Rethinking The Reviewer

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September 16, 2017

Is cultural criticism on the verge of extinction? Newspapers have laid off their theater and film critics, at least partly because blogs, websites, Facebook and Twitter allow readers to bypass the gatekeepers and publish their own opinions unfiltered, whether lengthy and measured or emotional and studded with emoji. So if everyone’s a critic online, does it mean that cultural criticism doesn’t matter anymore?

Flowering headphones

NPR music critic Ann Powers reflects on how Americans have used music to talk around their awkward feelings related to sex and race.

 "The Film Criticism of Otis Ferguson."

New York Times film critic A.O. Scott recommends the collected writings of film critic Otis Ferguson, a pioneer of the language of film criticism and advocate for all the types of labor that go into filmmaking.

A hipster cat poses for a hipster photo opp.

Every generation has critics who truly capture the cultural moment they’re living in. Today's may be Mark Greif, who has written memorably about the tyranny of food snobbery, the rise and fall of the hipster, and his own inability to love hip hop.

Chuck Klosterman

When you talk about people's personalities, he says, there's not many things more interesting than what they really want and can't get.


Show Details 📻
September 16, 2017
Ann Powers
NPR Music's Critic & Correspondent, Music Critic, Author
A.O. Scott
Film Critic for "The New York Times," Journalist, Author
Mark Greif
Writer and Cultural Critic, Educator
Last modified: 
May 16, 2018