Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Film critics dropping like flies

I don't know what the high-water mark was for wage-earning film critics, but a chart posted on the Movie City News website reveals that there are 117 left who are fully employed across the media spectrum, down from 122 since Jan. 1. Without even having to slash a red "X" in the middle it's basically a hit list, as more of the print publications are likely to go under, taking chunks of the profession with it (and leaving whole swaths of the country without a critic to call their own, which is a loss that no mulltitude of web voices can make up for).

I can see this chart dipping below 100 before long, and there's no bailout or stimulus package coming to the rescue. I wonder how many theater critics are drawing a living wage from their labors? There are some things you do for love or money, and I'd say criticism, which as a profession was possible to make at least a modest living from, is one we'll be doing from the bottom of our hearts--and bank accounts--now. Dispiriting on many levels.

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