252 posts tagged with criticism.
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"My greatest regret is that I'm not a sociopath."

"The fantasy of the sociopath, then, represents an attempt to escape from the inescapably social nature of human experience." Adam Kotsko on Why We Love Sociopaths.
posted by Kitty Stardust on Apr 4, 2012 - 56 comments

... because reality won’t cut it, isn’t outrageous enough, we must sex up the story for it to get any traction, and it must get traction, it MUST.

The Jimmy McNulty Gambit: Joseph Kony, Foxconn, and "The Wire" [more inside]
posted by OverlappingElvis on Mar 20, 2012 - 48 comments

. . . rather than just giving poop jokes to Jar Jar.

What if Star Wars: Episode I was good?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Feb 25, 2012 - 116 comments

Film Crit Hulk <3

Film Crit Hulk presents us with 22 SHORT THOUGHTS ABOUT MARGARET, the film which Kenneth Longeran (You Can Count On Me) directed in 2005 and which was finally released last year.
posted by Rory Marinich on Feb 20, 2012 - 26 comments

HULK SMASHES THE PUNY PARADIGMS OF FILM CRITICISM

Loudly and with much smashing, FilmCritHulk has become a major presence in the world of online film criticism with his semiotical essays on storytelling, cinematic principles, and media theory. Starting first on his personal blog, Hulk now writes for Badass Digest [previously] (the lifestyle blog corner of the Alamo Drafthouse empire [previously, previously]) [more inside]
posted by kcalder on Jan 26, 2012 - 24 comments

Pitchfork, 1995–present: What did we do to deserve Pitchfork?

In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing? A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media], from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 24, 2012 - 109 comments

J. Hoberman Fired by Village Voice

Yesterday, the Village Voice fired J. Hoberman, long-time champion of independent and experimental film (and its senior film critic of 24 years). Hoberman promises that there's a blog in his future. The Voice has an archive of his writing for them since 1998. Here are his Top 10 lists for the years 1977 to 2006, and here they are for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Here is a compilation of his advice for aspiring film critics. A critic who came of age in an era when the lines between "film critic" and "film scholar" were blurrier, Hoberman has also written books about American movies and the Cold War and the forgotton history of Yiddish cinema. Here are some interviews with him about his work.
posted by bubukaba on Jan 5, 2012 - 42 comments

Chance, chaos and coincidence in three films

A short look at the role of chance, chaos and coincidence in three films: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Run Lola Run, and Three Colors: Red.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 29, 2011 - 20 comments

Who voted for the tire from Rubber?

Christopher Plummer, playing a man who comes out of the closet in his 70s, might have won Best Supporting Performance, but at least four people voted for a dog. The results for the crazy free-for-all that is the Indiewire Annual Survey, which polled 168 critics this year, came out today. The Tree of Life swept Best Film and Best Director, but the choices that only got a handful of votes are often the most interesting, including three different cast members from The Three Musketeers for Best Supporting and a vote for Transformers: Dark of the Moon for Best Film. You can see the complete results and links to all of the critics ballots here. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Dec 19, 2011 - 24 comments

Take up the White Man's burden— And reap his old reward: The blame of those ye better, The hate of those ye guard—

Indian author Pankaj Mishra writes a brutal takedown of Niall Ferguson's latest book, Civilisation: The West and the Rest in the London Review of Books. Ferguson responds to the critical book review with a lawsuit. [more inside]
posted by bodywithoutorgans on Dec 5, 2011 - 107 comments

The Worst War Movies Ever

Danger Room, the tech magazine Wired's section for covering military and security matters, have compiled The Worst War Movies Ever, From Delta Force to The Empire Strikes Back for your Friday list viewing pleasure.
posted by Harald74 on Nov 25, 2011 - 46 comments

“Nothing she does is memorable, because she does so much.”

"The rigorous division of websites into narrow interests, the attempts of Amazon and Netflix to steer your next purchase based on what you’ve already bought, the ability of Web users to never encounter anything outside of their established political or cultural preferences, and the way technology enables advertisers to identify each potential market and direct advertising to it, all represent the triumph of cultural segregation that is the negation of democracy. It’s the reassurance of never having to face anyone different from ourselves." – Charles Taylor, The Problem with Film Criticism
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 24, 2011 - 56 comments

"You...are my number one...GUY."

Chris Sims is a former comic book store employee. David Uzumeri is a computer scientist. Together, they fight crime review the shit out of Batman film canon in an 18-part series they call Cinematic Batmanology, covering all the major theatrical releases from Tim Burton's franchise-reviving 1989 film (start there) up through Christopher Nolan's recent The Dark Knight, with a couple of odd tangents along the way. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Oct 3, 2011 - 34 comments

What Is Middlebrow?

Dorothy Gambrell of Cat And Girl fame spends an awful lot of time talking about education, class, debt, money, and the hollow promise of aspirational media to discuss how much she hates Good Will Hunting
posted by The Whelk on Sep 22, 2011 - 108 comments

When Bad Films Happen to Good Directors

Simply the Worst. Film blog Reverse Shot is looking this month at the worst (by various criteria) films of some major directors, including the Coen Brothers' The Ladykillers, Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Woody Allen's Anything Else, and more.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 21, 2011 - 252 comments

Let's Get Critical

Let's Get Critical is "a new Longform.org partner site dedicated to surfacing the best cultural criticism on the web."
posted by Ahab on Sep 1, 2011 - 13 comments

What the “R” Stands for in “George R.R. Martin"

Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown (warning: spoilers in all links) reviews the first four books of A Song of Ice and Fire and declares that "George R. R. Martin is creepy. He is creepy because he writes racist shit. He is creepy because he writes sexist shit." Alyssa Rosenberg of Think Progress responds, as does Delphine on GeekMom.
posted by never used baby shoes on Aug 31, 2011 - 435 comments

You Never Listen

If the News Media was a Person You Were Dating, a comic by Winston Rowntree of VirusComix. Also recently author of the Rock Timeline.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 30, 2011 - 37 comments

da mystery of music criticism

Jay-Z and Kanye West collaboration Watch the Throne, as reviewed by Ghostface Killah. Words: they are not minced.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 13, 2011 - 60 comments

The Siskel & Ebert Vault

Starting tonight, Ebert Presents At the Movies will begin airing full episodes of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s original PBS show, Sneak Previews. Taking a break from reviewing movies, co-hosts Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky will introduce and discuss the episodes. Hungry for more classic Siskel & Ebert? Try the invaluable, Ebert-approved SiskelandEbert.org, a growing archive of home-taped episodes of Sneak Previews and At the Movies. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Aug 5, 2011 - 21 comments

We are all a bunch of Winnie the Poohs

Jed Perl reviews "Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall"
posted by vidur on Jul 18, 2011 - 67 comments

Underrated Movies

Notes on 124 underappreciated films. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 18, 2011 - 139 comments

The essays of Kenneth Rexroth

The poet and translator Kenneth Rexroth, one of the central figures in the San Francisco Renaissance, only wrote prose for money. But he did it very well. (way previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 3, 2011 - 8 comments

“—to remind us of the values we've lost, and of those that we've allowed ourselves to relinquish.”

Abigail Nussbaum, senior reviews editor for Strange Horizons, has written a series of personal blog posts on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. [more inside]
posted by kipmanley on Jun 8, 2011 - 87 comments

"...the way of nature, and the way of grace."

For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence." For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con. For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them." For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension." For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it. For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists." It spent thirty years in development, three in editing and, yes, it contains dinosaurs. The Tree of Life, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick , won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on May 26, 2011 - 64 comments

The Master of the Capsule Review

Long before he wrote DVD reviews for The New York Times, Dave Kehr spent 11 years at the Chicago Reader perfecting the 100-word capsule review into a vehicle for his succinct, astute writing on a wide variety of films. All of them can be read for free at the Chicago Reader's website. Additionally, his long-overlooked long reviews have just been collected and published. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Apr 19, 2011 - 26 comments

SWAG. SWAG. SWAG. SWAG.

In Defense of Offensive Art - What the hell does Odd Future's music mean?
posted by azarbayejani on Apr 17, 2011 - 46 comments

Myers vs. Brooks

Polysyllabic Magical Incantations. For those who enjoy vigorous criticism, a bone-crushing takedown from biologist and blogger PZ Myers of David Brooks' latest foray into belles lettres. [more inside]
posted by steambadger on Mar 4, 2011 - 34 comments

Christian Clemmensen's Filmtracks

Prickly, idiosyncractic and unashamedly pro-Goldsmith, Christian Clemmensen has reviewed modern movie scores at Filmtracks since 1996.
posted by Iridic on Jan 25, 2011 - 7 comments

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

Hearing him discuss films one day in the Lake Street Screening Room used by Chicago critics, Ebert said, "I was struck by the depth and detail of his film knowledge, and by how articulate he was." After reading his work online, Ebert was sold.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, 24, will co-host the revival of At the Movies with Christy Lemire. [previously] [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jan 4, 2011 - 35 comments

Rise of the Neuronovel

Rise of the Neuronovel. Marco Roth at N+1 argues that the recent interest of contemporary novels (Motherless Brooklyn, Saturday, Atmospheric Disturbances) in the disordered wetware of their characters represents a defeat for fiction. "...the new genre of the neuronovel, which looks on the face of it to expand the writ of literature, appears as another sign of the novel’s diminishing purview." Jonah Lehrer responds to Roth and Roth responds back.
posted by escabeche on Jan 2, 2011 - 58 comments

"Serge Daney was the end of criticism as I understood it."

Serge Daney (1944 - 1992) is often cited as one of the greatest film critics. After joining the legendary film magazine Cahiers du cinéma (which he would eventually edit) at age 20, Daney wrote extensively on the changing place of movies in culture, on directors new and old and on television, war and even sports. He founded the film magazine Trafic before dying of AIDS in 1992.

Though some of his essays have been officially translated and a small book of his writings has been published in English, the vast majority of his work remains untranslated into English. That hasn't stopped a devoted group of cinephiles from taking matters into their own hands. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Dec 13, 2010 - 12 comments

Harry Potter and the Incredibly Conservative Aristocratic Children's Club

Harry Potter and the Incredibly Conservative Aristocratic Children's Club
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 28, 2010 - 161 comments

A living post-mortem

Dead Homer Society is a Simpsons related blog that reviews the latest episodes of the show, provides quotes of the day, and perhaps most notably compares and contrasts segments between what the author terms "the Simpsons" and "Zombie Simpsons". [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Nov 15, 2010 - 77 comments

Chris Stangl's Exploding Kinetoscope

This may only occur to the obsessive student of The Parent Trap, but once the subtleties are noticed, hints start stacking up, and a creeping sense of the mythic pervades the film...
Join Chris Stangl, King of the Beanplaters, as he obsessively studies The Parent Trap, Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice, Teen Wolf, the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and more.
posted by Iridic on Oct 28, 2010 - 33 comments

Dexter should say “The foot was severed through the distal end of the tibia and fibula”.

Informed critiques of the science behind TV shows, by scientists: The Big Blog Theory (The Big Bang Theory), Polite Dissent (Fringe, House MD - with an excellent sideline of medicine in comics (previously)), Barone Rocks (Dexter).
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Oct 22, 2010 - 30 comments

Charlie Brooker calls it Quits

"… if I ever have to see this gurning little maggot clicking into faux reverie mode again – rising from his seat to jazz-slap the top of his piano wearing a fake-groove expression on his piggish little face – if I have to witness that one more time I'm going to rise up and kill absolutely everybody in the world, starting with him and ending with me.". Charlie Brooker, the UK Guardian's TV 'critic', calls it quits.
posted by lalochezia on Oct 15, 2010 - 71 comments

Bring in 'The Imp'

Even though only four issues were published, Daniel Raeburn's 'The Imp' is widely regarded as a classic publication of comics criticism. Long out of print, he has now put them online for free. The four insanely comprehensive issues each cover Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, Jack Chick and Mexican Historietas (violent and bizarrely sexual comics-NSFW). [more inside]
posted by AzzaMcKazza on Sep 3, 2010 - 15 comments

Overrated Writers

The 15 Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers by Anis Shivani [more inside]
posted by shotgunbooty on Aug 11, 2010 - 167 comments

Board Games with Scott!

Confused in Catan? Conflicted about Carcassonne? Puzzled in Puerto Rico? You've heard about all these awesome new board games that are out these days, but don't know where to begin? Help is here! Scott Nicholson knows all about 'em, and will explain them in great detail in his video series Board Games With Scott! [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Aug 8, 2010 - 56 comments

this petty-bourgeois uptightness, this terror of not being in control, this schoolboy desire to boast and to shock

The 2010 Booker longlist is out, and it seems that most of the buzz in the UK is about who's not on the list. The Guardian article "Amis-free Booker prize longlist promises to 'entertain and provoke'" introducing the list of 13 nominees actually devotes its headline, subhead, and most of the first four paragraphs to the subject of who's missing in action: Amis, McEwan, Rushdie. Elsewhere in the Guardian Books section, research professor Gabriel Josipovici pulls no punches in including these (former?) darlings of the glitterati in his assertion that Feted British authors are limited, arrogant and self-satisfied, compares them to "prep-school boys showing off," calls them "virtually indistinguishable from one another in scope and ambition," and muses that the fact that they have won so many awards is "a mystery." [more inside]
posted by taz on Jul 29, 2010 - 50 comments

Fire The Bastards

Fire the Bastards... examined the initial 55 reviews that appeared in response to the publication of William Gaddis's masterpiece The Recognitions. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jul 27, 2010 - 44 comments

Mad Men: A conversation

The first episode of season four of Mad Men (so much previously [meta-previously]) aired tonight. Shortly after, the first "Mad Men"': A Conversation blog entry was posted on the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog. There will be a post for every episode. [more inside]
posted by silby on Jul 25, 2010 - 112 comments

Loose lips sink ships, and careers, too

General Stanley McChrystal is in hot water over a Rolling Stone article (pdf) where he and his staff are quoted criticizing Obama, Biden, and senior administration officials. (Previously on McChrystal's appointment.)
posted by Forktine on Jun 22, 2010 - 353 comments

Who took my tag?

it was street art until the preservation team showed up... banksy drops a piece in a derelict factory site in detroit. a local grass-roots gallery removes it to their hq for safe keeping. people go nuts.
posted by artof.mulata on May 16, 2010 - 101 comments

The utter inconsequentiality of contemporary atheism is a social and spiritual catastrophe

What I find chiefly offensive about them is not that they are skeptics or atheists; rather, it is that they are not skeptics at all and have purchased their atheism cheaply, with the sort of boorish arrogance that might make a man believe himself a great strategist because his tanks overwhelmed a town of unarmed peasants, or a great lover because he can afford the price of admission to a brothel.
Christian writer Dan Hart wonders if New Atheism might just be a passing fad. [more inside]
posted by circular on May 14, 2010 - 539 comments

a masterpiece for countless horrifying reasons

While Metal Gear Solid is considered "one of the best and most important games of all time," its myriad descendants have been polarizing players for almost a decade. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has a particular knack for inspiring people to write convoluted screeds about its flaws. In contrast to most of the game's criticism, James Clinton Howell and Jerel Smith's Monstrous Births: A Formal Analysis of Metal Gear Solid 4 attempts to interpret the game and explain its creators (often peculiar) decisions. (previously)
posted by jsnlxndrlv on Apr 23, 2010 - 35 comments

What makes a bad book bad?

In its latest issue, the American Book Review has taken stock of literature and come up with its Top 40 Bad Books [pdf]. Faced with the unusual Top 40 list (which is not strictly a list and includes, among other things, The Great Gatsby) Alison Flood at the Guardian responds by asking, "What makes a bad book bad?" while at the L.A. Times, Carolyn Kellogg puts forth that the list's only constant is "that the best books that appear on their worst-book list are subject to the most unreasonable critiques." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Mar 16, 2010 - 100 comments

"Clearly, even people who play Farmville want to avoid playing Farmville."

Cultivated Play: Farmville
posted by brundlefly on Mar 9, 2010 - 57 comments

"Plumbing. Can't beat it. Helps any movie."

I mean, in these days of indoor plumbing, the toilet is a naturally potent metaphor for everyday repression, for all the bile and rage and memories and sins and other impure thoughts and unclean urges that can't always kept down or flushed away. Every once in a while when the psychological plumbing gets clogged, the load of excrement becomes more than one's psychological pipes can handle, and the shit all comes bubbling back up from below and spews out onto the surface.
A survey of plumbing in the movies. Wee bit NSFW in both word and image.
posted by kipmanley on Mar 9, 2010 - 33 comments

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