Friday, January 6All That Matters

Fascinating back and forth between Siskel & Ebert in the 90s about “political correctness” in film criticism.

Fascinating back and forth between Siskel & Ebert in the 90s about “political correctness” in film criticism.

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  • Whatisgoingonherelad

    Part of why they were always entertaining, you didn’t have to agree with all of Siskel or Ebert’s criticisms, but they almost always made interesting points and neither were afraid to pop out an unpopular opinion. Often you get people saying they were “wrong” – they had coherent thoughts and opinions on movies, some of which may seem bizarre but watching Siskel talk about why he didn’t like Silence of the Lambs is much more interesting than watching Jahns give basic POV on the movie that everybody has agreed to like.

    Although Political Correctness is the fascism of the 90’s is a ridiculous quote from Ebert, probably says a lot about how comfortable people were in the 90’s with the perceived end of history.

  • slightofhand1

    I feel like we’re in a weird place now, where there’s enough of an anti-pc/anti-wokeness market, that the new “ventriloquists” are people like The Critical Drinker. I’m further to the right than those types of guys will ever be, so how do I keep watching a movie and thinking “there was some annoying, left wing progressive stuff, but that movie was good” only to go on Youtube and see their reviews of that movie be like “This movie is so woke it made me want to rip my eyeballs out”. Because that’s not actually their opinion, they’re being ventriloquists and trying to imagine what a Conservative would say.

  • stumpcity

    For context: in the 90s, “Political Correctness” was that decade’s version of the highjacking and redefinition of “woke.”

    Ebert is primarily arguing for personal expression of emotion and having the ability to understand what causes that emotion and being able to contextualize it. If anything, they’re arguing against performative blurbage for the sake of being liked. At this point in the 90s, “political correctness” (which began as *basically* an attempt to not use thoughtless language to describe minority groups) had *already* been sort of morphed into the same sort of angry “what do you mean I can’t call people (insert slur here) if I want?”

    What they’re primarily arguing against in this clip is *that* decade’s version of promoting tribalistic talking points as a means of personal advancement. it maps pretty cleanly to Twitter behaviors at large right now, where a lot of film critics are essentially competing all day, every day, for poster blurb of the day, with readers/viewers (especially in the YouTube sphere) following along so they can glean their own talking points to take to whatever social media sphere THEY occupy.

  • therourke

    This is nonsense. What are they even talking about? Political correctness is the fascism of the 90s!?!? Give me a break. They are quite capable of saying exactly what they want to say, and had a platform for doing so. Nobody was stopping them. It’s the same crap we hear about wokeness today. Public figures crying about being silenced are some of the the loudest voices in the room right now. Same as it ever was.

  • HoselRockit

    These guys were real critics/journalists. Siskel graduated from Yale and studied writing under a Pulitzer Prize winning author. Ebert was studying for a doctorate at The University of Chicago when he quit to be a full time critic. Went on to win a Pulitzer.

  • fart-debris

    I grew up watching these guys in the 80s and always thought they were pretentious shitheads, but in the last year or two I’ve been mainlining a bunch of their episodes on YouTube with a fresh eye – I still think they’re tiny, pathetic men who are more worried about tearing into each other than serving their audience (Siskel in particular comes across as a rigid-minded, self-satisfied prick whose opinion about anything anyone should feel safe to ignore) who sabotaged whatever good they meant to do for their intended audience by being such petulantly childish shitheads at each other.

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