There are some columnists such as Anghus Houvouras of Flickering Myth that would argue that the current state of modern film criticism is most disappointing. We currently live in a time of widening criticism and review, where it appears that the old days of criticising a film within the cinematic industry for its interior value and result have instead been shadowed by evolving criticism into the film’s construction processes. The rise of social media and interconnectivity can be widely regarded as a social and global positive, but internet connectivity, as Houvouras argues, has instead also arisen uglier trends by which the cinematic industry is critiqued not on a resulting film, but by it’s many subsidiary factors.
Often modern film’s are not only judged from opening sequences to end credits, but there are many exterior motives by which film critics compare, contrast and judge a film’s worth. For example, failed adaptations in the modern world are continuously blamed either on a lack of original content or on a personal critical view of wrong choice in talent. Studio’s are often belittled or humiliated for modern failed adaptations or appropriations, simply for this often regarded lack of vision. In this sense, it isn’t the film’s themselves that are being evaluated, but the entire construction processes and the people or corporations involved in the film’s creation. Metaphorically, Houvouras states that executives are named in reviews as being “poor shepherds of properties.”
In relation to our previous blog regarding contextual humanity, these forms of subsidiary factors by which critics are judging films could be seen as personal opinionated bias, where individual critics may be falling victim to their own bias, and judging a positive film negatively purely for the external factors involved in its creation. For example, if a critic for a particular reason wasn’t a fan of a certain company due to either previous films or for personal reasons, this may clearly indeed influence an accurate judgement of a singular film, purely for its processes of construction.
Do you believe this is a possibility in modern film for external subsidiary factors to be a danger to film evaluation? Or, is this just the way the world has come to evolve, as Houvouras seems to believe?
If you would like to read more of Houvouras’ concerns, his article can be found here.