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Alan Parker on Critics

The Late Sir Alan Parker on Critics: “In the early days I was very much bothered, yes. The French critics were particularly difficult if they hated the work. But then you meet them and I wouldn’t want to have a cup of coffee with some people! They are a different kind of people, really. My films were seen in fifty countries around the world, and every country has at least twenty film critics. There’s a lot of people making passing judgments on what you do. It’s easier now, in a way, because the film critics are younger. Back then, most of the film critics belonged to a different era: I was the young filmmaker, and they were the elderly critics. That’s a very important demographic, you know? They came from a totally different kind of cinema, and mine was not acceptable to them. But throughout the history of art, if you want to call film art, critics have not always accepted significant artists. When you become older, you become more philosophical, that’s probably why I bother much less today. If my work is over-praised, I find that embarrassing, too. It’s interesting with my art, I had a big exhibition of my stuff this year in May. I was not sensitive to what people felt at all. Not that there were critics looking at it, I didn’t invite them, nobody knew I was doing it. I don’t worry so much, I don’t know what it is. I think it’s because I can do a painting, and if someone doesn’t like it, I’ll do another one. Film is two years of your life, you become very protective of it, very sensitive to what people think. The Life of David Gale had very good reviews, too. For all of my fourteen films, if you really look, you’ll find a bad review for every single one of them, just like you’ll find a fantastic review for all of them. It’s very subjective.”

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