Arts&Letters Daily poses a simple question, really. Why don't we trust film critics any more? The answer from Clive James in his piece "How to Write about Film:" critics have often known too little about the world around them and have too many agendas masquerading as big ideas - "theories" as he puts it.
James is blunt: "Those without theories write better."
Reviewing an anthology of nearly a century of film criticism in American Movie Critics, he also asks this very interesting question: "In our appreciation of the arts, does a theory give us more to think about, or less?"
Releated, Arts&Letters Daily links to The Style of Numbers Behind a Number of Styles, which discusses how theories of another kind are put to use in the determining authenticity in works of art and literature.