Does the internet sound the death knell for print criticism? This was the question asked at today’s 6pm panel at the Traverse, so I went along to listen to the views on offer.
Hosted by British Film Council chief executive John Woodward, the panelists taking part were:
- Dave Calhoun, Time Out London
- Tim Robey, from one of my favourite newspaper film sites over at the Daily Telegraph
- Orlando Parfitt, rottentomatoes.com
- Paul Andrew Walker, director London to Brighton
It was a fun panel with lots of interesting views on offer. While sites such as rottentomatoes are often derided by the more serious critic or film fan as reducing criticism to a mere percentage, the fact that many (most?) of the reviews actually gathered by them are from newspapers such as the New York Times and the Telegraph is encouraging.
Paul Walker seemed happy that Joe Public is out there commenting on his film over at imdb.com while there was some concern from the audience that the big blockbusters still get the biggest reviews in the papers even though they’re usually rubbish (step forward Pirates of the Caribbean) while smaller films are ignored.
As the panel continued it seemed that the issue of whether the increase in space offered by the internet meant obscure films could and should be given more room became a prominent one and I’d be interested to see this expanded on next year. Could newspapers offer more equal space to blockbuster and niche films each week, pointing readers in the direction of the website for the full review of each? I think it’s at least worth experimenting with.
The general consensus seemed to be that at the moment we’re in the eye of the storm and as such it’s too early to say what direction things will go.
I also bumped into one of the chaps from another Edinburgh film blog, Eye for Film, so check them out if you get a chance.
No films watched today as I wrote some reviews up and planned the final days of the Festival.