Critical Failure: Film

Critical Failure: Film

Have our film critics lost their way or merely their page space? And how should we be reviewing - and making - films in Australia?

In a discussion led by Peter Mares, critics Adrian Martin, Mel Campbell and Fenella Kernebone and filmmaker Gillian Armstrong interrogate the place of the film critic in our cultural landscape. Together they address where reviewing ends and criticism begins, the influence of commerce and readership, the particular roles that online publishing can play, and how we can move towards a robust critical culture that rewards audiences and filmmakers alike.

Watch other Critical Failure events

Book Criticism
Visual Arts Criticism
Theatre Criticism


Portrait of Gillian Armstrong

Gillian Armstrong

Gillian Armstrong is one of Australia’s most successful directors with credits including My Brilliant Career and The Last Days of Chez Nous.

Portrait of Mel Campbell

Mel Campbell

Mel Campbell is a freelance journalist and critic who co-hosts the fortnightly literature and culture podcast The Rereaders. She is a columnist on writing at Overland magazine, and a university lecturer and writer-for-hire on film, TV and media. Her first book was the nonfiction investigation Out of Shape: Debunking Myths about Fashion and Fit (2013), and she’s currently co-writing a second romantic comedy novel with Anthony Morris; their first was The Hot Guy (2017).

Portrait of Fenella Kernebone

Fenella Kernebone

Fenella Kernebone is the host of ABC TV’s new weekly half hour arts show, Art Nation.

Portrait of Peter Mares

Peter Mares

Peter Mares is lead moderator with The Cranlana Programme, an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing the ethical decision-making skills of Australia’s leaders. Peter is also contributing editor at Inside Story magazine and adjunct fellow at Swinburne University’s Centre for Urban Transitions. He is a former ABC broadcaster and the author of three books, including No Place Like Home: Repairing Australia’s Housing Crisis (Text 2018).

Portrait of Adrian Martin

Adrian Martin

Since 1979, Dr. Adrian Martin has combined work as a professional writer and film critic with a university career.

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