Our Inadequate Critics | Letters | Chicago Reader

Our Inadequate Critics 


To the editor:

It's bad enough that Fred Camper is given space in your publication as an art reviewer, but now and then he appears as a film critic as well. I found his review of the Sticks and Stones portion of Women in the Director's Chair especially inadequate [Critic's Choice, March 21]. Contrary to his assessment of the four films shown that night, I found Cline's Pretty Mean to be an engaging and highly intelligent investigation into the impossibility of voyeuristic satisfaction. What Camper calls a "small gem," Silverbush's Sticks and Stones, was on the other hand a miniature version of Hollywood's boy-coming-of-age formula, a sappy genre apparently limitless in its ability to be regenerated and uncritically consumed by a narcissistic audience ad nauseam.

It's a shame that a "critic" given as much room as Camper grades the cultural projects set before him according to how well they reflect his limited and conservative mindset. If the art he reviews is in any way relevant to contemporary societal issues, I'd never know it after drowning in a sea of trivial personal anecdotes and melodramatic adjectives. Certainly there are writers in our midst who are aware of the wider social and aesthetic concerns which art of any worth engages.

Carol Jackson


Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

More by Carol Jackson

Popular Stories