off the record
When Roger Ebert died last week at age 70, it seemed that everyone had a story or a fond memory to share about him. It’s rare for a critic to be so beloved, but Mr. Ebert—much like Christopher Hitchens, who died in 2011—had a reputation for kindness, even if his writing could sting.
“It’s a Read More
new york film festival
Last year, the New York Film Festival threw galas in honor of two great cinema auteurs, David Cronenberg and Pedro Almodóvar, on the occasion of screenings of their respective new films, A Dangerous Method and The Skin I Live In. This year, the festival is throwing a similar fete in honor of the Southern-noir pulp Read More
Yesterday we wrote about the second-best movie critic fan Tumblr (besides F*ck Yeah, Rex Reed, of course): A.O. Scott Zingers. After noting that The New York Times‘ reviewer had only been quoted on the site twice this year, we sent a message to Mr. Scott on Twitter and asked what he thought of a whole Tumblr dedicated to his movie take-downs.
top of the tumblr
It’s a rare critic among us who can elevate the dissection of someone else’s work into its own separate art form. The New York Times‘ A.O. Scott, with his combination of whimsical praise and scorched-earth snark, happens to be one of them. His reviews are driven by movie narratives, but they are also mini-lessons on film theory, biting satirical commentary, and extremely literary. It’s worth reading his reviews of movies you aren’t even planning to see. (We still maintain that his Melancholia review might have been as beautiful and poetic as the film itself, if not more so.)
Really though, we read every A.O. Scott review secretly hoping he hated the film, so we can giggle over his hysterically funny take-downs. (See: Shutter Island, perhaps our favorite non-Observer movie review of all time.) And now there’s a Tumblr for that, too!
Last night at the Gagosian Gallery’s opening reception for Gregory Crewdson’s latest photography series Sanctuary, a humbly dressed A.O. Scott seemed slightly out of place as the Upper East Side types packed the room.
Mr. Scott will host a Times Talks panel with Mr. Crewdson in October and, at the artist’s invitation, penned an essay Read More
Reason No. 68 why the disconnect between film critics and moviegoers is bigger than ever: The elitism of the old guard. Over the course of the past week, well known and nominally intelligent film critics Roger Ebert and A.O. Scott both wrote that the decline of the film industry Read More
Critics are falling all over themselves to laud Gus Van Sant’s Milk. Some seem to love one scene in particular:
A.O. Scott, The New York Times:
One of the first scenes in ‘Milk’ is of a pick-up in a New York subway station. It’s 1970, and an insurance executive in Read More
In this weekend’s ‘Arts & Leisure’ section of The New York Times, film critic A.O. Scott offers a treatise on Hollywood’s continued interest in Holocaust films headlined Never Forget. You’re Reminded.
Buried in Mr. Scott’s take on what some people wryly call "Shoah Business" is an intriguing aside:
Why do opportunistic, clever young Read More
Question: What is the opposite of a critic’s darling? Answer: Eric Schaeffer.
Mr. Schaeffer, who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, seemed on the verge of a charmed career after his first movie, My Life’s in Turnaround , was all the rage at the Sundance Film Festival in 1993. The critics liked Read More
If John J. Sirica Jr. has his way, a little bit of Renata Adler’s memoir Gone: The Last Days of the New Yorker might be gone sometime soon. On Valentine’s Day, the son of the late Watergate judge faxed Simon & Schuster Trade Division editor-in-chief Michael Korda requesting the removal of certain passages about his Read More