Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Anthony Scott

Major

Film Studies

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

The goal of my project is to explore how critics judge the artistic merit of films they find morally repugnant. I begin by analyzing the downfall of Bosley Crowther, whose career was ruined by his hatred of the otherwise beloved Bonnie and Clyde. I then move to the 1980’s and explore how Roger Ebert, Pauline Kael, and Joe Bob Briggs- three immensely different personalities- dealt with film trends that they despised. Finally, I adapt lessons from these critics by looking at four very controversial films, and writing two reviews: one that takes offense, and another that appreciated its strange merits. Through this inquiry, I believe I have found that the effects of moral repulsion aren't so much about the relationship between a critic and a film, but rather the relationship of a critic to their audience.

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