The Future of Film Criticism: School or No?

According to a recent article by Tom Shone of The Guardian titled “Should Film Critics Care About Cinematic Technique?” there is an ongoing debate in all of cinema about the future of film criticism. This debate entails whether or not film critics for magazines, blogs, and newspapers should be required to undergo some form of formal film education in order to better understand things such as, but not limited to, camera work, the film which a movie is shot on, and direction styles. As it currently stands most critics stick to things that do not require a film-school education to critique; these are things such as the acting style and the storyline/plot of the film.

Current critics argue that if they are required to go to film school, through the understanding of the work that is put into each individual shot created by the artistic vision of the director that they may not feel comfortable criticizing as harshly on the more trivial things such as acting. This would stem from an appreciation of everything that the actor, director, and camera worker had to put into each individual frame to create the piece, despite how amazing or poorly acted this scene, let alone all the scenes, might be. Still other critics claim that they should only have the experience of seeing a movie once, without a full understanding of how everything works, because this is the experience the audience would get, and let’s face it: that is who is going to be reading these reviews.

The counter argument states that these things that are learned in a formal film education are what make up the, as said by Matt Zoller Seitz of New York Magazine, “nuts and bolts” of film. To know what goes into the making of a film is to fully understand and comprehend what it means to have that movie. In a day and age where we, as a people, are overrun with technology, we can use the internet to find out anything and everything in a plot summary of a film even before it is released. If a critic is able to tell the audience, which is a key word in both sides of the debate, what makes the cinematography of this particular film in comparison to all other films, whether good or bad, could completely change the outcome of how people see that particular piece of art.

The fact that a film is just that, a work of art, is often forgotten. This begs the question ‘would people actually care to know how a certain scene was shot?’. Unfortunately art isn’t what sells cinema. A strong line of well-known actors, whether it be for their looks or their talent, a major producer, and an at least pseudo-entertaining script is all that is required to catch the attention of the typical movie goer. So then, is it really necessary for critics to write about things such as camera angles or visual effects? Would the general public read it, or would it be another student loan that unfortunately in today’s society went unnoticed?

Article by Krista Schrader

E.H. Mathis Gallery hosts Racine Art Guild

Imagine painting the landscape in front of you in one sitting. This is what the Racine Art Guild has done for their exhibit in the E.H. Mathis gallery at Parkside. This painting style has its roots in the French impressionists who left their studios behind and painted outside. These paintings are started and completed in the same sitting. This is a juried show and is juried by Lisa Marie Barber, associate professor of Arts at Parkside. The exhibit will run until May 18.

Each piece is painted on or near Parkside. Walking through the breathtaking exhibit it is easy to see familiar clusters of trees or walking paths. Some of these works are offered for sale while others are just displayed. The works range from fall through winter as is visible by falling leaves and snow covered trees in the landscape. While each artist is using the same general method to create their work, it is easy to see how each individual artist brings their unique ability into the painting. One could easily spend extended amounts of time exploring each artist’s use of the light and their view that they decided to share with us. While viewing the works in the gallery it is impressive to see each artist’s view of the nature scenes around Parkside in their eyes. One artist focused on a leaf, while another focused on the broader view of a snow covered hill with an empty bench. Although each work is different due to different visions of the artists, the similarity throughout the exhibit is flawless.

While the exhibit brings together the work of many wonderful artists it is interesting to see how each painting lends itself into the next one. Starting from the right side of the exhibit one sees trees in various forms of undress as they prepare for the winter and lose their leaves. Going further into the gallery the loss of leaves and the addition of snow in many of the paintings can be seen. Some of the artists focused on a single tree or cluster of trees while others used a small scene to show the viewer what they were seeing.

This is a collection of art that is special to have at UW-Parkside, as it is a scene most people on campus see daily. These woirks are done by local artists, and to visit the gallery is free. It is open Monday-Friday from 9AM-4PM. Take the time to browse the gallery and see the works of art that they have on display.

Article by Kari Tower-Sevick

Comic book creator visits Parkside

This week will prove exciting for Parkside students and staff as John Porcellino will be visiting our campus to both speak and conduct a workshop for anyone interested in attending. Who is John Porcellino? For those that aren’t familiar with the name, Porcellino is a creator of comic books and is best known for his self-published, mostly autobiographical mini-comic series King-Cat, which happens to be one of the longest running mini-comics around today. Porcellino has been at it for over twenty-five years, creating comics, graphic novels, and mini-comics, including King-Cat which he started writing and illustrating in 1989. He has been considered an inspiration to the modern comic creator given the style of his artwork and what he has been able to accomplish for the medium.

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The Walking Dead game review

The critically acclaimed and award-winning The Walking Dead is a game that’s outcome fully depends on what dialogue options and heart wrenching choices your character makes along the way. It follows the story of an ex-convict named Lee who is on his way to prison when the outbreak happens. When his car crashes, he finds himself a survivor in a place where the dead have risen and are hungry for living flesh. He meets a young girl early on named Clementine and takes on the task of trying to help keep her alive and to help her find her parents. They meet friends and foes along the way, some stay loyal and some move on, but Lee and Clem always are looking out for each other.

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