Richard Horgan, over at FilmStew, chews over a bunch of recent news regarding the demise of both print newspapers and professional film criticism, and arrives at an interesting place when he writes, in conclusion:
“In a sense, the Internet has turned the entire world into one big test screening audience. Scraps, rumors, planted AICN items and more are fomented to determine which way the hoi polloi
compass is pointing. And if you think it’s crazy now, just wait until
the studios can point, via secure and super-fast broadband download,
specifically requested movies to specific individual citizen critics — customized to their articulated likes and dislikes, this transom will
constitute the final dagger in the heart of professional film criticism.”
I’ve written about this before, because it’s already going on to a certain extent in the manner in which some studios are playing coy, and keep-away, with genre product, crafting selective invite lists apparently based solely on whom they feel will be most receptive to (read: non-critical of) their movies. But Horgan is right — once the ability and technology of targeted download is upon us, print publications will be mortally wounded as far as arts coverage. The bigger point here, though, is that most Hollywood studio PR machines regard the Internet as inherently more corruptible, susceptible to back-slapping and favor-trading.