Described as “widely quoted” film critic Paul Fischer got caught plagiarizing. The Vancouver Sun ran a very long for a newspaper piece about Fischer’s lifting. According to the piece, which is cringe inducing on all fronts, Fischer wrote fawning, ridiculously kind things about horrible movies (i.e. Rent). Then at Sundance this year he lifted whole paragraphs from the film guide often doling out outlier negative reviews. The article shows proof. And on top of all of that – he’s a jerk to his colleagues.
So take note: if you’re a jerk to your colleagues – you better be competent at your job. Also if you’re going to give BAD film reviews of tiny film festival movies, don’t cut and paste the film guide.
I tried to ask Fischer about his plagiarism through his Twitter account. He didn’t deny the allegations – instead, he closed his account to public viewing.
His editor at Moviehole, Clint Morris, hasn’t responded to requests for comment. Garth Franklin, the owner of Dark Horizons website, said via Twitter, “Where’s the proof,” then deleted the question from his account when I sent said proof to him via email. He has run Fischer’s work without question for over a decade, despite regular attacks on the writer’s credibility.
Brooks Addicott is the associate director of Media Relations at the Sundance Institute. She was alarmed to hear about Fischer’s transgressions and, once presented with the evidence, suggested the festival might need to reevaluate Fischer’s accreditation at the festival.
You should read the whole piece but this quote is worth an honorable mention:
Cinematical’s Scott Weinberg said of Fischer, “The guys at Enron had more class and professionalism.”
It’s almost retro, right?
The topper is a quote from the always awesome Roger Ebert:
“Employers are eager to replace us with Celeb Info-Nuggets that will pimp to the mouth-breathers, who underline the words with their index fingers whilst they watch television,” wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic at the Sun-Times, before recalling the words of fellow Pulitzer winner David Mamet to his long-time TV partner Gene Siskel: “As a critic, everything you say depends on your credibility. When you sell that, somebody else owns it.”
Photo credit eCritic