What Could They Have Been Thinking?
Ask Film Critic A.O. Scott on March 18

A.O. Scott

DID THEY SEE THE SAME PICTURE I DID? That’s the question many moviegoers sometimes ask themselves as the credits roll at the end of a picture they loathed but went to see because the critics loved it. What exactly do movie critics look for when evaluating a film, and how influential are they in determining the size of an audience? As the American film industry is confronted by increasingly powerful competition from streaming services, from digital devices on which you can watch an epic like “1917” on a screen not much bigger than your belt buckle, and by a growing number of filmmakers who produce prize-winning movies in countries all over the world.

How critical is the state in which the movie business finds itself these days? And what role does the movie critic play in its success or failure?

On Wednesday, March 18, we’ll have an opportunity to hear from A.O. Scott of The New York Times, one of those people who spend hours and hours sitting in the dark trying to shed just a bit of light on the product flickering by on screen. That’s when he’ll be at the National Arts Club as our featured speaker. He’s sure to draw a good crowd, so you be sure to make your reservation now.

The date:   Wednesday, March 18, 2020
The time:   Noon
The place: The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South

Anthony Oliver Scott was born in Northampton, Mass., on July 10, 1966. He comes from a family of well-known academicians and actors. His mother, Joan Wallach Scott, is a professor emerita at the School of Social Science at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study; his father, Donald Scott, is a professor of American History at CUNY. He is a great nephew of the acting couple Eli Wallach and his wife, Anne Jackson, In 1988, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a B.A. in literature and he is a Distinguished Professor of Film Criticism at Wesleyan University.

For the last 20 years, he’s been a film critic for The New York Times, but he began his career as an assistant to Robert B. Silvers, then editor of The New York Review of Books. He became a book critic for Newsday, and was a contributor to The New York Review of Books, Slate magazine and many other publications. Scott joined the Arts section of The Times in January 2000 and four years later was named chief film critic, a post he shares with Manohla Dargis.

If you wonder what kind of movies he prefers, here’s a list of his 10 “favorite” films of the last decade, as published in The Times last November: “Carol,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Lady Bird,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Minding the Gap,” “Moonlight” “Norte, the End of History,” “Timbuktu,” “Toni Erdmann” and “The Tree of Life.”

— Mort Sheinman, Web Editor

HOW TO RESERVE: To attend, reservations are necessary. We use Eventbrite to handle our luncheon reservations. There is no extra charge for this unless you choose to pay in advance for your ticket with a credit card. All you need to do is click the link, then click on the word “TICKETS” and follow the directions:


You will then receive an email confirmation.

You may also reserve by calling the Silurians’ reservation line at 212-532-0887. Please spell your name clearly and include a contact number or email address. Lunch prices are $55 for members, $65 for guests, payable at the door by credit card, check or cash (exact change, please). And you’re bringing a guest, make sure to tell us your guest’s name. Each member is allowed to reserve for one guest, with additional guests put on a waiting list, pending a final count.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Because we must give the National Arts Club a final attendance tally two days before the luncheon, we cannot accept cancellations after noon on Monday, March 16. If you fail to cancel your reservation by then and turn out to be a no-show, you will nevertheless be billed for the lunch because the NAC will bill us for it. So please make your reservation, assure yourself a seat and join us for what promises to be an extra-special event.


Entries Now Being Accepted Through March 20
For ‘Excellence in Journalism’ Awards

Entries are now being accepted for the 75th annual Excellence in Journalism competition sponsored by the Silurians Press Club. Journalists from print, broadcast and digital media in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area are invited to compete in 15 categories. The competition rules and award categories are listed below.

To enter the competition, go to: https://silurians.submittable.com/submit

The Silurians Press Club, founded in 1924, is made up of more than 300 active and retired New York-area journalists. In addition to sponsoring the journalism competition, the Silurians provide scholarships for local journalism students, maintain a fund for journalists in financial trouble, host monthly luncheons and present an annual Lifetime Achievement Award to an outstanding New York journalist. Questions about the competition should be emailed to Awards Chair Jack Deacy at jackdeacy@gmail.com.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the National Arts Club, New York, on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.


  • The entry fee for a media organization is $75 per submission, which must be paid at the time of entry.
  • Individuals or freelancers may submit their own work for an entry fee of $25 per submission, which must be paid at the time of entry.
  • All entries must have been published or broadcast during 2019.
  • The subject matter of entries should pertain to New York City and the Greater Metropolitan Area.
  • No more than three entries may be submitted for each category by a single organization or by an individual or freelancer. A series on a single topic will be considered a single entry.
  • Each entry should be labeled with its category and be accompanied by a cover letter noting the entry’s importance or impact.
  • Deadline: Entries must be received by Monday, March 2, 2020  

Questions about the competiton should be emailed to Silurians Awards Chair Jack Deacy at jackdeacy@gmail.com.


  1. BREAKING NEWS (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media)
  2. FEATURE NEWS (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines) 
  3. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines)
  4. BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL REPORTING (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media,        Magazines) 
  5. SCIENCE, HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines) 
  6. ARTS AND CULTURE REPORTING (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines)
  7. SPORTS REPORTING AND COMMENTARY (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines) 
  8. EDITORIALS / COMMENTARY/ PUBLIC SERVICE (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines) )  
  9. PEOPLE PROFILES (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines) 
  10. MINORITY AFFAIRS REPORTING (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines) 
  11. BREAKING NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines) 
  12. FEATURE NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines)
  13. SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY (Newspapers, News Wire Services, Online Media, Magazines) 
  14. BROADCAST JOURNALISM (Television: Breaking News/Feature News)
  15. BROADCAST JOURNALISM (Radio: Breaking News/Feature News)                    


President David Andelman (right) presents Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” with the Silurian Press Club’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala dinner Oct. 16 at the National Arts Club. For more photos of the dinner, click here.