Nonfiction | Master Class

Master Class in Criticism

Dive deep into the art and craft of criticism in this three-hour master class with renowned New York Times film critic A.O. Scott, author of Better Living Through Criticism

A. O. Scott

A.O. Scott is a chief film critic at the New York Times, where he also is a frequent contributor to the Book Review and the Sunday Magazine, and Distinguished Professor of Film Criticism at Wesleyan University. In 2016 his book, Better Living Through Criticism, was published by the Penguin Press, and he is currently preparing a collection of his film writing, to be published by Penguin in 2018. 


"In this book, as in his reviews, Scott’s voice is genial, reasonable and self-aware. He elucidates complex ideas with snappy language. He’s funny, but not cynical or snarky…. What he does especially well is explain how art develops and why our varied responses to it matter, pinpointing where criticism fits into the equation."


"Mr. Scott is very intelligent….What may matter more is that Mr. Scott is fun to read…[Scott] says that the simple questions—always with complex answers—that criticism poses are: ‘Did you feel that?’ ‘Was it good for you?’ ‘Tell the Truth.’ He reminds us that critical judgments, like art itself, demand intellectual and sensuous, even sexual, responses. Mr. Scott answers his own demands…"


"Witty and thoughtful…. Reading Scott’s book is like watching the stiff-upper-lipped hero of a British 1940s thriller facing down his or her adversaries — modest, brave and utterly unflappable."


"If we were looking for an intelligent, informed and often funny account of why we can’t live comfortably with criticism (in any of the word’s meanings), and can’t live without it, either, we need look no further, and shall probably want to read this book more than once…"