Critical Conditions: the presentations of the panellists at the 2016 Rome Film Fest
The 2016 Rome Film Fest organized a panel on film criticism which took place on Tuesday October 18, and brought together many Italian and international film critics for a rich and inspiring discussion. Our heartfelt thanks go to all those who attended and contributed to this crowded event, and in particular to Justin Chang, Julien Gester, and A.O. Scott for their speeches, a gift to the Rome Film Fest and to film lovers everywhere, confirming the value and delight to be found in fine writing.
Mario Sesti, Artistic Coordinator of the Selection Committee
Critical conditions: loving cinema and writing about films in the digital age.
Never, especially since the advent of the Internet, has access to films been as widespread as it is nowadays. Yet never, because of the crisis facing print media, has giving stability, meaning, and purpose to the work of people who write about cinema been as uncertain and daunting a challenge as it is today. The Web has exponentially multiplied the practice of expressing often amateurish opinions and ideas about films, yet never has the possibility of recommending a film, of leading a reader into its secret energy or its capacity to stir the soul, seemed so ineffectual in competing with marketing strategies, or the intense mediatization of our existence. Is there any space left to defend, to consolidate, and to innovate for those of us who have spent long perfecting our writing to explore, probe, and understand the inexhaustible experience of seeing a film, personally and with the readers? And will the diffusion and supremacy of the audio-visual language in the digital world lead us towards a future in which a film review will consist of images and sounds – i.e. will the film critic use the language of cinema itself, just as the literary critic uses the language of novels?
Justin Chang (Los Angeles Times)
A.O. Scott (The New York Times)
Julien Gester (Libération)