Once again, Roger Ebert offers his illuminating perspective on the subject of film criticism.
A few excerpts:
“A lot of people don’t know what ‘critic’ means. They think it means, ‘a person who criticizes.’ They don’t like people who do that.”
Ebert begins his journal entry articulating this critical stance on critics:
“Criticism is a destructive activity. If I like something and the critics didn’t, they can’t see what’s right there before their eyes because they’re in love with some theory. They don’t have feelings; they have systems. They think they know better than creators. They praise what they would have done, instead of what an artist has done. They use foreign words to show off. They’re terrified of being exposed as the empty poseurs they are. They are leeches on the skin of art.”
and then he offers his opinion of opinions:
“It is not important to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ It is important to know why you hold an opinion, understand how it emerged from the universe of all your opinions, and help others to form their own opinions. There is no correct answer. There is simply the correct process. ‘An unexamined life is not worth living.’ Too many simply absorb. They are depositories for input. They can hardly be expected to be critical of their own tastes, can they? Of course they can.”