Criticism is one of the concepts that is often misunderstood or undervalued. Many people consider critics those who just want to rip your work apart without even being in the industry — so basically the concept is perceived only in its negative connotations (our recent discussion in the university on this topic only proof my thoughts about it). However, I personally believe that critics are important and their work is valuable for a deeper understanding of a piece of art.
I’d like to narrow the topic and explain what I mean by the example of film criticism. So why is film criticism important? One of the most known American film critics Roger Ebert gave a very simple answer — “Because films are important”. And in their turn, films are important because they have a great influence on the society and the way people think (FoundationINTERVIEWS, 2008).
It is vital to bear in mind that film criticism exists not because it is meant to tell the audience what to think and feel — it has a greater purpose of putting the films in the cultural context, giving a better understanding of the decisions made by filmmakers (Fischer, 2015). Familiar with the film art much more than a general audience, they can reveal more details that can provide a deeper understanding of what the film crew intended to say including subtexts, allusions and so on.
Considering all this, we should value film criticism — and criticism in general — as it analyses the piece of work within its cultural context, looking closer at every creative decision that contributed to the final product. And in order for people to realize this importance, we should get rid of that ridiculous negative perception of criticism and focus more on what we can learn from it and how we can get better.
Fischer, C. (2015). The importance of film criticism. University Observer. Retrieved 22 April 2018, from http://www.universityobserver.ie/otwo/the-importance-of-film-criticism/
FoundationINTERVIEWS. (2008, December 30). Roger Ebert on Film Criticism – EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FCVlQ_5aSI