On Monday morning, the good folks over at IFC reported on a screening at the University of California at Los Angeles of Gerald Peary's documentary about film criticism, For the Love of Movies, which was followed by a q&a with Peary and fellow critics Richard Schickel, Ella Taylor, and John Powers among others. Notably, among the participants there was no one representing online film criticism, as there seldom is in what today constitutes "serious" conversations about the industry. But notwithstanding Schickel's perhaps superficially understandable but no less obnoxious dismissal of documentary participant Harry Knowles based entirely upon his appearance, he and his colleagues essentially recapitulated the same idea that mainstream journalistic outlets have asserted for years: print criticism may be dying, but it's still a thousand times better than online criticism.
Schickel, who is now retired, wrote for more than 40 years, and provided criticism through enough epochal times in movie history to earn a sense of incredulity at the current state of his chosen field. But his and others' deliberate ignorance of online criticism and the relevance of the medium only further underscores the fact that it suffers primarily if not exclusively because so few who do it seem to know what it actually means to be a film critic in 2010.