Film: Being a Film Critic in Scotland

I was recently invited to speak at Glasgow University’s new course on film journalism, where post-graduate film students, under the direction of David Archibald, hone their skills in the art of film-criticism.

Film criticism – as writers as diverse as Graham Greene, James Agee, Pauline Kael, Dylis
Powell and Anthony Lane have demonstrated – is an art in itself, and while it’s true that many working critics currently possess no such formal qualification, the existence of such a course suggests that Scottish film is taking is responsibilities to film culture seriously.

But what will happen to the students on graduation? Although most Scottish newspapers try to cultivate a full-time critic, opportunities are few and far between. The List magazine has also