CinÉireann December 2017 - Page 16

CRITICISM HAS EXISTED AS LONG AS ART ITSELF ARTICLE  BY DARREN MOONEY Early in Mel Brooks’ History of the World: Part I, narrator Orson Welles suggests the history of the art through paintings on cave walls. "With the birth of the artist, came the inevitable afterbirth," reflects Welles, as one member of the tribe proceeds to urinate upon the finished cave painting. “The critic.” to sustain itself, but one with form and function worthy of appreciation. There are any number of examples; James Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work, Virginia Woolf’s Three Guineas, Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage. Even Roger Ebert’s film reviews might be read as a pleasure unto themselves. streaming applications. Film studios race to figure out how best to keep audiences buy film tickets and paying for home media. Television companies are operating at peak capacity, churning out content in order to fill limitless broadcast space and to serve as a potential bulwark of a future streaming service. Many academics point to Aristotle’s Poetics as the first substantial work of literary criticism, dating back to the fourth century. The philosopher discussed and explored the impact and technique of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Criticism has taken many forms over the millennia.  The twenty-first century has revolutionised media production and consumption. The advent of the internet has changed everything, making almost anything available to everyone at every moment. The digital revolution has shaken the media industry to its core, with various strands finding themselves grappling with existential crises. With all of this change taking place, it makes sense that film criticism would face a similar challenge in adapting to the new media landscape. Indeed, it seems like the future of film criticism is debated with the same frequency (and to the same noncommittal conclusions) as any other entertainment industry.  Music companies compete with digital piracy, and struggle to remain afloat in the era of Are critics redundant? Are critics outdated? Do critics make a difference?  It seems fair to describe criticism as an art form of itself; an art dependent upon other art to