Daily Archives: March 7, 2007

Film Writing on the Web: Some Personal Reflections

From Film Quarterly, March 2007, vol. 60, no. 3; reprinted in Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia. Obviously some of this is out of date by now. — J.R.

There’s a part of me that understands perfectly why a
minimalist like Jim Jarmusch and a 19th century figure like
Raul Ruiz won’t have anything to do with email. “You can’t
smell email,” Ruiz once said to me, to explain part of the
reason for his distaste. But I find it tougher to feel
nostalgic about film criticism before the Internet, because
even though you could smell it, the choices of what you
could lay your hands on outside a few well-stocked
university libraries were fairly limited. Similarly, the
choices of what films you could see outside a few cities
like New York and Paris before DVDs was pretty narrow, and
possibly even more haphazard than what you could read about
them.

These two developments shouldn’t be considered in
isolation from one another. The growth of film writing on
the web —- by which I mean stand-alone sites, print-magazine
sites, chatgroups, and blogs —- has proceeded in tandem with
other communal links involving film culture that to my mind
are far more important than the decline in the theatrical
distribution of art films and independent films, so I’ll be
periodically discussing those links here.… Read more »