Archive for the ‘viral marketing’ Tag

Kobe Kills the Critic

Last week at the BFI an esteemed panel gathered to discuss the role of the film critic.

All the panellists were writers. One, at least – Mark Cousins – is also a filmmaker. All of the discussion revolved around the critic as writer.

But online film distribution and viral films are not best criticized by writers. They’re best criticized by more films.

When Kobe Bryant jumped an Aston Martin back in April, eloquent replies quickly followed.

Firstly the literal critic. This critic wanted to point out that the jump wasn’t possible. The sceptic annotates the film to question the physics. “The workings are wrong”:

But that’s not as compelling as the moral critic. The moral critic says that Nike making and distributing a film to suggest their sneakers can help you jump a speeding sportscar is irresponsible.

You could write that opinion. But who reads anymore? Make a film showing the consequences instead. (I truly hope that this film is also a fake – if anyone knows differently, please let me know and my apologies):

So what’s the most powerful critique? Show how Kobe could kill, or write about the potentially irresponsible approach of Nike’s viral marketing? Are you even reading this?


But if you are still reading, and you dig that kind of thing, stick your nose in Mark Cousins’s new book. I had the pleasure of working with him on Widescreen: Watching. Real. People. Elsewhere. I think he’s one of the best critics alive.