Search This Blog

27 July 2013

What is a Critic?

The Critic (Portrait of Andor 
Halasi) by Lajos Tihanyi 
(1885–1938) Date, 1916. 
Image is part of public 
domain. For more information, 
Are they bitter old fools, biased mouthpieces or egomaniac elitists? 

A film critic’s job is not simply to review a film.  A critic does not just determine if a film is enjoyable, average or terrible.  Some of us do not just sound off trumpets of praises or write down our litanies of complaints.  A critic, just like the filmmaker, must have an agenda.  A critic must have an ideology.  The critic’s distinctive ideology of the arts separates him from other critics in the past and in the present.  A critic is not a true critic if he simply summarizes the film. If so, he is just a marketing tool.  If a critic simply sees the positive aspects of a piece and sing praises to his favorite artist, he is not a critic. He is a fan. On the other hand, if a critic simply lambasts an artist that he finds infuriating, he is just bitter. 

A true critic must steer the art of filmmaking to a different and new direction. This sounds arrogant I know but a self-respecting critic will not be swayed by criticism.  A true critic will not have any qualms taking his own medicine.  Certainly, a critic should never lay out a blue print for excellence.  The artist is the still the architect.  In the words of the fictional critic Anton Ego, we critics like "some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective."

The critics should never dictate. He should only pin point if a specific design template has been done countless of times in the past and so it does not have potency in the present milieu.  It is also the critic’s daunting task to “deconcstruct” a filmmaker’s work. The artist is a product of his milieu whether he is aware of it or not.  The critic must always open his eyes and see beneath the veils and deceits of an art work.  Mona Lisa may seem sedate in our times but the dame was quite shocking during the Renaissance.  After all, she was the first woman ever to face her audience.  To paint another Mona Lisa today would be outstanding but not groundbreaking.    

A film may be well made but if it propagates a decadent status quo in both the arts and in society, it is the critic’s task to strip the artwork bare and expose it to the public to see.  Similar to the filmmaker, a critic also needs an audience.  Without an audience, the critic is just a blabbering idiot.

There are times when a critic truly risks 
something, and that is in the discovery and 
defense of the “new”. The world is often unkind 
to new talent, new creations. The new 
needs friends. (Anton Ego)
In my opinion, art, even art for art’s sake, must contribute to the growth of human creativity and evolution, otherwise, if we just create because we have the means and ability, then art loses its purpose.  To the religious, god does not just create because he is bored.  To the secular humanist, science may appear random, but it still operates under the strict rules of mathematics to create a working design.

Bottom line, the critic is not the enemy of the artist. On the contrary, the artists enamor the critic. No one understands a true artist better than a true critic does.  For both, what matters is the art of creation and the influence of that creation. The personal does not factor. The ego takes a back seat. 

As a writer and a self-proclaimed critic (suffering from occasional blind hypocrisy), I am my own worst critic as well. I also criticize my own work and examine if I am just blowing flatulance from my mis-educated ass.  My literary pieces have been scrutinized by fellow writers and previous professors.  Up to this point, I have continually received rejections from magazines and journals and this is all part of the creative journey.  Some of my works have been described as more inferior than a used tissue paper hardened by excrement but if a creator has the effrontery to put his work in public, he must also have the stomach to stand the attacks, fair or unfair.  A true creator learns from criticism. If a creator is too sensitive and lambasts his critics; for example, ridiculing the critic's credibility, then the creator should just show his work to his mother or offer his work free of charge. 

This essay is sh*t.  It is obviously written by a witticaster who masks his lack of insights with highfalutin words.  Dreadful.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The other contributing writers and members of this publication and our advertisers do not necessarily share the opinions of the writer of the article above. (Hindi nangangahulugan na sang-ayon ang mga ibang manunulat, miyembro ng babasahing ito at aming advertisers sa mga opiniyon ng may akda ng sanaysay na nakasulat sa itaas)

Brun Philippines encourages readers to focus solely on the issues when commenting or criticizing. We do not allow foul language and personal attacks on any individuals. You may only comment on a public person’s beliefs and actions. We strictly screen people who will leave comments, and only comments from readers with full names will be posted. Freedom of speech also includes responsibility. We want to weed out the buffoons from the critical and freethinkers. Thanks so much.

(Hinihikayat ng “Teapot” (Tsarera) ang mga mambabasa na tumutok lamang sa mga isyung pinag-uusapan sa pagkomento o pagpuna. Hindi namin pinapayagan ang napakaruming wika at personal na pag-atake sa sinumang indibidwal. Maari lamang punahin ang aksiyon at paniniwala ng isang publikong indibidwal. Istrikto naming sinasala ang mga taong nagkokomento at tanging ang mga komento mula sa mambabasa na ginagamit ang buong pangalan ang aming ipapaskil. Kaakibat din ng kalayaan sa pananalita ang responsibilidad. Gusto naming alisin ang mga luko-luko mula sa kritikal at malayang mag-isip. Maraming salamat po.)

Follow by Email


Brun Philippines joins the nation in remembering the evils of Martial Law and the fight to bring to justice those who are responsible for the human rights violations and other atrocities committed


Click banner above to see full list of winners