Essays

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THE ORIGIN, PURPOSE AND FUTURE OF FILM CRITICISM

We all take film criticism and film reviews for granted. After all, they appear everywhere and it seems they are written by anyone. And so they should.

Film is a cultural powerhouse and a bedrock of modern civilisation. When you include the audio-visual online world, film is the most widely accessed source of global culture, where people of any age, race, class, gender, sexuality or political persuasion can find information and ideas to inform their values and identities. Film nurtures democracy by providing universal access to world-culture. Whether its passive entertainment or active learning, film is for everyone.

So where do film criticism and reviews fit in? Have you ever wondered where did the idea of film criticism come from, why do we need film reviews, what do they tell us, where do they fit in the wider culture industry, and why talk of film criticism as being in crisis? If you have, this essay may fill some of the gaps.

Students and cinephiles may find it a useful source of reference. Film writers and aspiring critics may benefit from knowing more of the history of criticism and models of critical writing, and others may simply be curious to know more about this popular genre of cultural expression. It is written as a research paper with in-text referencing and a bibliography, so it is not exactly light reading but nor is it overly academic.

As it may be expanded to a larger research project, any feedback, thoughts or other comments will be most welcome. The paper can be accessed as a pdf via this link:

THE ORIGIN, PURPOSE AND FUTURE OF FILM CRITICISM