Monday, February 16, 2009

Disdainful as I am about biographical criticism, I'm tempted to sift the ore in this New York Magazine profile of iconoclastic film critic New York Press film critic Armond White (I'm equally tempted to ignore the nepotistic inclinations of a piece written by and to other New York critics, and maybe I should when confronted by ad-man patter like this: "[White] doesn’t mind playing the heel, the bringer of illusion-dissolving cold water, the man the peanut gallery loves to hate" -- White as, what, Al Gore?*). White, he admits, was raised as a Pentecostal, a way of looking at the other world that tends to the Manichean:
I’m a believer. I think God is the force for ultimate good in the universe. He made the movies, didn’t he? If you cut me open, that’s what you’d find: the movies, Bible verses, and Motown lyrics.”
On Close Encounters of the Third Kind, his partisanship of which stands as the best example of his famous admiration for Steven Spielberg:
“There I was, having seen that film, a truly great film, and I was walking through this blanket of pristine snow in the suburbs. I was the only one around. I’d never experienced a moment of such purity; perhaps I never will again.”
If anyone has got links to White's eighties rock criticism published in The Village Voice (I've read bits on the Pet Shop Boys and Morrissey), send it over.

*Author Mark Jacobson constructs his own escape hatch by quoting "one well-known film critic": “Armond’s smart and all, I get a kick out of him, but do I really have to see him looking out of the magazine like he’s the last angry, honest man in the film culture?” Go ahead -- answer the question.


bill w said...

Have you read AW's Tupac book? I haven't.

Alfred Soto said...

I have no interest.

Sean Connell said...