I’ve been meaning to post something about 11-year-old film critic Jackson Murphy (aka Lights Camera Jackson) for a while now, but for whatever reason I just never got around to it. This week, however, the movie blogosphere has picked up on the young TV personality after discovering his review of Inception where he gave it a rating of “C”. Some people found it annoying that he would dismiss the film because he “didn’t get it”, and questioned whether or not a kid should even be allowed to review films, while other people didn’t take it as seriously and just found it cute and endearing. The debate surrounding Jackson did, however, remind me of a statement that Armond White made on the /Filmcast a couple of weeks ago. According to White, there should be no film critics under the age of 30, “because before that you don’t know enough about art, you don’t know enough about life.”
Of course, no one seems to take much of what Armond White says seriously (he also claims that Roger Ebert destroyed film criticism), but I think he makes an interesting point here. It’s not just about having enough background and movie knowledge to put a film in the proper context, but it’s also about whether or not you have enough life experience to relate to the things you’re seeing on screen. As far as Lights Camera Jackson goes, he does review movies mainly for kids his own age, and hey, he speaks a lot more fluently and confidently about the subject than I’m sure I would have at that age. But is he just parroting things he’s seen and heard around him, or is he really old enough to form his own opinions? What do you think? Is there anything wrong with an 11-year-old kid reviewing movies on a major TV network? Is it any different than twenty-something-year-old bloggers reviewing movies across the internet? Will anyone (or should anyone) actually take his reviews seriously? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.