Drew McWeeny asks whether or not it’s appropriate for filmmakers to strike back after a negative review of their film. In referring to Calvin Reeder and his film, The Rambler, McWeeny writes, “He should say what he has to say with his films, I should say what I have to say with my reviews, and everything else should be tabled as needless noise that detracts from us both.”
I don’t agree with McWeeny here – informed dialogue after a movie has been released and written about can benefit both the filmmaker, the public, and film critics. Just look at what happened with that Django Unchained incident, after all.
That being said, I don’t think Reeder is the standard bearer for what constitutes a civilized response. Based on his communications on his Facebook page and on the comments on the Hitfix post, he seems more interested in sniping and destroying McWeeny’s credibility than in actually engaging in a serious dialogue.
But to me, there is no question that a person who makes their living talking about their opinion on the works of others should be able to have their work commented on. How productive that commenting is, and in what venue it occurs are the unresolved questions.