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Notebook on Cities and Culture S1E10: A Roomful of Strangers with Wade Major

Colin Marshall sits down in Santa Monica with Wade Major, senior film critic at Boxoffice, co-host of IGN’s Digigods, and regular participant on KPCC’s Filmweek. They discuss what Sucker Punch represents the coagulation of; whether it is a greater crime for Zack Snyder to make Zack Snyder movies sincerely, or for Zack Snyder to make Zack Snyder movies cynically; the importance of spontaneity, not formula, to creative business; the simultaneous democratization of criticism and of filmmaking itself; the world he emerged out of film school into; his father’s career in silent pictures; the philosophical differences between the film schools at USC, UCLA, and CalArts; the possibilities of a new business model for criticism meant to be read after seeing the movie; Pauline Kael’s conception of criticism as a means of keeping filmmakers honest; bigtime directors’ assumptions that they can’t make films about their real passions; The Artist as it taps into both filmmakers’ and critics’ fears of getting left behind; how without taste, you’ve lost; feeding off the energy of a roomful of strangers in actual theatrical screenings, and learning something about yourself at the same time; the “dysfunctional family” that is the Los Angeles Film Critics Association; the critic’s mandate to move film into a larger cultural context; and the director’s mandate to get out into the world and live before ever shooting a frame.

Download the interview from Notebook on Cities and Culture’s feed here or on iTunes here.

(Photo: Kristi Lake)

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