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On the Role of Context in Film Criticism

IFC host Matt Singer joined the /Filmcast this week, for a fascinating discussion about Gareth Edwards’ Monsters. Afterwards, he wrote this great essay on the role of context in film criticism, an especially important issue in evaluating an ultra-low budget film like Monsters:

In the case of “Monsters,” I think our review of the film was fair. The film has strengths and weaknesses, and I don’t think the extraneous matters surrounding the former compel you to simply ignore the latter. You don’t need to see other Ford films to dig “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” You might need to know about its production history to really love “Monsters” (if you don’t believe me, read the online comments from viewers who clearly didn”t know much about the movie outside its trailer and were disappointed by the film).

Couldn’t have said it better myself. All of Matt’s work is thought-provoking, and I love it when we get him on the show.