The LA Times had an interesting piece on film criticism in their paper today. They let their film critics write about any regrets they’ve ever had about a film they reviewed.
I love film criticism. In a perfect world, I could see movies and write about them everyday (if it would pay the bills). But it is, in my opinion, one of the toughest jobs in writing because you put a part of yourself out there.
I took a reviewing class with Kenneth Turan while I was at USC. It was probably my favorite class of all. Since he is the best film critic at the Times, I expected Kenneth to be a man of intolerable ego, and harsh–well–criticism. What I found was a man confident in his craft, and kind with his teaching. I learned then that the people who are best at what they do don’t need to walk around with a puffed up chest or a thick set of armour.
His article today really makes clear the point and process of criticism. There should be no regret if you are true to your own feelings. Here’s a bit of his article. Find the whole piece here.
“To pretend either to like it or that I didn’t really have an opinion, to pretend in effect that I was someone else to save face and be one of the gang, was simply unacceptable. Criticism is a lonely job, and in the final analysis, either you’re a gang of one or you’re nothing at all.”