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May 1995, Week 5


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David Desser <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 28 May 1995 10:26:26 -0600
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>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>How funny--and depressing--that you should write about Kauffmann.  Back
>in the late 1960s I thought about him what you write now, and almost 30
>years later things have hardly changed!  He is a fine critic, I think,
>but I don't read him these days.  Why do you suppose we haven't produced
>a bevy of young, intelligent, articulate and readable critics.  We *have*
>produced some young filmmakers.
One answer to Murray's (as usual) provocative and perceptive question is
that "public discourse" of a serious, intellectual nature has declined in
the last 30 years (i.e. the question of the "public intellectual").
Another is that young, intelligent, articulate and readable critics of
cinema have chosen academia as their "public" forum (where their
"readability" has been beaten out of them for the most part).  Other
possibilities exist, too, to answer this question, though in the final
analaysis it may be numerous factors conspiring together.  What seems
unquestionable is that there are few "public" critics worth reading now,
compared to the 60's and into the 70s' when, love 'em or hate 'em, people
like Kael, Sarris, Gilliat, Kaufmann, Vernon Young, et. al. could excite
the young cineaste into pursuing questions of cinema much further.
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