Even though I was the moderator of this panel from last month’s South by Southwest Film Festival about the state of film criticism, I’m looking forward to listening to it again. That’s because I don’t remember it — or much of anything from that part of SXSW — very well. Halfway through this year’s festival, I came down with an absolutely brutal flu bug. And I mean brutal: if DayQuil posts a big Q1 sales spike this year, I expect a kickback and a beautifully calligraphed thank you note. I was sucking those things down like Tic Tacs.
Thankfully, even though I was not at the top of my game, the panelists for this discussion were. Our “Criticwire Presents: Film Critics Versus the World,” featured Scott Weinberg from Twitch and Movies.com and Melissa Hanson from Cinemit, plus PMKBNC Executive Vice President of Film Marketing and Distribution Marian Koltai-Levine and “You’re Next” screenwriter Simon Barrett batting around some of the big film crit issues of our time. Through my acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and phenylephrine-induced fog, I recall some really interesting comments from Scott about the relationship between filmmakers and journalists (particularly at film festivals like SXSW), and from Marian about why, even in her line of work, bad reviews are important. And we also had some great questions from the audience at the end of the panel as well.
Beyond that, yeah, it’s a little dim. Lucky for you (and me), the lovely South By staff recorded the whole thing, and uploaded the full 60 minute conversation to Soundcloud for us all to enjoy. They did a great job, too; this thing sounds terrific. You can hear every individual molecule of phlegm in my throat as I croak my way through. Enjoy.