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November 23, 2008


Mark Bell

Thom doesn't read Film Threat, does he? We cover docs pretty hard (and not just the ones that wind up getting the mainstream press). Or maybe we don't count in the world of criticism, being neither a magazine (anymore) nor a newspaper. Oh well...


Right, seemingly bloggers still don't count for much--well, most of us anyway.

Matthew Lucas

Part of the problem is the overall lack of accessibility to documentaries. I write for a paper that serves a relatively small town for which a drive to an art house theater could take over an hour. And even then the presence of documentaries are few and far between. I would LOVE to review more documentaries in the paper, but and forced to relegate that to my blog because my editor understandably doesn't want reviews of films that aren't playing nearby, despite my desire to introduce a rural area to things they might not otherwise would have tried or even heard of.

I don't have a solution, but I don't think the blame necessarily lies with the critics.

Thom Powers

Mark & Pamela, I didn’t mean to slight the efforts of Film Threat or bloggers. In the case of Film Threat, I’ve followed its growth ever since the 1980s when it started as a Xeroxed fanzine near my home in suburban Detroit. I applaud its effort to review lower profile docs such as Hi My Name is Ryan, Frontrunners, and Heavy Metal in Baghdad. And I applaud blogs like Pamela Cohn’s Still In Motion that fill a void (as I stated in my piece). I can’t tell if you only reacted to AJ’s quotation or read my whole posting (if the latter, why not comment directly on STFdocs?). Maybe you didn’t reach the part where I herald the new forums of the Internet. Despite the admirable efforts being made in these venues, they tend toward different activities than what I would call “in-depth criticism” - the kind of long, reflective essays like the example I used of Jonathan Rosenbaum. I’d be very pleased to see Film Threat or bloggers push deeper in that direction.

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