“I don’t know if we’re living in the age of the critic. It’s more the age of criticism,” film critic A.O. Scott argued at the Future of Film Live Series: The Death of Film at the Tribeca Film Festival. Everyone seems to think they’re a critic on social media. As soon as a movie is released everyone is posting about it as if their opinion is the most relevant in the industry. Although misinformed critics can be destructive, people can freely engage in an open forum and access reviews across the board to capture the feeling that movies evoke to audiences. Regardless, consumers need to be particularly critical of which sources they deem as relevant in today’s blog friendly world.
The future of film is drastically changing, as film critic David Denby stated, “The studios aren’t working for us, they are working for the global market. It’s affecting our stories and content.” His declaration begs the question, is film dead? Studios aren’t producing art for art’s sake anymore, everything has a dollar sign attached. It is also not really evident whether the public has an inherent desire to consume art in such an attention deficit world. Unfortunately, Hollywood creates a cultural hegemony that only displays a portion of the vast amount of high quality content that is available through the mass media arena. The public is not able to find the majority of valuable content because the industry is no longer the stable artistic conglomerate it used to be. Thankfully, the independent world will always be relevant despite what the studios are producing and what content is available on the internet.
The Tribeca Film Festival displays edgy and experimental films that typical people would never find in the bounty of mass media content. “Even small movies can benefit from being seen on the big screen,” David Denby claimed. Watching a film in a movie theater is a fantastical experience that provides a level of escapism that just isn’t attainable through watching a movie on your computer screen. Tribeca Film launched an entire shorts program that featured experimental films on the big screen. Through these experimental pieces viewers were exposed to progressive state of the art creativity that filmmakers were able to communicate in ways the average viewer could never even fathom. The Tribeca Film Festival demonstrates art for art’s sake, which is an invaluable service.