The Encyclopedia of Film Criticism: James Kang & Critics Round Up

James Kang & Critics Round Up

Noted Champion of: MUBI's Notebook, Reverse Shot, Cinema Scope, LOLA, Senses of Cinema, desistfilm, La Furia Umana.

Influences: "On my approach to aggregation: David Hudson, Tom Spurgeon. 
Formative influences on my taste in film: Roger Ebert, A. O. Scott, Elvis Mitchell. 
Current strongest influences on the way I interpret films: Richard Brody, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Michael Sicinski.
Favorite critics no longer with us: Manny Farber, James Agee, Jay Scott."

Critics Round Up is the brainchild of James Kang (1985-) who is very careful in maintaining his personal privacy, which is why fewer details about him are available. CRU is a vital, incredibly valuable resource for both casual and serious moviegoers. Those who have longed for a more discerning alternative to critic aggregates like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, which don't question or interpret their sources, can rest easy that someone has finally made a site that cares about the nature of criticism. Kang trusts critics with reputations and serious cinephiles using the film diary website Letterboxd. 

From the sites statement of intent: Critics Round Up is the first movie review aggregator to select critics and publications based on merit instead of popularity. Merit, on this site, is defined as generally being friendly to arthouse and international cinema and resisting stagnant ways of thinking.

The purpose of CRU in a nutshell: "GOAL #1 To provide an alternative to the aggregated numbers of more popular sites....GOAL #2 To serve as a link archive." And on that score, Kang posts excerpts from and links to every review he includes, as well as news about new releases and the actors and directors orbiting them. Kang has a detailed set of guidelines for CRU which explain how the site works and what makes it different from other aggregators. 

source: email interview

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