10.25.2008

A New Career Path

On Wednesday night, we screened a movie on UTC's campus in an attempt to get the clinic's name on the tips of the student's tongues. My co-worker worked her butt off to put the event together and did a phenomenal job. She gathered a panel from across the country to discuss the film afterward and on the whole the evening was a real success. I tell you all this because one of the panelists has a doctorate in the rhetoric of film. His job is to watch film, discern what message the piece is trying to communicate and then comment on said message. He calls himself a cultural critic and others agree! He explained to me that his niche is a bit different than a typical film critic's niche. His objective isn't to solely critique a film's artistic merit, but also its rhetorical merit. It goes like this. Dr. Newman watches a film and then writes (or speaks) about the film in this manner: "X film is attempting to communicate this truth, and here are the implications on our culture".

I have to admit that just sounds too good to be true to a movie obsessed, overly opinionated person who loves to write and hear herself speak. So I asked him, "How do I get YOUR job?" after the obligatory, "My job isn't as wonderful as everyone thinks... Try watching a Hillary Duff movie back to back with an Olsen twins piece." He explained that I need to spend several years on higher education because the "letters" after my name will get my foot in the door of those who will be willing to pay me. Then he said I just need to start telling people that I’m a cultural critic. He explained that if I say it loud enough and long enough (and my writing and speaking back it up) then, voilà... I'm a cultural critic.

So, I’m going on the record. I'm making my big announcement. I AM a cultural critic. I'll get those pesky letters in time. And while it seems like dr. Newman focuses only on film, I’m broadening the field (for now) to include television and print media. After all, it's all influencing culture, right? The education will come in time, but the work starts now. I'm going to continue watching film; television and reading up a storm and just keep on sharing my insights. If you find yourself in need of my speaking/writing/critical services please let me know (hehehe). And if I’m not called upon to share my insights with a broader audience, at least I’ll have fun doing the work.

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