“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 departed the Patheos network in order to escape click-bait advertisements that were offending him and his readers. He will re-launch Looking Closer at lookingcloser.org soon. He is the author of The Auralia Thread, a four-volume fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors, and a memoir of "dangerous moviegoing" called Through a Screen Darkly. He teaches creative writing and film studies; speaks internationally about art and faith; served as Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College; and is employed by Seattle Pacific University as a project manager, copyeditor, and writer.


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