From my Variety colleague Anne Thompson: "Wasn't film criticism supposed to be irrelevant? On the way out? When it comes to mainstream Hollywood tentpoles, maybe. But talk to filmmakers, no matter what their stripe, and all the talk of new media fades fast. They want the same things indies wanted a few decades ago: reviews from established critics.
"The Web has affected the film biz in many subtle ways, but it hasn't yet replaced the branding that occurs via theatrical booking and critical reviews. A local movie critic with a following drives people to see indie movies in a way that nothing else does -- at least so far."
Maybe what we need is more local movie critics... who write for their own websites?