Armond White Appreciation Thread

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Totally forgot about this. And, yeah, this kind of petty stupidity was definitely one of the things that instigated the notoriety and hatred towards him. Maybe the main thing, initially.
Right, why else would Nolan-obsessed teenagers feel so strongly about the New York Press film reviews that they weren't reading?

Granted, those who actually read his reviews had a lot of complaints as well, but without Rotten Tomatoes he wouldn't have achieved such infamy.
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He was often the spoiler that caused popular films to lose their 100% Tomatometers. I don't frequent RT any more, but back when I did it was VERY important to Pixar fans that every movie get a 100 and his review was often the first to knock them down to 99. I wonder if people still feel that passionately about the Tomatometer. But yeah, I remember folks lobbying to get him off RT so that their favorite film could be back to 100, as if that matters.
I remember those days well. In fact, I might have made this...




I get why some people dislike him as he's undoubtedly a troll, but as for the whole "worst film critic of all time" title many have given to him, I find his approach far too interesting for him to be labeled as such. While his criticisms can fall apart more often than not (which is to expect when someone goes into a film with the intention of going against the grain), he at least tries to make his reviews as interesting as he can and doesn't just use simple "It's boring and slow" criticism which the average non-serious moviegoer uses. Therefore, while I wouldn't call him a good critic, he's still very interesting.
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He gets paid to do what everyone on social media does: Be contrarian for attention and use buzzwords to trick you that it's an informed opinion.




I get why some people dislike him as he's undoubtedly a troll, but as for the whole "worst film critic of all time" title many have given to him, I find his approach far too interesting for him to be labeled as such. While his criticisms can fall apart more often than not (which is to expect when someone goes into a film with the intention of going against the grain), he at least tries to make his reviews as interesting as he can and doesn't just use simple "It's boring and slow" criticism which the average non-serious moviegoer uses. Therefore, while I wouldn't call him a good critic, he's still very interesting.

Even if we completely accept that he's become a troll (which is at least a good majority of the time easy to at least suspect), I think some might undervalue the need for purposefully contrarian voices. There are still ideas in his trolling, there is still references to the history of film in his contrarianism, so even if we want to roll our eyes at his verdict of a film and even his reasoning of why it fails or succeeds, at the very least he offers a place to begin a discussion. Even if it is only to yell at him.


Franky I find it disheartening when White is labelled as the big problem with modern film criticism. Because he isn't even remotely the problem. The main issue is treating a critic like a canary in a coal mine, who apparently might die if a film doesn't behave in very specific ways. Keeping audiences from the danger of a film offering them anything beyond what they are specifically looking for. It's never about ideas. It's never about generating discussion. Or trying to see how a film fits into the history of the art form. Its just a checklist of the things they were happy to see done, and a frowny face towards any deviation.


Now that thing is great for people who want the surest bet possible when they watch a film. It's for people who disdain the notion that film always inevitably evolves outside of their specific comfort zones (and then reacts with hostility when it does so). But these people aren't critics, and to have them pimped out as being so in local newspapers, is what is killing the notion of criticism being a viable artform of its own. It is turning art, which should be a multifaceted thing, to be discussed on all kinds of levels (from the superficial to the profound) into an aid for audiences to be left behind wherever films choose to go next.


Basically, it's for people who disdain the notion that art should be anything but some disposable Kleenex, that has a very specific function, for a very specific amount of time, and then can be discarded. Because it was all just about killing some time anyways