Friday, April 6, 2018


Vital words from the always great Kent Jones:

" I think that writing about movies and making movies can go hand in hand. But most of the time, they really don’t. Over many years of writing criticism, I became more and more consumed with the actual question of what it is to actually make a film. Most film criticism doesn’t go near it. As a matter of fact, certain people that call themselves film lovers or “cinephiles” take pride in not paying attention to what filmmakers say, and they get lost in the miasma of beautiful concepts like mise-en-scène. I have no problem with mise-en-scène as an idea, I believe in it, but I do think it should be set aside as a critical term. The cinema is very, very young, but many of the people who write about it treat it as if it were very, very old. André Bazin made that mistake: he wrote that because it began close to the beginning of the twentieth century, the cinema had a rapid development that had already ushered in a classical era by the ’50s. When you really stop to think about it, the idea is ridiculous. Poetry and painting developed over a few thousand years, but the cinema zipped its way up to speed because it developed in the age of air travel and penicillin: absurd. So I think that there are too many vague terms in film criticism, too little attention paid to acting, and almost zero knowledge of how a film set actually works. That includes everything from what a director actually does—not to mention what everyone else from the gaffer, to the costume designer, to the set dresser actually does—to the extraordinary time factor: the clock is always ticking. It’s ticking on the set, it’s still ticking in the editing room, and it keeps ticking in the mix, the color correct, and up to the end of post-production."

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