By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Jonathan Rosenbaum

“What does being a film critic mean? It means in my case having a forum to write about things that matter a great deal to me, including film—though by no means restricted to that topic. I hope to reach other people who care passionately about the same things, and what I hope to commu­nicate above all is the passion and interest that we share. We don’t have to agree. “I like to think of myself as an airplane, not an airport,” Jean-Luc Godard once said to me in an interview, and I feel the same way. In other words, I’d be happy in some cases if readers use me to travel somewhere—somewhere specified by them and not by me—and then get off, rather than just regard me and what I have to say as the final destination. Dialogue adds up to more than monologue—at least if it includes multiple viewpoints rather than simple assent. It’s also true, of course, that in my criticism I’m often proselytizing on behalf of certain films and filmmakers, which means that I hope some things will be more widely seen. But that doesn’t mean that I always learn the most from the critics I agree with, or that I necessarily expect readers to take what I say without a discussion or an argument. As Manny Farber has suggested, evaluations often turn out to be the least important aspects of criticism, and I’m particularly fascinated by those moments in his own writing when you can’t even tell whether he’s ridiculing or celebrating something. By and large, I’m most in favor of whatever takes film out of the realm of business, since just about everything in our life and culture seems bent on placing it exclusively in those terms, which I generally find both limited and monotonous. I realize it’s important for business people to keep up with film as a business, but why anyone else should care how much money someone else makes is a total mystery to me. There’s so much else to think and write about, although sometimes it becomes necessary to discuss cer­tain aspects of business that get in the way of criticism.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles