A.O. Scott is one of America’s foremost film critics. Since 2002, he’s shared the chief movie review slot at the New York Times with Mahnola Dargis. His book, Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think about Art, Pleasure, Beauty and Truth, takes a look at reviewing and criticism, at some of the challenges critics face, and at some of the issues that roll across his mind every time he writes a review.
In this interview with Richard Wolinsky, he talks about many of those issues, including the rise of algorithms, the relationship between taste and popularity, the relationship between taste and quality, and his own beliefs about aesthetics. Scott also looks at the recent controversy involving diversity at the Academy Awards, and how he and Mahnola Dargis divvy up reviews.
An extended 42-minute version of this interview can be found on the Radio Wolinsky podcast in the Area 941 section of this KPFA website.