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 The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END

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Largo's Shark
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PostSubject: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:05 am

I think it's fair to give thread to in honour of the greatest living film critic - Armond White. While I don't always agree with his views, or his often painfully verbose language, he brings a fresh perspective to looking at film. Only Gregory Solman comes close in my book.

With the dismantling of the NYpress, Armond's moved to City Arts, a New York arts paper. His first essay s one on Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS, and the current remake.  

Quote :
Star Dogs's Art Legacy

By Armond White

Pekinpah As Pop, Peckinpah As Classic

Think of Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 Straw Dogs as a pop myth, not some vulgar expiation of unruly, anti-feminist temper—or Hollywood exploitation of same. Its story, by now a notorious legend, digs into a primal event: a modern, civilized man forced to use brute cunning to protect his home and property. Peckinpah’s dismantling of social custom comes from an era unlike today when popular filmmakers, through personal intelligence and experience, believed art had a serious purpose. The new remake of Straw Dogs trashes that precept and the disaster should resound throughout the art world. Anyone who cares about art in any form should rise up against this foul remake.

Let’s give Peckinpah’s most controversial work its due by relating its most startling scene—a sexual assault on the hero’s flirtatious wife that is more than she or casual moviegoers bargained for—with an equally provocative work of classical art, Titian’s 1559 painting “The Rape of Europa.” This isn’t a wild stretch but a reminder of the depth and vision serious filmmaking ought to share with other artifacts of our cultural heritage.



Consider how art scholar Susan Benford’s description of Titian fits Straw Dogs’ hotly contentious scene: “This grand painting portrays the abduction of Europa by a determined Jupiter, disguised as a bull. Europa is a reclining nude both submissive and resistant, appearing both abandoned with desire and frightened, beneath a calm blue sky with threatening storms. The Putti, or Cupids, in the sky and atop the dolphin, are mesmerized watching the tension between the lovers, while the nymphs vague on the distant shore, watch and wave helplessly. Both her generous, billowing flesh and Jupiter’s tail seem to quiver with excitement at the pending sexual act…Each time I visit it, I feel that Titian‘s bull’s eye—inescapably leering, impossible to avoid—is the most intensely painted of any eye in Western art, human or animal. It’s riveting, dares you not to stare back and is not to be missed.”

Peckinpah’s bullseye in Straw Dogs is proof of how cinematic art equals the power of the classical arts. Its uncompromising vision and intensity is what we no longer expect from today’s fawning, dumbed-down Hollywood. Reviewers who applaud the Straw Dogs remake readily liken it to cheap-thrill blockbusters, but neglect to recall Peckinpah’s heroic antecedents.

To remake Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs shows Hollywood’s usual barbarism, a shameless assault on our cultural heritage. Worse than the shoddy film itself is the complaisance shown by reviewers who accept the trashy new remake as part of their own business routine. These circumstances trap all those moviegoers who never saw Peckinpah’s 1971 original or maybe never even heard of it, in cultural ignorance. It normalizes vulgarity, inanity and disrespect for culture.

After the cultural battles won by Picasso, Joyce and D.H. Lawrence, it’s shocking to have to defend Peckinpah against 21st-century vulgarians who do not distinguish his artistry from grindhouse smut or social exploitation. Peckinpah’s films were infamous for bypassing cultural niceties. Ride the High Country, The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, The Getaway, Junior Bonner, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, The Killer Elite, Convoy and The Osterman Weekend all exploded genre conventions. Despite their controversial dynamism, those films updated moral movie watching reflexes to accommodate the post-WWII reactions to the American legacy—mostly romantic attitudes about loyalty, crime and family.

Peckinpah redefined the modern complexities of masculine and feminine identity by going deeper into the feelings associated with the western (a moral epic in High Country, Wild Bunch and Junior Bonner) and action movie (a test of personal and political ethics in Alfredo Garcia and The Killer Elite). Straw Dogs combined the genres; its unnerving virtuosity got under the already crawling skin of white-flight, feminist, Vietnam-era America. The story of an intellectual (played by Dustin Hoffman when he embodied the zeitgeist) retreating to rural life but unable to avoid the call of the wild, distilled a brilliantly simple narrative into a something as discomforting and unavoidable as psychotherapy. With The Wild Bunch, Peckinpah’s visceral, kinetic style—lyrical, viscous, slo-mo details—forever changed editing technology to reveal the raw ferocity and elegant absurdity of violence. Only Sergei Eisenstein—and no one after Peckinpah—captured a collapsing human body so memorably. (Artist Robert Longo’s 1980s Falling Men series paid tribute to this.)

Even if Peckinpah’s imitators imitated him for the worst, the culture was changed for the better through his fearless look at the desperation and folly within mankind. He used slo-mo not for titillation but for a shocking awareness of time and mortality. That’s what makes Straw Dogs possibly “Bloody” Sam’s greatest film, the movie that least needed remaking. It only, constantly, needs appreciation, acknowledgement and acceptance. The battle for understanding art continues.

Critical Complaisance or Critical Collusion?

A new 21st-century Straw Dogs remake would only be necessary if it reacquainted audiences with the difficult realities that Peckinpah’s singular style exposed and claimed a hand in. But that’s exactly what our acquiescent, commercially vulgarized culture misrepresents. Not to pick on the New York Times’ laudatory review of record but it typifies the problem of a non-rigorous, incurious, cultural attitude that forgets heritage and is too compliant with commercialism. Perhaps by detailing the Times’ negligence, the problem of cultural lassitude can be identified and avoided.



Starting with referring to remake director Rod Lurie (who parlayed a journalism gig into a Hollywood career) as a former “film critic” presupposes that Lurie had some sort of cinematic expertise to transfer. But Lurie’s lousy filmography (The Last Castle, The Contender, etc.) suggests quite the opposite. Straw Dogs could only be remade by an imbecile with no knowledge of Peckinpah’s artistic or political achievement. Calling Peckinpah’s film a “venerable and violent button pusher” yet commending Lurie’s as “odd and interesting” perverts standards of intellection and aesthetics. Loftily pretending that Lurie’s “hyperbole is more amusing than offensive” only confirms our culture’s false sophistication.

In 1971 critics were appalled by Peckinpah’s blunt violence and eroticism; today those aspects of cinema are shrugged off, ridiculed. Lurie extracts the seriousness from Peckinpah’s primal story of a man defending his house from intruders, yet the Times huffs that he’s “holding a fun-house mirror up to an America that seems, at the moment, to thrive on polarization and mutual contempt.” This doesn’t help. It’s sophistry that accepts the contrivance of Liberal partisanship as a game.” To confuse Lurie’s inanity with a polemical purpose is a fatuous way of selling contemporary product while disrespecting—and demeaning—a redoubtable masterpiece.

It took more than Quentin Tarantino to derange the appreciation of movie violence from a moral aesthetic to a fan boy delectation. As with a hack like Lurie, the derangement must be abetted by media shills who pretend that this vulgarization is OK. It’s useless to blame “the sensibilities of the times” as an excuse for Lurie’s crudeness. Citing “Something of the corrosive, absurd logic of the culture is captured in the interactions between David and the gang of good ol’ boys who become his mortal enemies” misses the point Randy Newman made so well in his 1972 album Good Ol’ Boys, where Liberal-Conservative tension was more actively engaged.

Referring to Peckinpah’s savage tableau as “a nasty, queasy, fascinating document of its era” is a rank criticism, similar to the kind of belittling Maureen Dowd practices. Peckinpah’s art is not of an era but of soul. To praise the mindless Lurie for “uncover[ing] an unacknowledged layer of feminism” in the story misses the complexity of Peckinpah’s original vision.

Peckinpah’s daring should not be forgotten but deserves to be met with daring, rigorous critical standards. Initially the rape in Straw Dogs (source of the film’s politically incorrect controversy) drew more ire than the rape in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange due to Peckinpah’s Titian-like pitilessness. Peckinpah didn’t distance horror with Kubrickian cool or with Lurie’s trite politics. Critic Kyle Smith aptly ridiculed Lurie’s remake by juxtaposing it with Kenny Rogers’ more honest and affecting pop hit “Coward of the County.”

In the original Straw Dogs, Peckinpah’s fraught sensuality and compacted male fears subverted p.c. feminism so much even non-feminist Pauline Kael sought different terms to critique it. Her slam “fascist” reacts to the unsettling power of what Peckinpah evokes; it peculiarly tags the film as something it isn’t. The sex and violence in Straw Dogs are the brushstrokes Peckinpah uses to convey man’s personal confusion. After David’s manly defense of home, he drives into the dark with his doppleganger idiot who complains, “I don’t know my way home.” David’s response “Neither do I” isn’t fascist triumphalism but boldly admits personal moral alarm. It’s different from the utter moral and aesthetic confusion that Lurie stirs up. If we recover our cultural standards and make useful critical comparison of original and remake, we will realize, like Smith’s apples-and-oranges comparison, how Peckinpah’s apple kicks shit out of Lurie’s Clockwork Orange.
http://cityarts.info/2011/09/21/cityarts-forum-straw-dogs-art-legacy/


Last edited by Largo's Shark on Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:15 am; edited 13 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:28 am

I respect White for going against the grain; although, I'm not sure if he just does it for trolling's sake.

Regardless, I loved his review for TOY STORY 3. I loved the response to his critique even more, especially when the fanboys at Rotten Tomatoes were e-crying because he didn't allow the film to have a perfect score.

The movie really wasn't that great, anyhow.

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/06/19/armond-whites-toy-story-3-review-enrages-fanboys-and-groupthinkers/

http://www.nypress.com/article-21357-bored-game.html

Quote :
“The Toy Story franchise isn’t for children and adults, it’s for non-thinking children and adults. When a movie is this formulaic, it’s no longer a toy because it does all the work for you. It’s a sap’s story,”


Spot-on.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:50 am

Mr. Brown wrote:
I respect White for going against the grain; although, I'm not sure if he just does it for trolling's sake.

The guy's a 60 something academic. Trolling doesn't come into the equation.

Quote :
Drive

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

So many better movies echo throughout the wannabe thriller Drive—including bad movies, like the entire Michael Mann catalog—that the resonance nearly drowns out the film’s brazen imitation of one particularly good movie: Walter Hill’s 1978 The Driver.

That Ryan O’Neal film now becomes a Ryan Gosling vehicle—an immediate decline. Gosling plays a loner stuntman who does underworld transport for Jewish mobsters on Hollywood’s fringe. His jaded view of life is part of his alienated cool, warmed over by a single mother waitress (cry-baby Carey Mulligan) awaiting the arrival of her ex-con Latino boyfriend. Director Nicolas Winding Refn shows no sense of how classes and ethnicities mix in L.A. He prefers evoking the sleek, unreal, existential cool of film noir loners.

But Refn’s cinephilia is specious and imprecise, while Hill’s revisionist modernism uncannily updated the aesthetic and spiritual essence of both American and European noir (Anthony Mann as well as Jean-Pierre Melville) into an original, idiosyncratic vision. Hill’s The Driver wasn’t a thriller it was thrilling, featuring the best on-screen car chases to this day. Refn, infected by Mann, produces fake toughness, fake sentimentality and fake style.

Drive is so relentlessly inexpressive of the modern world that it’s often inadvertently comic. Not just when the inadequate Gosling drops his dull Steve McQueen impersonation and lets slip Mickey Rourke’s old smile, but especially when his laconic Old Boy routine clashes with a group of vicious old goats—Ron Perlman and especially Albert Brooks as hypersensitive machers. Brooks’ zany turn as a psychotic has the best dialogue (“It’s not bad timing, it’s bad luck”), but it’s not quite as zany as Refn’s mannerisms, which get hilarious during Gosling’s rampages, especially a hammer attack in front of nude, silicon-enhanced strippers who look on idly like the mannequins in Kubrick’s Korova Milk Bar.

Refn’s good facial videography and portentous thrumming music turns hardboiled storytelling into obviousness. The monotonous, derivative Drive should be retitled Drone.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:56 pm

I've seen THE DRIVER. Didn't think much of it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:06 pm

White never grew up. He is still the adolescent child that loves movies that have big explosions, cliche hooks and turns, or border-line film porn. I read his reviews only to laugh.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:12 pm

Sharky reads his reviews because I think he's addicted to joylessness.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:47 pm

I like Armond White for the same reason I like folk like Peter Hitchens and Douglas Murray. I think it is always important to have intelligent people voicing honest, if unpopular, opinions. I increasingly find consensus very unsettling.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:14 pm

HJackson wrote:
I think it is always important to have intelligent people voicing honest, if unpopular, opinions. I increasingly find consensus very unsettling.

Never read Armond White, but certainly agree with above. Even though I find consensus unsettling. ;)
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:09 am

Chief of SIS wrote:
White never grew up. He is still the adolescent child that loves movies that have big explosions, cliche hooks and turns, or border-line film porn.

Eh? Have you ever seriously read Armond White?
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:42 am

You bet I have. While he is well versed and understands a great deal about film making, it doesn't hide the fact that he reviews on a check-list of criteria and often seems to relish creating new and verbose ways to criticize more than actually looking at films in their isolated entirety. While I appreciate someone that can go against the grain, read his review of Super 8 for example. His main point is that the plot panders to the audience. That's fine. I can see how he might think that and he gives a legitimate example, but the way he addresses the issue is to give a career critique of Steven Spielberg. I'm not trying to reading a freaking thesis paper on Spielberg's effect on the movie industry. Talk to me about the issues with Super 8. Explain clearly why the movie fails on its own. He's better off as a lowly ranting blogger.

As for the adolescent child comment, I stick by it. Behind all his words and knowledge is the fact that he's a pretty flat, one dimensional reviewer who seems to confuse knowledge of an industry with personal views and grandiose ideas. Someone who likes to talk without considering their audience or its purpose.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:51 am

Chief of SIS wrote:
You bet I have. While he is well versed and understands a great deal about film making, it doesn't hide the fact that he reviews on a check-list of criteria and often seems to relish creating new and verbose ways to criticize more than actually looking at films in their isolated entirety. While I appreciate someone that can go against the grain, read his review of Super 8 for example. His main point is that the plot panders to the audience. That's fine. I can see how he might think that and he gives a legitimate example, but the way he addresses the issue is to give a career critique of Steven Spielberg. I'm not trying to reading a freaking thesis paper on Spielberg's effect on the movie industry. Talk to me about the issues with Super 8. Explain clearly why the movie fails on its own.

To use a cliche, "art doesn't exist in a vacuum."

One of the reasons why I prefer White to almost all other so called "movie critics" out there today, is because he don't solely judge films on their own merits. He always draws relevant comparisons (sometimes less relevant, but still, there's always some logic behind it). Cinema exists in a hierarchy. The old relativist bollocks of "apples and oranges" is useless when it comes to serous critique. Not "cinephile" blog crap.

Why did he put the best of Spielberg next to JJ Abrams and SUPER 8? Because the film is a blatant a homage to Spielberg. Abrams has said it in press conferences and interviews, and the film's entire marketing campaign was based around that shtick, even using James Horner's score to a Spielberg-lite 80s flick - COCOON.

Armond demonstrates the stark differences between Spielberg's masterful technique and Abrams's televisual tripe. Spielberg's humanism and genuine pathos, next to Abrams's bland, commercialized, sentimentality. White defends Spielberg from his detractors, destroys his imitators, and found a positive comparison in PAUL. Another Spielberg produced blockbuster, starring the guy himself.

Chief of SIS wrote:
As for the adolescent child comment, I stick by it. Behind all his words and knowledge is the fact that he's a pretty flat, one dimensional reviewer who seems to confuse knowledge of an industry with personal views and grandiose ideas.

Well, I'd argue that he has all three- a profound knowledge of film and the industry, along with his personal views and "grandiose ideas."

Chief of SIS wrote:
Someone who likes to talk without considering their audience or its purpose.

And who exactly are his audience?

That's typical marketing exec bollocks. Trying to target a "demographic" and pander to their needs. That's not being a critic, that's a Goddamn advertiser. Just like Roger Ebert.

A critic's purpose is to educate, to enlighten, and to make you see art from a different perspective. To challenge the audience.

How the hell can one do that, if they have to write beneath themselves?


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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:52 am

Avarice wrote:
HJackson wrote:
I think it is always important to have intelligent people voicing honest, if unpopular, opinions. I increasingly find consensus very unsettling.

Never read Armond White, but certainly agree with above. Even though I find consensus unsettling. ;)

+1.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:54 am

HJackson wrote:
I like Armond White for the same reason I like folk like Peter Hitchens and Douglas Murray. I think it is always important to have intelligent people voicing honest, if unpopular, opinions. I increasingly find consensus very unsettling.

Hitchens is a great read. Must read more Armon!
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:09 am

Armond White is a mediocre academic and a worse human being.

That said, he doesn't deserve the venom that has been thrown at him, and often his reviews are more cogent than the oft-cited caricature of Armond White suggests.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:19 am

Harmsway wrote:
Armond White is a mediocre academic and a worse human being.

And an excellent film critic.

Who cares how he is as a human being, except God?

Harms, you disappoint me.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:24 am

The important question is does he have pubic hair?
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:33 am

Sharky wrote:
And an excellent film critic.
He succeeds at being a provocateur, not much else. If that's what you value in criticism, fine, but I value truth more.

Sharky wrote:
Who cares how he is as a human being, except God?
Well, me. Some work can be appreciated apart from the real person behind it. In this case, the work is somewhat inseparable from the creator.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:39 am

Harmsway wrote:
Sharky wrote:
And an excellent film critic.
He succeeds at being a provocateur, not much else.

Nope. He's much more than just a lightning rod.

Harmsway wrote:
Sharky wrote:
Who cares how he is as a human being, except God?

I do. A person's integrity matters and how it relates to his work depends greatly on the nature of his work. In this case, the work is somewhat inseparable from the creator.

If a pleasant temperament were a key requirement of film criticism, then Leonard Maltin would be No. 1.

Pauline Kael and Manny Farber weren't exactly angels either, but I'd argue that doesn't in any way detract from their greatness.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:46 am

Sharky wrote:
Nope. He's much more than just a lightning rod.
Oh, I know you think as much, since you've bought into a number of his critiques and ideas. That said, I think he's full of hot air and has a fairly muddled, incoherent philosophical outlook on the world.

Sharky wrote:
Pauline Kael and Manny Farber weren't exactly angels either, but I'd argue that doesn't in any way detract from their greatness.
Kael's overrated.

The problem lies with White's self-righteousness. He makes himself into a target.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:55 am

Harmsway wrote:
That said, I think he's full of hot air and has a fairly muddled, incoherent philosophical outlook on the world.

Examples?

Harmsway wrote:
Kael's overrated.

By White? For sure. I think he once said Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris were his mom and dad of film critics.

These days in general Kael's views a lot less popular.

Harmsway wrote:
The problem lies with White's self-righteousness. He makes himself into a target.

I think that's been more of a problem in past years. In 2011 so far, White's been pretty humble.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:23 am

Harmsway wrote:
If that's what you value in criticism, fine, but I value truth more.

Armond presents it for you on a giant plate. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:47 am

Sharky wrote:
Examples?
His half-claimed Christianity pops up quite frequently in the reviews I've read, but it often seems so disconnected from the rest of his concerns (nevermind that the Protestant Christian heritage White claims is somewhat at odds with the ivory-tower type of criticism he admires; democratization of intellectual culture is, in part, the Protestant legacy, particularly in the forms of Protestantism that White claims as having influenced him). White seems to hold a weird mish-mash of values, none of which seem to be given absolute precedence over all others, and to which he rarely offers any clarity before offering even more pontifications and strong claims. Maybe I'm wrong and White does have some unified philosophical system behind all his criticism, but I doubt anybody can figure out what it is.

Sharky wrote:
These days in general Kael's views a lot less popular.
She is still often referred to as a kind of saint of film criticism, but her ideas about film and art don't bear out and have been rightly rejected. She can write persuasively and passionately, but the legitimacy and coherence of the thought is more important than the quality of the expression.

Sharky wrote:
I think that's been more of a problem in past years. In 2011 so far, White's been pretty humble.
I haven't followed him at all this year, beyond briefly scanning the posts of his reviews in this thread.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:10 am

Harmsway wrote:
His half-claimed Christianity pops up quite frequently in the reviews I've read, but it often seems so disconnected from the rest of his concerns (nevermind that the Protestant Christian heritage White claims is somewhat at odds with the ivory-tower type of criticism he admires; democratization of intellectual culture is, in part, the Protestant legacy, particularly in the forms of Protestantism that White claims as having influenced him).

It don't think that is entirely true. It also depends what you mean when you say "the ivory-tower type of criticism he practices." White is not in favour of withholding intellectual thought from the masses, or talking down to them. He addresses them on the same level he would with another academic, which is I wager why many are frustrated with him.

What he does defend however, is the notion that the titles academics like him hold, actually mean something. That he's worked his arse off since the 70s to get to where he is now, and that self-proclaimed 20 something film critic bloggers are not on the same level of expertise. I don't think that's an unfair claim to make, or too contradictory to the protestant tradition. He's defending his livelihood.

If someone not as educated as him, were pose to him an argument, he wouldn't shut them out. He will engage with them and try his best to tackle that argument.

Harmsway wrote:
Maybe I'm wrong and White does have some unified philosophical system behind all his criticism, but I doubt anybody can figure out what it is.

I think that's more your lack of familiarity with White, Harms. I think I've figured some of it out.

Sharky wrote:
She can write persuasively and passionately, but the legitimacy and coherence of the thought is more important than the quality of the expression.

Not all of her ideas are legitimate, but there's a lot of coherence there.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:24 am

Sharky wrote:
I don't think that's an unfair claim to make, or too contradictory to the protestant tradition.
Depending on what side of the Protestant tradition. The High Protestant traditions, no. But White claims the Low Protestant traditions (High and Low here should not be read as statements of legitimacy, but rather approaches to religious knowledge). The religious traditions with which White associates himself are, relatively speaking, of the more anti-intellectual thrust.

Sharky wrote:
If someone not as educated as him, were pose to him an argument, he wouldn't shut them out. He will engage with them and try his best to tackle that argument.
I'm not so sure about that. In an interview, White said he wouldn't waste his breath defending Spielberg to someone who disagreed with him.

Sharky wrote:
I think that's more your lack of familiarity with White, Harms. I think I've figured some of it out.
Oh, I can figure out what he's against and what he's for, but I can't entirely figure out why, or what the floating references to Christianity and religion actually boil down to, and how that tradition ultimately relates to his outlook. I see more dissonance than coherence here. Care to elucidate White on these points?

Sharky wrote:
Not all of her ideas are legitimate, but there's a lot of coherence there.
True.
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PostSubject: Re: The Armond White Thread - THE GRANDMASTER and THE WORLD'S END   Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:38 am

Harmsway wrote:
Sharky wrote:
These days in general Kael's views a lot less popular.
She is still often referred to as a kind of saint of film criticism, but her ideas about film and art don't bear out and have been rightly rejected. She can write persuasively and passionately, but the legitimacy and coherence of the thought is more important than the quality of the expression.

I'd say writing from beyond the grave is an impressive feat, regardless of quality.
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