20 December 2008

A pleasing screed from a reader of writing on film: Time Out Chicago

The "Letter of the week" in the 18-31 December issue of Time Out Chicago surprises. Writes Brandon Linden: "I'm writing this in response to an article on the New French Cinema series at Facets Multimedia and in terms of your film coverage in general. We are lucky in Chicago to have a rich and distinguished culture of film criticism. Whether you take into account Rosenbaum's polemics at the Reader (sorely missed), Ebert's more mainstream but well-wrought and beautifully written prose, or Ray Pride's personal, almost memoirist, take on film at Newcity, these are all examples that show your own writing to be ill considered and snide when it should be thoughtful and exciting. If you did not like any of the films at the fest, that is certainly your right, but it is your duty to explain the whys and hows, not just as critics, but as writers who want to be read... Your dismissive attitude about the fest as a whole shows an attitude that pervades the rest of the film coverage as well... There are wonderful opportunities here to turn on an audience that might otherwise not see these films. Engage them, contribute to the wonderful film culture we have." The editors do not offer reply.