#6 The Current Critical Trolls

Before we resume with part two of our trilogy with Writer & Director Ben Woodiwiss of Look/Think Films, here at Band Wagon we became aware of an Instagram post by successful French-Canadian Filmmaker Xavier Dolan on September 18th recently via IndieWire, and feel it is a pivotal topic to bring to light for you, our audience.

To put Dolan into perspective, he exited the Cannes Film Festival for 2016 with the Grand Jury Prize for his latest film It’s Only the End of the World. However, much controversy surrounds the cinematic industry in Dolan’s revelation that he will be choosing not to return to the festival for 2017 with his next feature John F. Donovan. Dolan encourages that the majority of the reason is “because we are shooting until June 2017,” but here at Band Wagon we can’t help but acknowledge a critical factor that is screaming from his words. Dolan continues:

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“Every Individual… reacts differently to criticism. That being said, the culture of trolling, bullying and unwarranted hatred shouldn’t be an inextricable part of the cinematic or analytical adventure.”

Dolan directly addresses the cinematic issue of film criticism within modern society to often have an unjust or “unwarranted hatred” either certain films or particular persons involved in the creation process. And, as Dolan elaborates, he prefers “to focus on creation, and not reaction.” This social media revelation is a huge first-person account into the world of a professional director in dealing with cinematic criticism, and gives insight into just how dangerous the modern world of film criticism can be. We feel it is important here at Band Wagon to prove that it is not just you, our audience, who come to blows in opinion with the professional critical opinion, but it also the creator that can often be opposed. And, as Dolan stated, he enjoys the creation process that allows him to provide his audience with content to enjoy, rather than focus intently on the reaction to the content, especially that of often uneven critical opinion. Perhaps it’s time to limit critical opinion as the popular point of view, and lose this theme of unwarranted trolling in a sea of both citizen and critical reaction, such that even film directors can achieve a more just reception to their content.

Do you believe Xavier Dolan has done the right thing for himself and his career? Perhaps he is just the first catalyst needed to spark a movement in cinema, where unfair critical opinion is not taken lightly. Leave your comments below or contact us via email!

If you would like to read more into the subject, IndieWire has a further in-depth review into the background of the situation here.

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