“Only a Lover Can Be a Critic.”

Growing up, I loved Siskel & Ebert & The Movies, because unlike the entertainment reporters and talk-show hosts that aired earlier in the day, Siskel and Ebert talked about films. They weren’t concerned with gossip or awards or politics. They focused on movies, pure and simple. They argued a film’s merits and deficiencies. They praised good stories and lambasted bad ones. They knew what they liked and didn’t like, and they had the ability to explain why. From Siskel and Ebert, I began to learn the language of film criticism, but more than that, I began to learn how to better love films.

Only a lover can be a critic.

Elijah Davidson is talking about the question that will direct our discussions at the upcoming Reel Spirituality event: Is film criticism dead?

The question has been coming up a lot lately. That’s why I wrote a “Letter to a Young Film Critic,” which is available in the new issue of Comment magazine. Order your copy here.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.


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