A basic definition of a critic: someone who shares responses to art.
As a tradesman in the field, I try to be mindful of everything that might influence my response, including factors that exist outside a specific piece of art.
For example: Hong Sang-soo’s prolificacy.
The man writes AND directs basically one movie per year, sometimes even more. Now, it’s a fallacy to believe that longer gestation periods will result in more considered art; improv can feel more thoroughly thought-through and meticulously constructed than the product of a Kubrick-length artistic process.
And yet, can we really divorce ourselves from this Kubrick mythos? From the notion that greatness requires ever-greater quantities of time, effort, contemplation, etc.?
When I sit down for a new Sang-soo (his latest: Introduction, now in theaters), it’s impossible to forget how quickly he works. As such, when one of his movies leaves me cold, I find myself crediting the deficiencies to the volume of his output.
Which is hypocritical! Because when I love one of his movies, I have no way of knowing if his means of creation was any different than on his other movies!
Which goes to show: our pre-existing knowledge surrounding the art and the artists can affect how we engage with that art, perhaps even unfairly, and usually subconsciously.