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The Locarno Academy Confronts the Future of Criticism

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variety.com

Christopher Small For the tenth time in 11 years, the Locarno Film Festival is hosting 10 international film critics from various stages of development during the 10 days of the A-list Swiss festival.Coming from places as far from the Swiss resort town as Bangalore, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro and Jakarta, and from an even more varied matrix of backgrounds, disciplines, writing styles, and interests, participants in the anniversary edition of the Critics Academy will have the chance to interact face-to-face with a wealth of major critics, programmers, and filmmakers in attendance at Locarno.Returning after one aborted edition in the first year of the pandemic and another for which there was no public call for applications, Locarno’s incubator for aspiring professional critics takes place once again in the midst of an extraordinarily trying moment both for the art and commerce of cinema but also, perhaps even more acutely, for writing about it.

While it is easier than ever to connect across continents, to access disparate films once far out of reach, and to freely publish one’s own writing online, the professional dimension of the art form Manny Farber once called “the most perfect imaginable” remains highly stratified, underpaid, non-unionised, and fatally subject to the whims of an ever-shifting, atomised global film culture.The participants this year are Dini Adanurani (Indonesia), Emily Jourdan (Switzerland), Laura Staab (United Kingdom), Aiman Rizvi (Pakistan), Keva York (Australia), Sona Karapoghosyan (Armenia), Gabriel Linhares Falcão (Brazil), Manel Domíguez (Spain), Andrew Northrup (United Kingdom) and Srikanth Srinivasan (India).Together they reflect the necessity of adapting to this world: Almost all of them.

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