Starting Conversations at Critical Failure

Film maker Gillian Armstrong

Film maker Gillian Armstrong

Last night saw the first session of Critical Failure, the Wheeler Centre’s week-long discussion on the state of Australia’s reviewing culture.

The conversation extended onto Twitter with a few tweets clustering around the hashtag #critfail.

Panellist Adrian Martin impressed film blogger gerardelson who tweeted two quotes from Martin: “Mass media is absolute mediocrity.” and “Real film criticism has always happened elsewhere.” Owen Vandenberg found more in common with Mel Campbell as he tweeted “I think we need more and better genre films, but I don’t hate the bad ones.”

But by far the most active Twitter correspondent of the evening was James Nolen who highligted some of the panel’s exemplars as critics. Nolen tweeted “Gillian Armstrong hearts Margaret and David’s reviews (more so Maggies)” and pointed out Chris Fujiwara as one of Adrian Martin’s favourite reviewers. Other film critics recommended by the panel were US favourite Roger Ebert, the New York TimesAO Scott and Manohla Dargis. The Age’s Phillipa Hawker (along with David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz) were among the few Australian critics praised by the panel.

In case you missed this session, a video will be online in the next week.

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