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Film Criticism and Digital Cultures: Journalism, Social Media and the Democratization of Opinion

Film Criticism and Digital Cultures: Journalism, Social Media and the Democratization of Opinion
Andrew McWhirter

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  • Hardback | In Stock | $135.00

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'The critic is dead.' 'Everyone's a critic.' These statements reflect some of the perceptions of film criticism in a time when an opinion can be published in seconds, yet reach an audience of millions. This book examines the reality of contemporary film criticism, by talking to leading practitioners in the UK and North America - such as Nick James, Mark Cousins, Jonathan Rosenbaum and Richard Porton - and by covering a broad spectrum of influential publications - including Sight & Sound, The Guardian, Cineaste, indieWIRE and Variety. Forming a major new contribution to an emerging field of study, these enquiries survey the impact of larger cultural, economic and technological processes facing society, media and journalism. Historical perspectives on criticism from ancient times and current debates in journalism and digital media are used to unravel questions, such as: what is the relationship between crisis and criticism? In what way does the web change the functions and habits of practitioners? What influences do film industries have on the critical act? And how engaged are practitioners with converged and creative film criticism such as the video essay?In the face of transformative digital idealism, empirical findings here redress the balance and argue the case for evolution rather than revolution taking place within film criticism.

Author Info

Dr Andrew McWhirter is a lecturer in Media Studies and Programme Leader of the BA/Hons Media and Communications degree in the department of Social Sciences, Media and Journalism at the University of Glasgow. Previously McWhirter worked in advertising as a copyrighter and as a freelance journalist covering international film festivals and writing articles for Glasgow-based DC Publishing, The Glasgow Film Theatre and London-based Tribune Magazine. He completed his PhD exploring contemporary film criticism and the digital media landscape at the University of Glasgow where he also achieved his MLitt in Film Journalism. He is currently working on pre-production plans for a documentary film project about media representations of forensic science.


‘[This] rigorous study goes beyond the clichés bemoaning the “death of criticism” and examines the specific challenges facing film critics in the digital era. At a time when print journalism is under siege, McWhirter emphasises that a public sphere that defies corporate interests and encourages critical thinking is of the utmost importance.’
Richard Porton, Cineaste

‘Andrew McWhirter has provided a great service to those interested in the state of both written and audio-visual film criticism. Through rich and detailed analyses, written in lucid prose and enriched by in-depth interviews with prominent film critics on the international film festival circuit, he provides an essential point of reference for understanding film criticism today.’
David Archibald, University of Glasgow

‘Film critics and scholars of film criticism alike will welcome this book. Andrew McWhirter brings critical calmness and consideration to the widespread notion of a crisis, to provide a historically informed but contemporarily aware account of what Anglophone film criticism has been, is, and might be in the future…’
Jonny Murray, University of Edinburgh

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: International Library of the Moving Image

ISBN: 9781784532840
Publication Date: 29 Aug 2016
Number of Pages: 320
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 20 bw integrated

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