despised, how weakness can be cunning"

Mary Gaitskill and the Life Unseen by Parul Sehgal
posted by thetortoise on Dec 2, 2015 - 7 comments

Trauma, the Minotaur, the labyrinth

"The underground bad place is always in the present, whether literally or in memory, and it is always about the past." Bernadette Lynn Bosky on underground and secret spaces in Peter Straub’s fiction.
posted by thetortoise on Nov 14, 2015 - 7 comments

Do you wanna build a theory?

Some ways we can read Elsa: "Cold and Hungry: Discourses of Anorexic Feminity in Frozen," "Disney's Frozen and Autism," "Reading Frozen as a Feminist," and "Disney's Frozen: Gay or Schizophrenic?"
posted by thetortoise on Oct 23, 2015 - 59 comments

“I was wrong to say that I didn’t like the Beyoncé album"

The Pernicious Rise of Poptimisim, by Saul Austerlitz.
posted by grobstein on Oct 6, 2015 - 101 comments

“None of this intends to give Michete a free pass for anything”

[R]ising star Shamir recently gave NME a playlist of his favorite recent musical discoveries, and his most lavish praise was for… Michete and his mixtape Cool Tricks, described as “a gift from the ratchet gods.” It’s a description as compelling as most any Shamir song. … If nothing else, [opening track “Rap Game Kimmy Gibbler”] will cause some outrage when Michete—who identifies as transfeminine (she/her/he/his) —concludes the song by boasting that she is “burning all these bitches like my last name Hitler.”… Cool Tricks offers up the new genre of qrap: the versed ribaldry of poor taste—a crassly mouthed “fuck you” to the gay male archetype of the connoisseur.
Andy Emitt writes about “The Worst Queer Rapper You Need To Listen To” for Pitchfork. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Sep 29, 2015 - 18 comments

"This is a really stupid movie, but I don't think that's a bad thing."

Three weeks ago, The AV Club quietly launched Film Club, a conversational weekly review show hosted by film editor A.A. Dowd and critic / former At the Movies host Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (previously, previously). New releases covered so far include The Visit, Transporter: Refueled, and Black Mass and Sicario. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Sep 22, 2015 - 2 comments

8/10?

The New Games Criticism - a response to Kieron Gillen's The New Games Journalism 10 years after the fact.
posted by Artw on Sep 20, 2015 - 25 comments

Ewoks and Feminist Criticism

If you like Return Of The Jedi but hate the Ewoks, you understand feminist criticism - (slavc) An article by Caroline Siede at the A.V. Club. [more inside]
posted by under_petticoat_rule on Sep 15, 2015 - 48 comments

Vulgar auteurism

Vulgar auteurism “is a loosely affiliated group of young cinephiles and critics. In Sarrisite terms, it’s more concerned with Expressive Esoterica than the Pantheon ... the bulk of VA activity actually focuses on directors like Paul W.S. Anderson, Jon M. Chu, John Hyams, Nimrod Antal, Isaac Florentine, Roel Reine, the Farrelly brothers, Neveldine & Taylor, and Russell Mulcahy. VA is also interested in performance, especially when it’s applied to action stars. VA has two missions. The first is to mount convincing arguments in favor of figures it sees at major but undervalued: John McTiernan, Abel Ferrara, Walter Hill, etc. The second, larger mission involves exploring and analyzing [these] directors" (Ignatiy Vishnevetsky). [more inside]
posted by goatdog on Sep 4, 2015 - 11 comments

A Critical Library

What books should a critic own? "Each week, the National Book Critics Circle will post a list of five books a critic believes reviewers should have in their libraries." Here are all the lists, from 2007-2011. [more inside]
posted by thetortoise on Aug 29, 2015 - 14 comments

"For those people the only black stories are those familiar to them."

What the mainstream would seem to want from black writers are only stories of blackness written from a marginal position, on one hand to serve as witness and on the other to affirm for mainstream readers that they remain white, and so privileged. They want affirmation that the inner life of black folks is more or less the way black folks exist in the white imagination.
"Color Blind: A Pocket Guide to Race in America," by Calvin Baker, author of Grace [.pdf excerpt] and Dominion
posted by nebulawindphone on Aug 19, 2015 - 13 comments

“You’re making this shit up!”

A Zoomorphic Performance: Joaquin Phoenix in P.T. Anderson’s The Master, Daniel Fairfax [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 23, 2015 - 12 comments

Hundreds of poems, introduced and interpreted by Carol Rumens

Poem of the Week is a series in The Guardian's books section, originally started by Sarah Crown but quickly taken over by poet, playwright and professor Carol Rumens. Every week she selects, introduces and interprets one poem. The archive has about four hundred poems, with only a few repeat poets, so here are a few favorites, ranging from English-language classics (John Donne, John Keats, Emily Dickinson), contemporary poets (Shazea Quraishi, Kei Miller, Katha Pollit) translated classics (Wang Wei, Horace, Rainer Maria Rilke), translated contemporary writers (Tua Forsström, Zeng Di, Aurélia Lassaque) the unfairly neglected (Adelaide Crapsey, Rosemary Tonks, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu), avant-garde (Gertrude Stein, Hugo Ball, John Ashbery) and anonymous (The Lyke-Wake Dirge, The Bridal Morn, This Endris Night). There are hundreds more on all kinds of subjects by all kinds of poets.
posted by Kattullus on Jun 9, 2015 - 6 comments

The Sound of TED: A Case for Distaste

The American Reader makes a critique of TED talks and then uses it to bootstrap a critique of cultural criticism itself.
A decent strategy with TED might be to reclaim our teenage capacities and treat these videos as hopelessly passé—ignore them to death. Critiquing them, even as I have done, will do what criticism has done for television: creating an added enjoyment as you go on consuming the crap you despise. I know what I am watching is disgraceful, but aren’t I great at seeing why it’s disgraceful? I only watch it to keep up-to-date with the unwashed masses.
Previously, previously, previously
posted by maskd on May 19, 2015 - 66 comments

Its critics seem to not accurately describe the film in the first place.

In Defense of Sucker Punch: Phil Sandifer argues that Zach Snyder's universally panned 2011 exxxxxtravaganza has been criminally misunderstood and is more relevant than ever. (Zach Snyder provided his own perspective on the film to i09 at release.)
How Did This Get Made? and The Flophouse have assessed the film and generally agreed with the critical consensus. (Sandifer on the Blue previously, previouslier, previousliest)
posted by Going To Maine on May 8, 2015 - 118 comments

I can testify that this applies to art history seminars as well as TV.

The Four Worst Types of TV Critics In all four cases—the Theorists, the Activists, the Purists, and the Partisans—we’re treating the inherently subjective fields of art and art criticism as things we can be objectively right about. We’re taking work that’s complex and capable of conveying multiple contradictory meanings and reducing it to a simple either/or, yes/no proposition. In other words, we’re fucking up.
posted by the phlegmatic king on Apr 18, 2015 - 18 comments

And not just for expressing your feels about Supernatural

And this is significant: not just because it enables a deeper, more thorough analysis of visual media, but because it makes that analysis both overt and accessible in a way it wasn’t before. A well-constructed gifset is a thing of tremendous beauty, and the more of them I see, the more I’m convinced that we’re in the midst of an academic paradigm shift. It’s not just that gifsets let us contrast the dialogue, cinematography, composition and acting of various visual narratives side-by-side in unprecedented ways, or even the fact that anyone, potentially, can make one; it’s the that this tremendously useful ability is online-only at a time when the vast majority of academic writing, even when digitally accessible, is stuck in static, access-restricted, locked-in formats, despite the fact that most everyone else is using free blogging platforms.
Foz Meadows: how gifs are changing critical analysis.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 18, 2015 - 10 comments

“What Eastwood is after now is, in a word, simplicity...”

The Trouble with Clint by Jacob Krell [Los Angeles Review of Books]
“Clint Eastwood is many things to many people, but contemporary critics tend to agree that he is an auteur, i.e., someone with real directorial insight, care, and reach, someone whose individual artistic stamp can and should be used as a heuristic lens. Insofar as so much of his early career as an actor found him traipsing through the storied landscapes of American westerns and action films, it’s hardly surprising that Eastwood’s own directorial mark is often constituted through toying with genre, as he’s done with the western, to acclaimed effect (Unforgiven); with the boxing drama, to acclaimed (and deeply manipulative) effect (Million Dollar Baby); and with the B-movie, to effect somewhere between perplexing and appalling (Gran Torino).”
Previously. Previously. Previously.
posted by Fizz on Apr 11, 2015 - 38 comments

Criticism vs. Attack?

Last week, two critiques of Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, coincidentally appeared on the same day in Inside Higher Ed: one by Joshua Kim and the other by Audrey Watters and Sara Goldrick-Rab. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on Mar 30, 2015 - 58 comments

I almost entirely removed the words "no" and "don't" from my vocabulary.

Criticism and Ineffective Feedback, blog post by Kate Heddleston [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 23, 2015 - 66 comments

"a tomb in miniature for our souls”

The death of writing – if James Joyce were alive today he’d be working for Google: [Guardian Books]
There’s hardly an instant of our lives that isn’t electronically documented. These days, it is software that maps our new experiences, our values and beliefs. How should a writer respond? Tom McCarthy on fiction in the age of data saturation.
posted by Fizz on Mar 7, 2015 - 11 comments

"all those decisions are always subjective, creative, and political"

Masha Tupitsyn interviewed by Keaton Ventura for Sex Magazine:
What sort of trouble? Mainly the reaction was, what is this? What are you doing? This isn’t a novel. This isn’t fiction. This isn’t straight criticism. It’s all mixed up. Or this criticism is too personal or too critical about the wrong things. But the minute I would call Beauty Talk nonfiction people would accept the terms that I using. So it was always about how I was categorizing that book. What I was calling it. That would determine how people would respond to the book and its ethos, which I always thought was absurd. If I called it nonfiction, if I called it essays, if I called it criticism, people accepted the book more. But if I said it was fiction, people would say, Well, this is not what fiction does. Fiction does this and criticism does this, and you have to keep these things separate and clear. But I am really not interested in keeping things separate. Not in my work and not in my life either. I’m interested in looking at them and putting them together because I think one of the problems with Western culture in general is that everything is reduced to binaries and categories because it keeps us from fundamentally being able to make valuable links. To connect the dots.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 25, 2015 - 2 comments

Kanye West vs. white mediocrity

Kanye takes more heat than anyone. Post-Grammys and "SNL" 40, we're finally seeing his critics for what they are. Social media has changed the game a lot in the past six years. There’s a lot of voices–lumped under names like “Black Twitter”–who have begun to consistently speak out to fill in the missing pieces from stories like the Kanye West Saga, to poke holes in pat narratives like “Kanye West is an egotist” or “Kanye West is a maniac.” [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus on Feb 17, 2015 - 229 comments

We can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood.

Coming off a successful Kickstarter campaign, Innuendo Studios has released a really interesting piece of video game criticism, that is somewhat about Call of Duty, but also about the problems with reviewing video games; and it gets better as it goes on. Previously by Innuendo (and enjoyed by MeFi), an engaging meditation on Phil Fish, and the problems of internet fame.
posted by blahblahblah on Feb 9, 2015 - 14 comments

this movie isn't just about one man's struggle with a black child's hair

This movie is two hours of black people walking up to white people and yelling "BLACK" and white people yelling "WHY YOU GOTTA MAKE IT ABOUT RACE" over and over again.
Ijeoma Oluo (previously) has written a handy guide to writer/director Mike Bender's recently-released "dramedy" for The Stranger: Boobs, Booze, and Black People Hair: A Very Thorough Review of Black or White. More under the fold! [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Feb 3, 2015 - 56 comments

Gaming while Black

"Just because I sit here and say I haven't felt overt racism or harassment doesn't mean I don't know what it is and that I haven't experienced it elsewhere in my life, or that my mother didn't grow up in a world where there were colored drinking fountains," Harvey said. "This is stuff that happened and stuff that we think is relevant still today, on a lot of levels. And I think many people are very aware of this, a lot of gamers are very aware of this stuff in their daily lives. Games are a way of processing, a way of playing through an experience that is maybe more intense than you've ever felt it – you're sort of living in that avatar's skin. I guess, in a way, we're trying to put them in a skin they're maybe not used to, or maybe they would be interested to inhabit."
Jessica Conditt looks at the realities of videogaming's treatment of race and is cautiously optimistic.
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 21, 2015 - 7 comments

"I'll be honest: I don’t want to stay up until 4 AM any more at shows"

Music critic Sasha Frere-Jones is leaving The New Yorker to annotate lyrics at Genius. Here's his first post.
posted by Going To Maine on Jan 13, 2015 - 47 comments

"Trash has given us an appetite for art."

Pauline Kael (1919-2001) was a remarkable movie critic, the best ever (and certainly the most perceptive and exciting).
Trash, Art and the Movies
Marlon Brando: An American Hero
Raising Kane
Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of “Heaven’s Gate” [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 7, 2014 - 20 comments

Neither Lost Nor Found: On the Trail of an Elusive Icon’s Rarest Film

"Screening rats and bootleg-swappers always have a holy grail. It sits at the top of a list of titles, on a folded sheet of notebook paper or in a Word document, bolded, underlined, or marked with a little squiggly star. ... These lists never get smaller; they only grow more obscure until they are filled with titles the list-maker has only a slim chance of ever seeing." Ignatiy Vishnevetsky [previously, previously] on rare movies, Jean-Luc Godard, and the life of the obsessive film fan.
posted by alexoscar on Dec 4, 2014 - 17 comments

For all we see as wrong, some of its appeal might be in its rightness

I've been slightly under the weather for the last week, which means, of course, soup, self-pity and comfort reads. Rather than my traditional winter-sniffles re-re-re-read of the Belgariad, I thought I'd go wandering around the historical romance category. That is: duchess porn.
At Pornokitsch, Jared Shurin expresses appreciation for "5 things in historical romance I wantonly desire to see in epic fantasy," and commenters suggest where to find them. At the Journal of Popular Romance Studies, similarly meta yet more searching questions arise. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Nov 14, 2014 - 38 comments

It's a kind of magic

"We have a clean, green, and infinite power source! and we use it to make some fucking candles hover around!"
[more inside] posted by Sokka shot first on Nov 13, 2014 - 80 comments

"Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel!"

The Chapter: A History
posted by a fair but frozen maid on Nov 1, 2014 - 3 comments

f-bombs for feminism?

Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs For Feminism (YouTube; NSFW), FCKH8's new video campaign, has gone viral - attracting both praise & criticism. FCKH8's campaigns have sparked similar mixed reactions before. [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 23, 2014 - 32 comments

"So I took up knife and fork and bade the waiter do his duty."

Lieut.-Col. Newnham-Davis was engaged in 1897 as the restaurant reviewer of the Pall Mall Gazette, and his reviews of London restaurants are collected in Dinners and Diners: Where and How to Dine in London, available online from The Dictionary of Victorian London. Newnham-Davis was a bon vivant, amateur of the theatrical world, and man of parts, and his reviews were equal parts reminiscence of the conversation with his pseudonymous companions and recollections and reviews of his opulent and lengthy Victorian dinners. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Sep 27, 2014 - 28 comments

A Rant Against The Quantification Of Aesthetics

"That's my 'favourite' thing about music: encountering in the moment each artwork, however humble, already dignified by the sheer distinction of being incomparably human and thus, irreducibly, itself." 13 Reasons Why I Can't Pick My 13 Favourite Records, By Drew Daniel.
posted by naju on Sep 25, 2014 - 27 comments

A little Clump of Soul

Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy. Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations. It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time -- an eccentric, richly produced, and incredibly catchy blend of funk, salsa, bossa nova, experimental electronica, J-Pop, swing, lounge, bamboo flute, hair metal, buoyant parade music, soaring children's choirs, Macintalk fanfares, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros. Called a consumerist critique by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi (who after one sequel moved on to Glitch, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy, and playground design), the series has inspired much celebration and thought [2, 3] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 21, 2014 - 92 comments

"Europa Universalis IV is The Best Genocide Simulator of The Year"

When you finally get a ship over to North America, you’ll notice that things look a little different. Europe is crammed cheek to jowl with minor duchies and single-province powers, at least in the early game. There is no square inch of territory unaccounted for. But when you get to the Americas, you’ll see a lot of “empty” territory. The provinces and territories that are not claimed by any power or nation can be colonized.
April Daniels was thoroughly enjoying the ruthless imperialistic stylings of Europa Universalis IV, until the game took her out of Europe and into a somewhat problematic implementation of colonialism.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 7, 2014 - 89 comments

Has science fiction lost the plot?

It strikes me that these two branches of science fiction are actually conditioning us to accept our current situation. Dystopia readers are waiting for a Katniss – and then everything will be all right. Post-apocalypse readers know they’re currently better-off, even if they’re being oppressed, than they would be with gangs of marauding slavers, rapists and murderers roaming the countryside. Science fiction was once a literature which encouraged change, which explored ways and means to effect changes. Now it’s comfort reading, it makes us feel good about our reduced circumstances because at least we’re not suffering as much as the fictional characters we read about.
Critic and science fiction writer Ian Sales is concerned about the state of the genre and what it says about our future.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 1, 2014 - 80 comments

"the biggest crotch-desiccant since Piers Morgan"

I tend to measure most of my work in rent. Freelance game critics, like most freelance writers, probably measure most things in rent. I also like to measure my wellbeing in whether I can afford a bottle of Sailor Jerry that month. This only reflects a little of the type of person I am. The Sailor Jerry sort of helps to cope with the fact that I am my own worst commenter. Sailor Jerry is also very useful for coping with actual commenters and the hell of the internet.
Cara Ellison: How to write about a game.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 28, 2014 - 21 comments

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