Best Film Sites, Blogs, Podcast and Critics of 2011
I spend quite a bit of my time every day browsing the internet and in knowing how much work is involved in running a website, producing and hosting a podcast and even writing a film review, I felt like taking some time away from my busy schedule to plug a few of my favourite websites, critics and podcasts from 2011.
Best New Discovery of 2011: Keyframe
Best Review Site: Slant Magazine
It helps that my favourite film critic Nick Schager writes for Slant, but in all honesty, every writer at Slant is extremely talented. Even if you don’t agree with their views (especially that of Ed Gonzalez), you can’t deny the sheer amount of talent Slant has assembled.
Three Best Movie Blogs
The House Next Door is the official blog of Slant Magazine, and is home to all things film, music, television, theater, politics, and more. Be sure to check out their daily links and film festival coverage.
Roger Ebert’s Journal
Everybody knows Roger Ebert the critic but you’ll be surprised how many are not aware of his blog. Personally I find Ebert’s journal far more interesting than his film reviews and highly recommend checking it out. In my humble opinion, Roger Ebert was the critic who had the best “Favorite Films of 2011” list. Notice how Shame (my favorite film of 2011) is in second place. Here is the link.
Three Favorite Critics
Most people look to critics for recommendations. They want to know if a film is worth their time and money. I personally try to see as many movies as I possibly can so I’m not interested in knowing if someone else thinks a film is worth my time or not. I believe you can learn something from even the worst films. I instead go to a critic in hope of getting a different perspective of a film and perhaps learning something new. That is one of the reasons why I refuse to have anyone on Sound On Sight rate a film with stars or numbers. I want to encourage readers to actually read the reviews and not simply look at the rating a film was given. My biggest pet peeve in life is hearing someone tell their friend a film is not wroth seeing simply because they noticed a critic gave it two stars and never bothered to read up on it. With that said, here are the three most interesting critics online.
Nick Schager – Why: I agree with Mr. Schager about 90 % of the times. We seem to have similar tastes but more importantly, the man is a talented writer and never seems to have any sort of personal agenda.
J. Hoberman – Why: I’ve been reading Mr. Hoberman’s reviews for years now. Sadly he was recently let go from The Village Voice, but I highly recommend hunting down his older work and reading some of the books he has written.
Armond White – Why: You don’t have to agree with White to appreciate his writing. Even when White tears apart a film you love, he does it in a way in which he can almost convince you he is right. I believe Mr. White could have made millions as a lawyer since he has such incredible skill in defending his point of view.
There is a ton of great movie podcasts online and personally I feel that podcasters have a bigger voice than traditional film critics who work in print magazines. Thus one of the reasons why I spend so much time each and every week working on the Sound On Sight podcast. I believe podcasting allows you to really shed a truthful and honest voice while showcasing a bit of your personality to the general public. Listeners are offered a chance to know the hosts of the show on a more personal level, therefor their opinions seem to matter more.
By far the most professional film podcast and perhaps the longest running film review show online. Sadly Matty Robinson quit the show in 2011, but thanks to Adam’s talent and hard work, Filmspotting is as strong as ever before. There’s a reason why filmmakers like Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) and critics like Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune jump at the opportunity to co-host an episode with Adam. In short, Filmspotting is and will always be the best film podcast you’ll ever hear.
Jeff Goldsmith’s Creative Screenwriting podcast lets the writers of some of the biggest movies take centre stage and discuss the creative process.
Best New Film Site
Next Projection is a Toronto based online publication which was launched in 2011. They have an incredible team that has grown to upwards of thirty individuals and feature a ton of great columns, including my personal favourite, Subversive Saturday.