The Long Week Closes: A Rule of Thumb for Linking to Top 10 Lists December 10, 2016

A week ago, Cahiers du cinéma scolded the numerous film news blogs and websites that “leaked” their top 10 list for 2016. I didn’t see this discussed much online, but bloggers really ought to think twice before republishing someone or an organization’s top 10 list. My preferred approach is the one used by the art comics news blogger Tom Spurgeon, which is to do as much as possible to give his readers a reason to click the external link. He takes this policy to such an extreme that in the instances where he only wants to point to one particularly lovely image, he’ll post a heavily cropped version of the picture on his website. This is done in an effort to not steal pageviews from others, an admirable mission that very few news bloggers seem to care about. This rule of thumb can be applied to press releases (link to the source if possible, don’t re-post) and top 10 lists (don’t give away the entire list).

The Playlist does the opposite of this. In the past, they’ve reprinted Cahiers’ top 10 lists even after being reprimanded by the magazine numerous times. They’ve also summarized all of the most interesting parts of some interviews or studies, thereby eliminating any benefit of clicking through and reading the article in full. The Playlist feels no ethical conflict about completely cannibalizing the work of others. I urge everyone to instead follow Tom Spurgeon’s lead.

And now, the weekly rundown. One note: La La Land has been widely embraced by most film critics, and while it was still mostly well-received by critics on this website, its reception here has been rockier. Right now, five out of 121 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are rotten while on Critics Round Up, seven out of 21 reviews are negative.


La La Land (Chazelle)

New Releases
La La Land (Damien Chazelle • United States)
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck • United States)
Lost and Beautiful (Pietro Marcello • Italy)
The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig • United States)


42nd Street (Bacon)

Cinema of the Past
42nd Street (1933 • Lloyd Bacon • United States)
The Gang’s All Here (1943 • Busby Berkeley • United States)
The Exterminating Angel (1962 • Luis Buñuel • Spain)

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