On Criticism: My Talk With New York Times Film Critic A. O. Scott (INTERVIEW)


A. O. Scott has been a film critic for the New York Times since 2000, and chief film critic since 2004. One of the most influential and widely-read film writers of our time, he’s also written the book “Better Living Through Criticism“, a defense for living critically. It’s not only a philosophy of how to engage life, but to fully enjoy it.

I recently had an opportunity to talk with Scott by phone, for The Tulsa Voice, about criticism (film and otherwise) while also touching on some current trends in the film industry, from the toxicity of the recent awards season to the Spielberg vs. Netflix debate — and more.

Here’s an excerpt:

  • Jeff Huston: Your book “Better Living Through Criticism” is a defense of living critically—not as a disposition but, rather, as a discipline. Could you nutshell that philosophy for us?
    A. O. Scott: Well, criticism is part of our experience, part of the way that we think and talk. My interest wasn’t to defend criticism as a particular profession but as a way of looking at the world. If art and culture matter to us, if they make our experiences as human beings meaningful, it’s worth thinking about why they’re meaningful, and how they’re meaningful.

To read my full interview with A. O. Scott for The Tulsa Voice, click here.

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