Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.


Tag: criticism

Dan Olson breaks down a prime example of the wrong way to construct a film. But there’s still a question left unanswered: if so much of The Snowman’s issues derive from lack of time and/or budget, why was the film so rushed in the first place? What marketing or other constraints dictated the poor creative decisions, and why? That’s the untold story I want to know. #video

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Harris Bomberguy and Shannon Strucci essay the concerns with rewriting cultural history that the concept of the ‘director’s cut’ provokes. And there’s more than could be explored; for instance, how much is Coppola’s ‘final cut’ of Apocalypse Now derived from a creative motive (a need to right ‘wrongs’) or a profit motive (successful wine business aside, he hasn’t made a relevant film for decades, but people still love Apocalypse Now, so…). #video

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Posting this more for its latter-half review of Midsommar — and its very fair criticism — than its brief intro to folk horror, which is conspicuously absent the films of Ben Wheatley as a recent contemporary take of the folk horror genre. #video

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Childish Gambino and how the internet killed the cultural critic

This is less about that Childish Gambino video in and of itself and more an apologia for that facile kind of ‘fit this thing I don’t quite understand into the immutable category framework already established for myself’ as a placeholder for more rigorous media and cultural literacy/analysis (cf Dan Olson’s video on ‘Annihilation and Decoding Metaphor’). It’s ironic that the article is almost entirely uncritical of Fandom with a capital F’s blindness to context beyond its own bubbles. And especially grating when it slaps down such straw-man dingers like “the impartiality of reviewers was of dubious provenance anyway”. #link

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Spoiler alert: People don’t hate spoilers … or do they?

Key quote here: “…minimising the window between the premiere and the global release date is a way of controlling and minimising discourse. If critics are not allowed to reveal even the most trivial details, they cannot engage with the material in any meaningful way.” #link

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Lindsay Ellis’ video essay on why Bright doesn’t work is worth your time. #video

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Towards a Poetics of Audio: The Importance of Criticism

The academic tone meant I really only skimmed this (lo, the spectre of TL;DR!) but I thought it still worth a link: as the format matures with the freedom accorded by the availability of the necessary technology (for production and distribution alike) we’ll need deeper critical studies of some kind to grow along with it. [c/o 5it#link

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Do you need to see a film twice for it to work?

That’s a good question. Certainly there are films that grow better with age, and multiple viewings can reveal new things with each experience. But does that mean said films need to be seen more than once to be fair in judgement about them? I don’t think so, and if that’s what the filmmaker intends, then that’s a bad filmmaker. Speaking as a reviewer? It’s not a prerequisite to watch more than once, since the vast majority of people will pay to see a movie only once. That doesn’t, however, preclude reappraising a film after the fact. (Also: I’m not a re-reader of books, and I don’t think it’s fair to compare books with films in that respect; the investment of time and mental resources is completely different.) #link

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Andrew Ellard’s social stories

The writer and script editor collecting tweeted thoughts on various TV and film type things. Can’t say I agree with everything, and certainly not his take on the Ghostbusters reboot (it’s not a fraction as funny as it thinks it is, and I fucking hate the Holtzmann character). But his tweets on Rogue One get to the nuts and bolts of why it doesn’t really work. My own review is superficial in hindsight, too forgiving of its flaws, but it’s a fairly superficial movie that I was evaluating in the context of a greater disappointment. #link

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This video gets a bit too cute in its definition of passable (focusing on certain film tropes ‘passing’ for genuine human interactions, but ignoring that such tropes have an important role to play in the medium). Still, the bigger point stands; I’ve seen far too many passable movies lately — and been permissive about it, too. My film diet needs greater nutritional value. #video

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RUMBLEMETRICS

‘Poetic impressions’ of the annual Royal Rumble. Just three months till the next one! #link

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