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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

“can women save film criticism?”

IndieWire covers a panel discussion in NYC:

In response to the titular question, panelists agreed on the struggles of sustaining oneself financially while working as film critics. “Journalism and jobs of people who write for a living are in danger,” said Slate critic Dana Stevens. “But I also think the web, and social media opened up other avenues for criticism, making it a more democratic endeavor, and less of an elite point.”

“Can women save film criticism as an occupation? No, it’s beyond hope,” said panelist Miriam Bale, who writes for the New York Times and other outlets. “It’s the only place I’ve seen that the rates get lower as you get more experience. But do I think women can save the culture of criticism? Maybe. I notice women whom I knew to be big film fans have this tendency to get really deep with what interests them. I think by opening that up, there is a chance to write different kinds of criticism than just reviews.” Bale also correlated having more female critics to challenging the problem of having few female directors, noting that more female voices could counter many male critics’ tendency to heroicize certain male directors.

Go read the whole thing. It’s not very hopeful, but at least someone is talking about women film critics.

My take on the question: If it’s a thankless, underpaid job… then of course it’ll be left to women to do. Thanks, guys!


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