Carrie Rickey – Movie Critic Interviews

Friday, March 26, 2010 at 4:40 pm

On this week’s Critical Juncture, we’re honored to have Carrie Rickey as our guest. Just in case you don’t know, this L.A. native has been the film critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer for the past 21 years. In addition, she also contributes to Entertainment Weekly on a regular basis, and her movie reviews are syndicated across the nation. If you’re in the mood for film essays, you can enjoy the writings of Carrie Rickey in anthologies such as The American Century, Library of America’s American Movie Critics, and The Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll.

And be sure to check out the Carrie Rickey blog entitled FLICKgrrl, with such recent entries as:

To read her movie reviews (she’s seen over 12,000 films, by the way), click on the link to visit her columnist’s page at The Philadelphia Inquirer website.

Now let’s dive into the question and answer section…

Only Good Movies: What’s the first movie that you remember seeing?
Carrie Rickey: On television: “Follow the Fleet” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. In a theater: My sisters say “Roman Holiday” (I was an infant.) My first conscious memory of seeing a movie in a theater was “Oklahoma!” and I was so frightened by the sound and the screen that my mother had to carry me out.

OGM: What’s the most recent movie you’ve seen?
CR: “The Red Riding Trilogy,” three movies based on David Peace’s crime-thriller quartet, kind of a “Leeds Confidential.”

OGM: Is there a particular film that you feel is criminally underrated?
CR: Where do I start? Among recentish indies, Kasi Lemmons’ “Talk to Me” and Sanaa Hamri’s “Something New.”

OGM: Which director do you feel has turned out the best overall body of work?
CR: Again, where do I start? In the ’20s: Buster Keaton; the ’30s: George Stevens and William Wyler; the ’40s: Howard Hawks and Vincente Minnelli; the ’50s: John Ford and Billy Wilder and Akira Kurosawa; and George Cukor; the ’60s: Stanley Kubrick and J-L Godard and Bernardo Bertolucci; the ’70s: Francis Coppola and Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen ; the ’80s: Steven Spielberg and James Ivory; the 90s: Stephen Frears and Spike Lee and Jane Campion.

OGM: From an artistic standpoint, which film do you think is most important?
CR: If I had to pick the three most artistically influential movies of all time, I would say Buster Keaton’s “Sherlock, Jr..” John Ford’s “The Searchers,” and Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

OGM: All artsy considerations aside, which movie is your personal favorite?
CR: If you held a gun to my head and said I could name only one movie, I’d say Max Ophuls’ “The Earrings of Madame de….”

OGM: In your opinion, which film is entirely overrated?
CR: “Kill Bill,” both volumes.

OGM: Have you ever walked out of the theatre during a film? If so, what movie was playing?
CR: Once. “Battlefield Earth.” Projector problems, babysitter waiting at home and I wasn’t reviewing.

OGM: In your mind, what’s the ultimate goal of a movie critic?
CR: It’s at least a three-prong job: a) to give reader a lively sense of the movie, using language to simulate the experience of the film; b) give the reader a sense of whether this film is for him/her; c) to assess the film’s artistic and narrative import.

OGM: Time to look into the future. Do you predict any major changes for the movie industry over the next 25 years?
CR: Like everyone else, I think there is likely to be a convergence of all filmed entertainment, so that there will be little difference between products made for TV and feature films, and that all but big spectaculars will be available for downloads and on-demand the same day it’s released to theaters, and that increasingly the fare we see in movie theaters will look more like “Avatar” and “The Jonas Brothers Movie” than “The Hurt Locker.”

OGM: Here’s another chance to predict the future. Name a relatively unknown actor or actress who’ll be a huge star within five years.
CR: Chris Pine. Amanda Seyfried. Zoe Saldana (who was in the #1 and #2 box office films of 2009).

OGM: Who’s your favorite movie critic to read?
CR: Dead: James Agee, Otis Ferguson, Manny Farber, Pauline Kael. Living: Roger Ebert, David Edelstein, Manohla Dargis, Molly Haskell.

Thanks to Carrie Rickey for joining us in this installment of Critical Juncture, and be sure to join us next week for another interview with a noted film critic or movie blogger. Until then, check out these other interviews from days gone by:

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