Siskel and Ebert on How to Be a Critic

Found this gem in a tweet from @MarcDSchiller. It’s Siskel and Ebert talking about how to be a film critic. Many conversations at this past weekend’s DesignerCon revealed to me that artists and fans want to see more (call it what you like) opinion, critique, journalism, in toy art and art show reviews. I can’t not give my opinion, but it seems like most of my peers are either afraid to put theirs out there, or worse, bereft of anything to say from their own experience. Here are some of my favorite tips from two men who really know what they’re talking about:

Ebert: “There has to be some reporting in every review. There has to be something in there that conveys what the experience is like.”

Siskel: “You have to summon up the courage to say what you honestly feel. Wanting to be liked, wanting to go along with the group is death to a critic.”

Ebert: “There’s this rigid feeling that you have to keep your ideas within narrow boundaries or you’ll offend somebody. One of the purposes of criticism is to break boundaries. It’s also one of the purposes of art.”

Siskel: “When someone does stand apart and shoot their best shot, they’re going to be empowered by it.”