LOOKING BACK ON MOVIE CRITICS
Over at our SXSW coverage page we are posting in the next few days a few straggler reviews and pieces. First up is Alicia Van Couvering’s talk with Gerald Peary about his For the Love of Movies: The History of American Film Criticism. Van Couvering gets Peary to talk about a number of issues echoing across the blogosphere these days, including, well, the blogosphere, but also the pressure to write shorter, the huge number of ex-critics, and, of course, the rivalry between the Paulettes and the Sarris-ites. A question about which camp he adheres to (A: Sarris) leads to this great exchange about what film writing in alternative papers used to be like:
I lived in New York when the Village Voice was the greatest paper in the world and Molly Haskell was writing a feminist column. One of first Americans who died of AIDS, Stuart Byron, came out in the paper and talked about getting his wallet stolen while getting a blowjob; that was part of his review. I just thought, wow, this is great. I read Sarris’ book American Cinema, and that’s how I grew up. Then Kael came along, and I loved her first book — although I’m not a Paulette, the two times I met her she was very, very nice to me.