Aug 16, 2012

Joel Hodgson on Criticism

At least that's the way I read this quote from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator:
Watching a movie is almost like falling asleep into the movie. You get taken away by the movie and you don’t want to be awoken, but then there are these things that keep bothering you, that wake you up as a viewer. I’m like everybody else—when I go to a movie, I want to forget that I’m watching a movie. I want to be in it. If that doesn’t happen, what do you do? Who are you then? Then you’re a person who has to evaluate why this movie hasn’t taken you away, why it hasn’t worked.
That's as good a description of the critical impulse as I can think of. As one matures, though, it's clear that the harder task is to be a good critic of the things you actually do love—the things that let you "fall asleep into them." Criticism is at least partly a form of biography, and after the initial awakening of a critical sensibility, finding and parsing your own affinities, honing your own subjectivity, becomes the real task.

1 comment:

Cristofer Gross said...

A nice poetic spin on the task, which also reminds that critics are – usually – first lovers of the form, and then lovers who take on the thankless job of trying to make it better.