Category: Why Criticism by Vague Visages Writers

A Film Criticism-Themed Column by Vague Visages Writers

Quo vadis, Aida? Movie Film

Why Criticism: The Difficulties of Depicting Genocide in ‘Quo Vadis, Aida?’ and ‘La Llorona’

“Roger Ebert once wrote ‘it’s not what a film is about, it’s how it is about it,’ and it’s this phrase that I usually return to when thinking about cinema that deals with humanity’s worst impulses.”

Nomadland Movie Film

Why Criticism: Can Film Criticism and Awards Season Co-Exist?

“Many of us may miss the drama of awards season, but there are untold benefits to criticism if it continues to evolve away from its current state.”

Chungking Express Movie Essay - 1994 Wong Kar-Wai Film

Why Criticism: Chasing Restorations, from Wong Kar-Wai to Wonder Woman

“The total dominance of our digital cinema platforms has forced cinephiles to reckon with their own assumptions and understanding of the medium.”

Cinema - Labeled for Reuse

Why Criticism: A Guide to Making Up Your Own Mind

“Film criticism is so vital not because it’s a service, but because it’s a tool — a way for each person to arrive at the final word on each film they see from the critic that matters most: themselves.”

Netflix Brand

Why Criticism: Film as a Business First

“Film criticism unable to confront film’s relationship to business is destined to fail and will continue to reproduce the same tired critiques of cinema.”

Nostalgia - Friends

Why Criticism: Against Nostalgia

“More than ever, it is crucial to contemplate what this nostalgia phenomenon means for the future of the arts and our discomfort with the new. Will there be a ‘new’ in the new world?”

Horror - Misogyny in the Community

Why Criticism: Dismantling the Boys’ Club in Horror

“The main reason I write about horror movies, aside from having a deep and abiding love for them, is that I have a perspective unique to me. But, for certain men, that’s not enough.”

Nichols and Soderbergh

Why Criticism: Nichols / Soderbergh

“In their conversations, Soderbergh and Nichols work together to dismantle the artificial dividing line between art and criticism, neatly moving between the two…”

Brian De Palma and Film as Film Criticism

Why Criticism: Brian De Palma and Film as Film Criticism

“If the point of criticism is to bring the reader closer to the artwork, then Schrader’s reviews of other films are as important as his own to understanding his perspective.”

Guy Pearce in The Rover

Why Criticism: Not Quite the Apocalypse

“In Australia, our cinematic art has been trying to shake us from apathy for 50 years.”

Horror Endings - The Witch Movie Film

Why Criticism: The Race to Problematize Bittersweet Horror Endings

“In order to fully engage with horror films, it’s important to look at the monster and the world that’s being upended by that monster.”

Undine Movie Review - 2020 Christian Petzold Film

Why Criticism: Mediocrity as a Catalyst at Berlinale 2020

“We are all mediocre writers when we start, and we must engage with others’ mediocrity throughout our careers. But we must engage with it level-headedly, picking out the good from the bad and making those distinctions to the best of our ability.”

Berlinale 2020 - Sound at the German Film Festival

Why Criticism: Berlinale 2020 and the Power of Sound

Swedish Film Critic Jakob Åsell on the Sounds of Berlinale 2020

Parasite Movie - Film Essay

Why Criticism: The One-Inch Tall Barrier of Foreign Cinema

“Tucked in our so-called privileged positions, we need to not only hold tight but also need to learn when to engage and when to let things go.”

Linklater and Lucas

Why Criticism: Time After Time, Linklater and Lucas

“In an era where cinephilia is always about performance, both online and in real life, woke buffs feel compelled to assemble their character like in a video game…”

State of Film Criticism Essay - Parasite

Why Criticism: You Can’t Take the “Film” Out of Film Criticism

“Over time, a film critic should be able to engage with cinema in an all-encompassing manner, acknowledging the interior and exterior forces of what makes a movie…”

Why Criticism: Adam Nayman’s ‘Ben Wheatley: Confusion and Carnage’

A Column on Film Criticism by Justine A. Smith

Why Criticism: Understanding Film Restoration

A Column on Film Criticism by Justine A. Smith

Why Criticism: The Simple Joys of Food and Film

A Column on Film Criticism by Justine A. Smith

Why Criticism: Éric Rohmer’s ‘Louis Lumière’ (1968) or Dinner Among Friends

A Column on Film Criticism by Justine A. Smith