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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Singer’

Marshall Fine and the TDRK Review Heard Around the Internet

Veteran film critic Marshall Fine’s personal website is cleverly titled Hollywood & Fine. But this week, as has now been famously documented, he was also placed at the intersection of passion & anonymity after posting to Rotten Tomatoes the first negative review of The Dark Knight Rises.

Matt Singer caught up with Fine today for an IndieWire “Critic Watch” Q&A. Fine was once fired by a Mississippi newspaper for panning an Anita Bryant concert performance, so the wrath of RT commenters pales in comparison. Nevertheless, Fine is to be commended for remaining so even-tempered about it all:

“I guess to me it [reader anger] crosses a line if someone shows up on my front step. Otherwise everyone’s entitled to their opinion. People have strong feelings about this stuff.”

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Stephanie Zacharek Dismissal a Sad, Familiar Plotline

How perilous have things become for journalists paid handsomely to review movies?

Put it this way. The ongoing dismissal of full-time film critics, to which the name of Movieline’s Stephanie Zacharek can be officially added July 13, grew into such a somber death march that Movie City News’ David Poland stopped formally tracking the print side of the trend a year and a half ago. “It was so depressing,” he tells FishbowlLA, “but my guess is that we’re down to around 80 full-time print film critics in the U.S.”

Indiewire’s Matt Singer first broke the news of Zacharek’s tweeted dismissal, eliciting comments of condolence from such notables as Roger Ebert and David Edelstein. Poland says people typically skip over a critical big picture element when discussing the dumping of marquee critics. Namely, that daily newspapers never took them that seriously in the first place.

“I think the most overlooked element in all these conversations is how abusive print was to criticism,” Poland says. “That the attitude about film criticism from traditional media – for decades – was that they could move someone from the city or obits desk, anywhere, and make them a film critic.”

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