Jonathan Rosenbaum (The House Next Door, 2006) : "To some limited extent, film can be a road into other cultures and other parts of the world, especially considering how isolated America is and how disastrous some of the consequences of those isolations are. You can see that in the newspaper every day. I feel that I am ignorant about the rest of the world, but an obvious way one can at least start to learn is through seeing films from other countries. I think that is an attitude shared by many people that I know. There is always talk about how there is no interest in foreign films, but I don’t think anybody knows what the audience wants. [..]
One thing that has been important to me is in some way to experiment with form in writing, including film criticism. Getting involved with collaborations and exchanges with other writers has also been very fruitful. I have done several books in collaboration with others. Movie Mutations, co-edited by the Australian film critic Adrian Martin, was written by several people from around the world. It’s made up of various exchanges, letters, and so on. Most people’s concept of writing is that it is a very solitary activity, but this was a very social, communal way of working."
Jonathan Rosenbaum (2009) : "[..] this criticism is often found today in different places (i.e., on the Internet and much less often in libraries), that there’s considerably more of it (including academic stuff, omitted from Peary’s survey), that whether or not it’s American is of little consequence (though whether or not it’s in English is vital), and that it’s about many more films than anyone could have possibly had access to between 1968 and 1980."It's time to realise that since Cinema is one quasi-united phenomenon (as seen at international festivals) therefore Film Criticism is also a one single discourse. Every critic talks about the same films. And English language criticism is hardly limited to the North-American media.
Adrian Martin (Undercurrent, 2006) : "On the general question of reviewing Australian films, I certainly think, for all the reasons that we've been saying, that a film reviewer's contract is with their reader. The contract is not with the film industry, it's not with filmmakers, it's not with the film funding bodies, it's not with the film industry in any way, shape, or form. In other words, the reader has to believe that I am telling the truth about what I felt about that film."Personally I believe that the only accountability of critics is toward Cinema, the art itself, the abstract entity. If readers and audience are dumb and demand entertainment, flourish style, star ratings and thumbs up/down... I say critics don't owe them anything! It's the habits of readers that participated to the newspaper crisis, so if we'd listen to them the self-promotional studio publicists would have won, and Film Culture would be left to the pundits...
Julie Rigg (Undercurrent, 2006) : "We shouldn't run a sheltered workshop for filmmakers just because they're local."
Lorena Cancela (Undercurrent, 2006) : "There are few occasions on which we Argentinean film critics are asked to discuss our own practice or what we have said or written about this or that. In general, the main topic is New Argentine Cinema (but now if it is dead or alive). Sometimes we tend to ignore what our colleagues are doing, or we pretend that we don't care: 'everybody knows what the colleagues are doing, but nobody talks about it.' "
The problem of insularity is not limited to national borders and domestic production. Sometimes it gets even more refined, breaking up national cinema in smaller territorial niches, defended by their guardians, who justify their own existence by calling the adverse camp "contrarians".
The contrarian fallacy : Armond White vs. the Hipsters (Lost In Negative Space, 2006)
Jonathan Rosenbaum (Chicago Reader, 2000) : "No less typical was the refusal of the New Yorker to give even capsule reviews to either Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man or Andre Techine’s Thieves, two of the most important U.S. releases of 1996 and the two movies I wanted to discuss on Chicago Tonight. Neither feature was deemed important enough by its film reviewers, yet Dead Man was distributed by Miramax and Thieves by Sony Classics. I don’t think Sony Classics could be blamed for the New Yorker ignoring Thieves; that neglect undoubtedly has much more to do with an overall neglect of foreign-language movies spearheaded by Pauline Kael during her last years as critic there, something that’s become commonplace in virtually all mainstream magazines since."
- see illustration here