Use and exchange
the politics of film evaluation
This chapter is written by someone who is rather hostile towards evaluation, who habitually rails against unsubstantiated value judgements, whether made within student essays, journalistic reviews or academic theory and criticism. However, evaluation unavoidably informs much of my own — and others' — academic practice, in terms not just of assignments set and marks given, but of courses taught, films screened, readings used, areas and issues researched and critical and theoretical perspectives employed. Proceeding to discuss a pair of films of contrasting critical standing, Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) and Waiting to Exhale (Forest Whitaker, 1995), this chapter interrogates the topic of film evaluation, and its ramifications, which are, inescapably, political. This is not an original claim.1 What follows nevertheless seeks to address the politics of film evaluation more particularly than has heretofore been the case.
Grist, L. (2011)., Use and exchange: the politics of film evaluation, in L. Hubner (ed.), Valuing films, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 13-31.
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