Gerald Peary – For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (2009)

Actress Patricia Clarkson narrates this documentary dramatizing the unique history of American film criticism. In addition to eliciting the thoughts and opinions of such respected film critics as Jonathan Rosenbaum, J Hoberman, Andrew Sarris, Roger Ebert, Kenneth Turan, Lisa Schwarzbaum, and A.O. Scott, the filmmakers also speak with internet-based critics like Harry Knowles and Karina Longworth, who offer a fresh perspective on the ongoing battle between upcoming on-liners and their print publication counterparts.


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  1. Any possibility of a re up please?

  2. Please indulge here some plaudits for TCM channel. Along with **this** outstanding film blog, TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is truly a treasure, and if it is available where you are, you should definitely seek it out. Where else are you likely to find a majority of the films discussed in the fine Scorsese documentaries “A Personal Journey Through American Movies” and “My Voyage to Italy”, the Tavernier retrospective survey of French Cinema, Mark Cousins’ documentaries on film, etc. ? TCM will show Silents, Film Noir, a varied range of foreign language films (even premieres) up to those of a few years go, from filmmakers either celebrated or relatively little known. They have programming devoted to each of those categories, as well as for “Underground” films. (In the process, it is true that you will have to sift through a considerable amount of routine, forgettable fare from their vast library of 1930s titles. But that is a small chore to pay.) They featured THIS documentary; they are where I first discovered Tarkovsky’s short “The Steamroller and the Violin.”
    One by one, we have over time seen any plausible competition fall by the wayside: Bravo, then IFC (Independent Film Channel), then Sundance Channel, as each in turn gave way to a commercials-based format, and started making cuts or other alterations for content or for running time etc. So, most of the dedicated film buffs I know have banished each of these channels after they faltered. The Filmstruck experiment has ended. (But there have been reports of a Criterion Channel being in the works ?)

    I’m not arguing for a financially impractical ‘No Commercials At All’ policy. TCM effectively does that, if you discount some self-promos, featurettes, and in-house merchandise. That said, they make a major effort to obtain the most complete version of films that can be found, while never interrupting or mangling them. Even the MGM channel takes a better path then most of the others, staging just one “intermission” halfway through a film, and otherwise lumping all of their commercials into blocks, between films.

    Anyway, among what survives that is widely available on most cable or satellite channel rosters — often at no extra charge — only Ted Turner’s creation has stuck to its founding principles — and is likely to continue doing so while he is still around. It is a rare jewel amidst a sea of dross.

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