- The Land Surveyors against the Vampire Critic
by Tomás Guarnaccia
- Observing the Lives of Other People
by Olivia Popp
- The Return of Lost Childhood
by Cátia Rodrigues
- Berlin-Pilled: Leaving My 9-to-5 Melbourne Matrix
by Eliza Janssen
- Notes on the Writing Process
by Paula Mermelstein
- Is Cinema Worth All This Pain? (Reprise)
by Pelin Çılgın
- Being Trapped in the Dark with an Image
by Cici Peng
- A Glorious Screening
by Olek Młyński
The Land Surveyors against the Vampire Critic
by Tomás Guarnaccia
I began writing about cinema in 2020 during the pandemic. I was part of what some experienced Argentine critics called “The Young Criticism.” Some new sites, newsletters and film magazines appeared around that time. We had our own dossiers, our polemic debates, and we even “rescued” some forgotten national filmmakers with long interviews and essays. It was a spark of enthusiasm with the idea of making great, lasting things.
I would never speak on behalf of a generation, but I have the feeling that the post-pandemic return to “normalcy” was a first stumble that led to some diminution of the promised heat. With less time on our hands, the springtime of collective thinking that we all glimpsed shifted places again with the normalised anxieties of a youth in a seemingly never ending precarious economic and working life. Moreover, the world emerged from the pandemic more addicted than ever to post-truth. With the disorder of concepts proposed by the noise that began to cover everything, the aspiration for meaning and truth was stomped on. But not even dazed and breathless from all the blows received, could the idea of critical thinking be waived.
I always thought of film criticism as something akin to land surveying, the art and science of terrestrial measurement. A profession that provides axes and points of reference that can be used to establish boundaries, draw maps or define locations. Also, this discipline can aid in the identification of structural components of different territories. In our case, as film critics, our land is no other than the land of cinema. A coarse and complex country that, in these recent times of technological and digital advance, has become a volatile and winding terrain.
Similar to land surveyors, who use many elements of different disciplines such as mathematics, geometry, physics, architecture and even law, film critics can nourish themselves with knowledge of literature, painting, music, physiology or sociology. But they can also write merely from a cinephile point of view. Film criticism does not discriminate; it does not require specific or scientific knowledge. Film criticism takes from art everything that distances it from being (perish the thought!) a normative exercise. With this in mind, what do we need to discuss and add to our cabinet of tools and experiences to open our gaze into this new, ever-changing world? Wherever I go, I carry with me this unsolved question.
I see that in Europe AI is a hot topic of discussion surrounding this subject. I saw it in Locarno last year, and I see it now in our first invitation to write for the Berlinale Talent Press. “Takeover,” “Chinese room,” “Dead Internet,” the names of the theories and experiments surrounding AI sound like movie titles. We could venture ourselves to add one more to them: “The Vampire Critic.”Many academics state that AI is not an embodiment of human or biological intelligence but the crystallisation of a codified collective intelligence, and therefore all of its biases, problems and errors are indeed a photography of the mediocrity of the great mass of people that give “life” to AI. Some experiments prove that AI does not understand things as humans do, and that it’s just a reaction to things based on inventoried interpretations. With that in mind, we can say that AI does not understand film criticism, but it can simulate it by creating texts thanks to its ability to morph previous examples of what film criticism should be. In that sense, it’s clear that AI can only write in the more standardised and codified way in which film criticism is already being written, and can only write about the topics that are already being written about. In what refers to film criticism, AI can only be a vampire critic. Only human beings can create unique, new ways of writing that distinguish each other, with topics and angles that no one else can think of. Only human beings can aspire to meaning. But in a world where this kind of statistical system is anthropomorphised and sold as “intelligence” everywhere in the world, where is the place for real, creative intelligence? To whom, and why, are film critics creating their craft nowadays? These are the real questions that haunt me.
Observing the Lives of Other People
by Olivia Popp
Four or five years ago, a professor I admire once told me that she thought I might, much later on in life, become a documentary filmmaker. At the time I laughed — I genuinely laughed. By this time I had already sort of given up my aspiration for filmmaking, daunted by the industry, nor did I find documentary work a particular passion of mine. I turned to film criticism as a way to escape filmmaking, or at least my idea of what filmmaking was at the time. Embedded in the Silicon Valley–Hollywood complex during my bachelor’s degree in California, I never clung to this obsession with others that seemed to permeate filmmaking. My interests were more aimless: I wanted to see the world, meet interesting people, and learn as much as I could about anything and everything. This was, and still is, my priority in life.
I moved to Berlin nearly two years ago to pursue graduate studies in the social sciences, admittedly guided by this priority as it entailed two additional semesters studying abroad in South Africa and India. I come from a background in sociology of science, not a very glamorous field but one that I consider my (unique) entry point into both academia and cinema. Last year at this time I very nearly pushed criticism aside for good, unsure of my place. Not coming from a rigorous film studies background, I looked at lengthy essays produced by friends and peers that reflected profoundly on film history and rich art historical context — and I couldn’t see myself within it, as hard as I’ve tried. That is, I didn’t (and still don’t) feel equipped to be writing in this way, although I’ve slowly been working on a DIY film education, an unstructured pedagogy of sorts.
To bridge this gap I’ve turned to what I’ve otherwise found most familiar, topics that bring me endless curiosity in my academic studies: decolonial theory, queer imagination, urban spaces, knowledge production, religion and spirituality, cartographies of power, and even meme culture, to name some. The world of film criticism seemed to open up as I drew on what I knew best, and I will always be inspired to be interdisciplinary in my writing and worldview.
This past year has been truly formative in my experiences within film criticism, owing in part to my gracious mentors and opportunities I’ve had. I’ve become interested in dualisms and their disruption: nature/culture, mind/body, documentary/fiction. After a course in New Delhi, I started thinking a lot about translation — not only what is produced, but also what is erased, and even translation as epistemic violence (says sociologist Rolando Vázquez) and a tool of this thing we call modernity. Translation is a tenuous, elusive beast. Is there really a transfer of meaning, or are some things just incommensurable (here’s a nod to sociology of science)? What are the politics of translation? Thinking critically about this year’s theme, what do we not only gain but also lose when we try to force a common tongue?
I’ve also become fascinated by the interaction of the technological and the religious — technoreligious phenomena, if you will. I myself have been playing gleefully with image-generation technologies, and observing my reaction is itself an autoethnographic experience. VR, AR, AI-generated works — I’ve seen so many short films about “digital detritus” of all kinds in the last six months. Drawing from this Silicon Valley–Hollywood complex, my only response and plea is for the humanities to take a front seat in these discussions. “Putting ethics back into computer science curricula” is literally the bare minimum. This isn’t a radical concept.
And so we come full circle. Attending a few short film festivals in the last months gave rise to my renewed excitement about filmmaking. Archival work, experimental processes, and self-interrogation intrigue me immensely. If written critique can be a response to filmmaking, and if video essays can be a response to filmmaking — why can’t filmmaking be a response to filmmaking? The task is daunting. I’ve become so comfortable decentring myself and looking at other people’s work that I feel like I’m working with an entirely different epistemological perspective.
But sitting here in Rotterdam, writing this, I’ve slowly begun to think my professor might just be a little bit right.
The Return of Lost Childhood
by Cátia Rodrigues
Fifteen years ago, I sat at the dinner table and watched Persona by Ingmar Bergman. I had already fallen in love with literature and believed at that young age that nothing else would hold me as tightly as a book. But then the faces of Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann did something to me that retrospectively I came to realise literature would never do – they gazed back at me. That hour and a half was as much of a confrontation as it was an encounter.
Portuguese philosopher Maria Filomena Molder once said in an interview that philosophy, or a philosophical questioning of life, begins when a person is abandoned by childhood. In other words, it appears or reveals itself when one loses something that belongs to oneself in a vital and existential sense. I have taken these words to be the reason for which I have continued my studies in philosophy. In a sense, philosophy and literature were the beginning of my relationship with myself, with the loss of my childhood. But cinema opened me up to the world and to my childhood again by looking at it as Jean-Louis Schefer prophesied in L’Homme Ordinaire Du Cinéma. Along the way, cinema has found a way to play a role in my life beyond the cinephile I have been since the day I saw Persona; a role I can now define as a relationship between passion and obsession. I have had the privilege of turning it into my life’s work. Looking backwards from today’s point of view, what started as a modest but true cinephile interest, very soon revealed itself as the recognition of something which was always there, only to be paid attention to.
Film criticism, as well as academic research, become means and tools to shape my view of film and cinematic thought as a matter of reflection on the world and its urgent state of affairs and as a vehicle for imagining another present and, more significantly, another future. For this reason, I try never to lose sight of the idea that the exercise of writing is, first and foremost, a permanent questioning of our relationship with the other and with the world through the moving image, through which the possibility of learning never ceases. Even more, to believe in and accept an ethical and political responsibility within this realm where gestures combine with images, thoughts and languages.
The status, relevance and purpose of film criticism has been called into question more times than I can count, and today it faces more challenges than ever before, one of them being artificial intelligence. While I don’t think it should be ignored, I believe it poses more problems than potentialities it offers, yet to be fully known. On the one hand, even in this embryonic stage of AI, it is possible to see its inability to formulate relational thinking, which owes as much to the instances of knowledge as to those of imagination, memory and creativity from which human beings navigate an infinite constellation of possibilities, relationships and concepts. Although AI cannot be considered a sentient technology, since, at least at this stage, its impact is essentially at the level of replaceable functions, we must be alert to what this replacement could mean in areas such as film criticism, which also owes a debt to the aforementioned instances of knowledge, otherwise they may be transformed to the point of unrecognisability. On the other hand, artificial intelligence, because it uses a large database orchestrated by humans, reflects age-old socio-political and philosophical problems, which are far from being addressed as we would like and, consequently, overcome. These require us to continue the struggle for the decolonisation of knowledge, of the gaze, of techniques and practices, whether scientific or artistic, in order to expose, deconstruct, and put an end to oppressive and totalitarian discourses and policies.As lonely as this field of work can be, I am deeply inspired by the opportunity to exchange knowledge and impressions in dialogue with others at Berlinale Talents. The most important thing for me will be to create a community and to be embraced by it, together with my colleagues, with the aim of considering our work as a collective one, a fundamental principle of cinema that has often been forgotten and disregarded by some of the mechanisms and norms of the industry, which are often crueler than they are generous. In this sense, this experience should be seen as a collective means of confronting different ways of looking at the world. If cinema is an act of resistance, isn’t that its vital force, to the extent that its ethical potential springs from its aesthetic and creative power, so that it also transforms the communities in which it engages and seeks to expand.
Berlin-Pilled: Leaving My 9-to-5 Melbourne Matrix
by Eliza Janssen
I’m a very lucky person. I grew up with a strong passion for reading books and writing nonsense and was always supported by family and readers around me in this. When I hit high school, I realised you could easily pirate almost any film ever made online and got consumed by new passions for screenwriting and criticism. After being accepted into the Critics Campus programme for my hometown festival MIFF, I’ve been so privileged in meeting mentors and peers who got me gigs in film writing. My new mates and I founded Rough Cut, a youth-oriented film blog for emerging critics, and I wrangled that into a full-time editing gig for online publications Flicks.com, which I’ve enjoyed ever since.
But recently, “joy” isn’t quite the right descriptor for how my critical practice has been trucking along. I’ve felt a bit spongelike in my writing lately, absorbing and reflecting the fast-moving film climate around me without fresh eyes and a sense of curiosity. I’m absolutely buzzing at the prospect of hitting refresh in Berlin; learning from the perspectives of my Talents peers, having my stagnant state changed by exciting movies, and rediscovering the buck-toothed little cinephile kid within that got me stuck in this mess in the first place.
Stepping away from the 9-to-5 grind of talking about specific films and articles, I’m also keen to reexamine my industry from a macro level. This year’s Berlinale will be a chance to laterally oversee the big changes film criticism faces, from the possibilities of new filmmaking and writing technology to broader attacks on whether the form serves a purpose at all. When AI inevitably comes up as a topic, I’ll have to try to remain open-minded about it, since its mention always gives me a weird seasick feeling. My workplace has considered generative text for some of our news pieces, and the output remains pretty knuckle-headed and misguided when it tries to replicate an authorial personality. To my mind, artificial intelligence only contributes misinformation and, at worst, straight-up plagiarism to the field of journalism thus far. Not a fan, to say the least.
I’m readying myself for the opportunity to see some benefits there, though. Who knows, there’s been plenty of crummy films lately that we can criticise for having the feel of computer-written dialogue. If you strap 1000 monkeys to 1000 ChatGPT servers, maybe they’d accidentally invent something as good as May December someday?? But primarily, I reckon it’ll be the job of critics such as me and my Berlinale peers to notice and correct the impact of such technology, in the movies we watch and the discourse that defines them. After Hollywood strikes and the domination of algorithms and franchise-first pop culture, some bold new frontier of humanistic, creative thinking might just trickle down into our work to be fed and championed.
The 2024 Berlinale will be the first international film festival I’ve ever attended, so hopefully I can surrender, full-body, to the mania of talking, watching, shivering and learning that’s to come. The last few years since COVID have been a time of seeking security for me—but security is overrated, and it’s time for a hard reset. I’ll see you outside the matrix then at the premiere of that Japanese doco about feral cats living at a Shinto shrine.
Notes on the Writing Process
by Paula Mermelstein
When I first started studying film, I read no movie reviews and, in fact, was a bit against them. I thought that reading about it beforehand, or even afterwards, might taint this sort of pure experience of watching a movie. It actually was a sort of sacred ritual for me then, not only at a movie theatre but also at home, where even though I’d be watching a film through my DVD or my computer, the room had to be dark and silent and there could be no interruptions. I wanted to create something like that, not talk about it.
It was only later, when I moved from my hometown of Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo to pursue a Master’s degree in Visual Arts, that this perspective changed. I started participating in an online film club during the pandemic, where each one of us watchedthe movies at home and we later discussed them together. In this process, it was like the films were completely ripped apart and then put back together in a different domain. I realised that it was only through this process of desacralising a film that I could grasp it for what it actually was and not for what I wanted it to be. In this process, the mystery that initially intrigued me about the film did not go away, but it changed, now that I had to carve my way into it.
It was a process of constantly going back and forth, a dialogue between me and the movie but also a dialogue between me and others. It was then that I started an online magazine of film and art criticism, Revista Limite, along with my partner. This project is both regular and collective and always presents itself with a new challenge, which is also how I imagine the Talent Press programme. I believe a fundamental part of writing is the struggle to do so, and therefore the surroundings as much as the objects of interest have to be in continuous change.
The writing activity is organic and in many ways opposite to that of an AI generated text or image. AI confronts us with a ready-text or ready-image. You feed it with whatever commands you want and it gives something back to you, all set. After São Paulo, I relocated once again to my current city of residence, Juiz de Fora, where I teach classes on different art subjects at the local university. As a teacher, I think AI can be particularly damaging to a learning experience. We can only get better at something by confronting ourselves with the actual issues of practicing it. If you skip the difficulty of coming up with better ways to say or do something, you are also skipping the learning process.
Still, I believe AI can be used in very interesting ways, not as a substitute for something but as a creative tool. Like a surrealist or dadaist machine, you can combine absurd thoughts into a monstrous result, whether it is a poem that combines different styles and voices or an image that combines reality and fiction. It provides you with something readymade, which can be the breeding ground to some kind of experimentation.
Similarly, I appreciate films that are experimental without abandoning their narrative or fictional elements, where I sense that something significant is at stake, a kind of friction, whether it plays with narrative conventions, clichés, and genre, or whether its structure, visual or material form; that is what I’ll be searching for at the Berlinale.
Is Cinema Worth All This Pain? (Reprise)
by Pelin Çılgın
Ah, an article to yap about my past, present, and future in the language of cinema. This takes me back. Back to the Airbnb in Zagreb where I stayed with my partner to prolong my epic Euro-Kino-Summer moments (and also to utilise my Schengen visa, which cost me an arm and a leg to even apply for) after my time at Talents Sarajevo at the 2023 Sarajevo Film Festival and how I tried to hastily draft my introduction article before we went out to check the Cannabis Museum in the city, to be exact.
I am rereading my previous article as I am typing this new edition to see what is still the same and what has changed. Horror cinema, the extremely gory massacre opening sequence of The Ghost Ship (2002, Steve Beck) precisely, and my father’s pirated VCD/DVD collection still are the igniting sparks for my love of cinema. I am still living with my unsupportive family. I am still struggling financially – film criticism does not pay much, or at all really. The gatekeeping in the filmmaking and film criticism industries in Turkey is still intense, even worse for a queer individual with “niche” interests like me. Though, I still agree with my past self that the only way to escape is to get out of here.
Getting out. That is basically what I have been trying to do for as long as I can remember, physically or virtually. After a horrible several years trying to fight against the waves, I finally started to breathe last year after getting accepted into the GoCritic! workshop at Fest Anča in Slovakia. After that, I was accepted to the Talents Sarajevo, and then finally I ended the year as a member of the International People’s Jury at the Five Flavors Asian Film Festival in Poland. I still curate/program films for various places, from the Norway-based cultural NGO Fra Øst Til Nord to the India-based arts organisation SPHERE, and screen films for the New Orleans Film Festival. I try to dabble into the film academia too, with a few conference papers and a peer-reviewed article under my belt so far. With a BA degree in Business Chinese from BLCU, China, and currently ongoing MA studies in Film and Television at Istanbul Bilgi University, I hope to combine all my interests into a Ph.D. studies marathon eventually.
Speaking of interests, I have always been into a banned-by-Vatican type of gory horror, relatable queer themes, experimental works, and also East Asian cinema. I hope to explore at least one of these realms during my stay at this year’s Berlinale Talent Press – I already have some films in mind to check out and write about, in fact. I find that listening to the experience of fellow workshop participants has been extremely insightful for me, so I look forward to getting to know my cohort members soon. I also hope to learn the tips and tricks for conducting interviews, as I cannot say I am very good at that (yet).
To wrap this article up, I check my title again. “Is Cinema Worth All This Pain?” It is a reference to the words of a late Turkish director, Ahmet Uluçay, which also served as the title for my article in Sarajevo. I still do not know the answer to that question, but I do know that cinema kept me alive all this time, literally and figuratively, for redacted reasons. As if the industry was not tough enough, we have the threat of AI looming over us now too. Unfortunately, I am a rather pessimistic individual, so I have only joy-of-life-draining things to say about how it keeps stealing others’ works or reinforces misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia, while also pretty much causing a “brain rot” situation, among others.
Surely, there still has to be something alive and promising here. I looked over the welcome email for the Talent Press. In the end, we only have each other to survive in this harsh weather. Our fully human, authentic interest in the language of cinema will still survive somehow, because I know I cannot be the only one who is still alive thanks to cinema, and this compassion will turn the table once again. As Guy Maddin cries out in The Heart of The World (2000), “Kino! Kino! Kino!” or as I think whenever I am hopeless, “If Kino can save the world, then it might save me as well.”
Being Trapped in the Dark with an Image
by Cici Peng
I recently read My Cinema (published by Another Gaze), a collection of Marguerite Duras’ interviews, where something Duras said imprinted on me:
“Cinema is being trapped in the dark with an image. Nothing more. No matter the image. A car going at 100 miles per hour or a face saying ‘no’. A concert that has been filmed is cinema too: there is music and then there’s an image.”
I try to hold this in my mind when sitting in a cinema – the possibility offered by what lights up on screen – that it’s not bound to any strictures except the image and sound. Duras has been a huge inspiration to me, with her desire to ‘destroy’ cinema and her statement that “cinema has to verge on the impossible, or why should we make it?”
I started writing about cinema during my English Literature degree when I took a paper in Visual Culture, where I understood, naively, for the first time the intentional act behind building a world beyond just language – but with image, sound and time. The first time I watched John Smith’s seminal short A Girl Chewing Gum when I was in University, I thought about the radical power of examining performance and gesture, of the relationship between time and the material filmic image and the radical use of sound.
Since then, I did an MPhil in Film Studies with a focus on decolonial cinema, writing about the short films of Mati Diop and the aesthetics and politics of Abderrhamane Sissako’s work – both incredible filmmakers who are in the competition section of the Berlinale this year. Recently, I’ve been working as both, a film writer and a film programmer. Having attended film festivals last year, I was surprised by how many significant and thoughtful films were left without any possibility of international distribution, by the violent boundaries and borders exerted by copyright, and by the entertainment industry, which prioritises profits and box-office hits. What films do we have the ‘right’ to watch? Which films are given the chance to emerge from the archives?
My practice of both, writing and programming, is dedicated to films that have frequently found themselves on the margins. I work with Sine Screen, a film collective which programmes films from East and South East Asia, which have rarely been screened in the UK. Recently, I curated a selection of short films on grief in Global Cinema at the Barbican Centre, where I showed Pham Ngoc Lan’s short Blessed Land. I’m now really excited to see his debut feature Cu Li Never Cries, which is premiering in the Panorama section this year.
To me, my work as a programmer and writer goes hand in hand. Without independent exhibition, without a cinema community striving to bring archival, experimental and independent films to the screen, there can be no cinema. We need to remember that our work as writers is part of the ecosystem of the work of programmers and distributors. Without a community, how could we be trapped together in a dark room with an image? With cuts to art funding in the UK and abroad, how can we organise together to prioritise independent artists rather than institutions?
With the advent of AI and the dominating force of big studios and streaming networks, the only way filmmakers and writers can respond is in the same way – through a community that pushes for showing independent films, and by working together to make new films that defy established forms and norms against all kinds of commercial demands. At the end of the day, AI is used as another machine of the capitalist attention economy – one that aims to regurgitate an already inundated stream of ‘content’ for immediate consumption. If AI can make a film or write a piece that is an iteration of everything written before or everything made before – based on theories of narrative, structure, genre, then the only choice we have is to ‘destroy’ cinema and destroy writing. We need a cinema that can destroy its clichéd signifiers and destroy the idea of the image as something to be consumed; when we need to write against a barrage of content, we need to dare to break form and representational kinds of literature. As Duras says: “Let cinema go to its ruin, that is the only cinema. Let the world go to its ruin, let it go to its ruin, that is the only politics.”
A Glorious Screening
by Olek Młyński
Some years ago, when still in high school, I was a volunteer at a film festival in Poland. The festival’s policy was that in return for their work, volunteers would get to watch some movies for free and make sure that the screening ‘goes ok’. Usually, we had to fight over who gets to go to which screening. However, there was one film that all the senior volunteers didn’t want to watch. They knew who the director was, and opted to avoid his next flick. I, a naif, thought this should be interesting and decided to attend the screening and see if it ‘goes ok’. It went gloriously. Half of the audience left by the 30-minute mark, I could simultaneously hear sighs of disgust and giggles of ridicule coming from the confused poor souls who ended up in that screening room. I had a really hard time making sense of the film, a feeling that was foreign to me then. Because of being raised on mainstream cinema, my mode of watching had been rather standardized. I was flabbergasted: what should I do with this wild Korean movie, if I can’t even tell if it’s a comedy or not? Is the extreme violence played for laughs? Why are there no dialogues at all? The film in question was “Moebius” by Kim Ki-duk, a name I’m hesitant to bring up now given his abusive behaviour which became a cause of his practical exile from the film industry in later years. However, going back to the anecdote, I see this experience as a formative moment for me, a point in which I realized that this is it for me, that films can place me in strange emotional states, and that I want more of those complex experiences in my life.
When I turned 14 writing film and video game reviews became my hobby, and since then I’ve been involved in numerous initiatives, and worked for various media (print, online, radio, TV), first at student level, and then worked my way up to more professional outlets. One of the pivotal experiences, which gave me a more precise sense of the direction I would like to take with my writing, was the People’s Jury at Five Flavours Film Festival in Warsaw. Nowadays my focus has become more specialized – as a fan of documentaries (and a documentary filmmaker myself) I would like to write more about Chinese independent nonfiction films, which to me are part one of the most unjustly underexplored niches in today’s cinema.
This direction is also tied with my deep conviction that the world doesn’t always need an umpteenth review of another Marvel release, and that film criticism has become too tightly interwoven with marketing of movies which already have enough publicity. It’s a feedback loop where writers cover things that the readers are already interested in. There remains little room for speculation, and few spaces allow a more curatorial approach to film writing. I believe that today’s film critic is also an excavator, a person who will expose their readers to the kinds of cinema they wouldn’t have accessed on their own, or will trigger them to reconsider the film they chose not to think too much about. In that sense, the anecdote about Pauline Kael’s New Yorker review of “Bonnie and Clyde” is one of my favourite stories about the positive influence of film criticism on the industry. Thanks to her piece Penn’s film was unearthed, and brought back to circulation, thus later paving the way for the New Hollywood movement.
In terms of my thoughts on artificial intelligence, one of Berlinale Talent’s main topics of this year, after the initial enthusiasm towards it as an emerging tool, I am now more leaning towards seeing it as a threat to the medium. Having worked for many years as a copywriter, I see how that industry currently undergoes a revolution leading to many jobs becoming redundant. I am not exactly sure if the exact same thing will happen to film criticism or journalism, at least for now. Ours is the kind of writing which is based on the personal response to an object of culture, and as such should be unique and idiosyncratic enough for an algorithm to be unable to replace it. However, when the electricity was created, nobody initially thought about inventing hairdryers, and I suppose that we are at a similar point with AI as an emerging technology – it’s hard to imagine what solutions and threats it has in store for us.
© Berlinale Talent Press 2024