I'm beginning a new venture here at Apocalypse Now: The Encyclopedia of Film Criticism. Lately I've gone looking for details about some of my favourite critics and found the resources online decidely lacking. There are fantastic collections of online criticism (Please oh please head over to Criticsroundup.com, which is an invaluable site run by a stand-up guy. I can't stress how great and important a place like that is) but nowhere that compiled biographical resources for critics like Kent Jones, Dennis Lim, J. Hoberman, Dan Sallitt, Lindsay Anderson, etc. etc. etc. In other words I knew less about some of the most important voices in film criticism than I deemed acceptable. So I'm out to right that wrong and hopefully compile enough info to make a comprehensive guide to the art of criticism available to whomever needs that info. Every week I'll try to post a new entry on a critic, journal or school of thought.
A typical entry will look something like this:
"And just as we hear the voices of his characters in [Terence Malick's] movies, I hear film critics wherever I go."
Contributed to: RogerEbert.com, Film Comment, Apocalypse Now, Mostly Film, NoBudge.com.
Influences: David Cairns, Matt Zoller Seitz, Scott 'El Santo' Ashlin, Nathan Rabin, Lindsay Anderson, Kevin B. Lee, Ben Sachs, Mark Kermode, Adam Cook, Roger Ebert, Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Noted champion of: John Carter, MST3K, James Gray, Beloved Sisters, Tobe Hooper.
Scout Tafoya (June 7th, 1989-) is a filmmaker and critic from Doylestown, PA. He's the head writer and editor at the arts blog Apocalypse Now, contributes video essays to Rogerebert.com, and he has written for Nobudge.com and Mostlyfilm.com. He graduated from Emerson College, but started writing about film in high school. He often writes in a very personal, first person style. He's fond of parenthetical asides, standing up for oddball critical failures and falling asleep in films in order to merge them with dreams and feel like he's living in them. He often writes about zones of unconsciousness only reachable in film and the different ways celluloid and digital reach them. He's something of a cheerleader for other critics in his writing and on twitter.
Known for: nothing in particular, but for the sake of the Template, let's say The Unloved, a video essay series made with the help of Matt Zoller Seitz, editor-in-chief at Rogerebert.com. The essays reconsider the merits of many films considered failures at the time of their release.
Take all that about me with a grain of salt, it's just an example. Anyway, that's the template. Suggestions are not just welcome, they're imperative. There's no way I know everything I need to in order to make this project as good as it could be, so for crying out loud chime in loudly and often. Thank you and I hope this proves useful to you in the future.