January 3, 2017

The New York Film Academy Los Angeles is delighted to welcome its newest faculty member, Peter Rainer, who has 30 years of professional experience as a film critic. “There is still nothing like seeing a movie in a theater on a big screen and being awed by the whole experience — that communal feeling,” says Rainer.

Rainer is currently the film critic for the Christian Science Monitor and can be heard regularly on NPR’s “Film Week” on kpcc-fm. He was one of three finalists in 1998 for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism and is a three-time winner of the Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award for best online film critic.

Rainer is president of the National Society of Film Critics and has appeared as a film commentator on CNN, ABC News World Tonight, Bloomberg Radio and Nightline. Peter served as film critic for New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, New Times Los Angeles and Los Angeles magazine. His writings have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and GQ.

He has also written and co-produced two A&E biographies, on Sidney Poitier and John Huston, as well as co-authoring the film “Joyride” (1977). He has served on the main juries for the Venice and Montreal film festivals.

The first film Rainer reviewed professionally was “Chinatown,” which is considered a must-see for any aspiring screenwriter or director.

“I really had this jones to be a critic ever since my dad gave me this book called ‘Agee on Film: Criticism and Comment on the Movies,'” says Rainer, on beginning his career. “I learned you could be a real writer and still be a critic.”

Beginning this spring, Rainer will teach a special topics seminar which will consist of eight classes that focus on the career of Robert Altman, whose work Rainer admires tremendously.

For those looking to acquaint themselves with Rainer’s work prior to his lectures, we recommend some of his publications, which include “Love and Hisses” (1991) and “Rainer on Film: Thirty Years of Film Writing in a Turbulent Era” (2013), a career-spanning collection of his essays about which David Denby of The New Yorker wrote: “No one is better at establishing the intersection of politics and popular culture.”

In addition to his seminars, Rainer has been a guest speaker at NYFA LA and intends to speak at the New York campus in 2017.