Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sex and The Subject: Confessions of a Critic

As a freelancer who writes almost exclusively for online film publications I often find myself wearing more than one mismatched hat. Sometimes I'm a critic picking apart larger than life images, and sometimes I'm a reporter picking the brain of a real live filmmaker or random porn star. Interviewing the delightful Sasha Grey for SpoutBlog one week while trouncing the atrocious film that marks her mainstream debut, Steven Soderbergh's "The Girlfriend Experience," at The House Next Door the next, is just par for the modern day journo's course. As the walls have tumbled down in cyberspace, so have the boundaries that used to separate critic from subject. Or at least what were once sturdy facades.

To read the rest visit my Sex Beat column at Carnal San Francisco.

1 comment:

Don Arrup said...

Consider the other side of the coin on the critic/artist relationship. In college I got free theatre tickets to Baltimore's Mechanic Theatre and Center Stage to review their work on the understanding that I would only write feature stories about upcoming productions of the school's own theatre department of which I was apart of. When the critic of the school's productions was unavailable the department and the paper pressed me to review our production of A MidSummer's Night Dream. Reluctantly I did so telling the department and faculty director that my first loyalty as a critic was to the reader. Even professional productions of Shakespeare tend to be wildly uneven in their casting and my mixed review lost me my lover and several not close friends in the department. As I sat in the audience during the first act I knew that I was going to pay for any shred of integrity.

I wrote for a couple of small and alternative papers in Baltimore covering extorting landlords, the prison system, professional wrestling before it got its glamor back and the KKK. There is no objectivity. You collect quotes from as many people as you can find and report them. As far as being a critic, put your name on the by line. This is how I see. Which is what you always do. Keep up the good work.