To quote or not to quote? Critics’ quotations in film advertisements as indicators of the continuing authority of film criticism

Abstract : The notion that the authority and influence of professional critics are in decline is a recurring discourse in the research on criticism. Recently, this vision of decline has focused on the proliferation of lay opinions on the Internet, promoting an “everyone’s a critic” discourse and more “horizontal” cultural recommendations. The aim of this research is to empirically test this decline of criticism by considering changes in a particular indicator: the practice of using quotations from critics in film advertisements. Our analysis of quotations on 1329 press advertisements, which were collected in France over four sample years (2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016), contradicts the hypothesis of decline. The results show that (1) the frequency of insertion of critical quotes increased significantly over the period 2007–2016; (2) the “markers of legitimacy” within quotations are stable over the period; and (3) no amateur criticism has emerged in advertisements to compete with reviews by professional critics. Rather than pointing to a decline, these results suggest that the role of criticism in cinema’s “intermediation system” is being reinforced, and that its unrivalled cultural authority is being maintained.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 4:01:40 PM
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Stéphane Debenedetti, Ghofrane Ghariani. To quote or not to quote? Critics’ quotations in film advertisements as indicators of the continuing authority of film criticism. Poetics, Elsevier, 2018, 66, ⟨10.1016/j.poetic.2018.02.003⟩. ⟨hal-01778358⟩

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