Popular Film Criticism in Media Culture (8/9/09; SCMS Los Angeles)

full name / name of organization: 
Will Scheibel
contact email: 

Society for Cinema & Media Studies Conference, March 17-21, 2010
The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles, CA

Deadline for submissions to this panel: August 9, 2009 11:59 PM CST

Submissions sought for a panel that considers the relationship between film reviewing and media culture. Papers addressing film criticism in ways that relate to the overall conference theme (SCMS at 50: Archiving the Future/Mobilizing the Past) are particularly welcome.

Cinema scholars such as Robert Kapsis, Barbara Klinger, and Charles Maland have examined the role of reviews in discursively constructing popular genres and directorial reputations during the Classical Hollywood era. Over the past three years, however, more than 55 professional film critics have lost their jobs, a statistic reported by Sean P. Means of The Salt Lake Tribune, who attributes this plight to buyouts, layoffs, reassignment, retirement, or the death of their print publications. Meanwhile, online criticism continues to flourish, as evidenced by review aggregators such as Rotten Tomatoes, movie websites such as IMDB, and blogs dedicated to film analysis and evaluation. This panel aims to investigate not only the status of the film critic in the contemporary mediascape, but also the impact of print and Internet film reviewing on global cinema culture.

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

- Film reviews as historical evidence
- The future of film criticism
- Reviewing, academia, and cinephilia
- Popular opinion, moviegoing, and the DVD market
- Film criticism and film advertising
- The cultural presence of the public intellectual
- Canonicity, connoisseurship, and taste politics
- Print media vs. new media
- Coverage of international/independent films and film festivals
- Genre definitions (e.g. David Edelstein's coinage of "torture porn")
- The cult of the director

Send 300 word abstract and full academic CV (as separate e-mail attachments) to: Will Scheibel (willscheibel@gmail.com). Submitters will be notified as to the status of their proposal by August 15. Please visit the SCMS website for more details about the 2010 conference: http://www.cmstudies.org/

Will Scheibel
Indiana University
Department of Communication & Culture
800 East Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47404