another maniacal Armond White review, this time "Fahrenheit 9/11"

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There's probably a good point or two buried in here, but who can tell?

FILM OF THE FASCIST LIBERAL
Michael Moore mistakes image for message, panders, gloats.

By Armond White


Before Quentin Tarantino and his fellow Cannes jurors passed judgment on President Bush by awarding Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 the Palme d'Or (thus inflating the film's importance), they should have queried themselves: Have they done anything in their own films to tame the arrogance of a man, a moviegoer, like Bush? Not much in the careers of American jurors Tarantino, Kathleen Turner and Jerry Schatzberg encourages audiences to think or behave politically. American cinema in the Tarantino years has pandered to violence, racism, greed and self-satisfaction. It's not impossible that the torturers at Abu Ghraib—including even Saddam Hussein's own precedent-setting torturers—were inspired by the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs. QT made sadism hip and sent it 'round the world. Now we're stuck in the middle of a global crisis for which neither he, nor Michael Moore, have an answer.

To pretend that Fahrenheit 9/11 is a work of art is disingenuous. Moore himself is part of the punditocracy that, like unscrupulous politicians, solicits trite sentiment. His exploitative title doesn't measure temperature; it disgraces that sorrowful date just to inflame liberal guilt. For Moore, guilt covers everything that stemmed from Bush's election and is only eased by blame. Moore doesn't separate the election from the terrorists' attacks or from the war on Iraq. As in Bowling for Columbine, he lines up unrelated points for a domino effect of dissatisfaction. This is not historical context; it's a harangue.

But in the Tarantino era, film folk seldom look at movies intelligently—or politically. They become dupes for the sarcastic invective Moore offers in place of argument. His supposed "coup" of Bush visiting a Florida elementary school after being informed of the first World Trade tower hit turns out a dud. Moore times Bush's visit with a digital counter but clearly we're not watching Bush wallow in playtime or indecision. It's seven minutes of the most powerful man in the world suffering. He's miserably distracted. Moore's insensitivity—certain to the point of hostility that he alone is right—amounts to liberalism with a fascist face.

The orgy of self-congratulation at Cannes proved film culture has lost the imperative of humane understanding. The lunacy was repeated stateside with local acclaim for Jehane Noujaim's specious Control Room. Apparently, the double whammy of 9/11 and the Iraq War has so rattled modern moral conscience that American self-hatred is the new documentary mode. No one required Noujaim to trace the history of Al Jazeera or examine its standard content. Her celebration of Al Jazeera (as opposition to any media representing American interests) was carelessly praised as some kind of palliative: "The number one must-see film of the summer." "An essential movie [that] not only goes through the looking glass, but turns the mirror back on us."

As Kevin Costner worried in JFK, we are indeed through the looking glass now. Political paranoia has turned critics and festival jurors into small-minded esthetes who prize their own objection to the Iraq War over their obligation to truth. Through Noujaim's ineptitude (or is she just biased?) the propagandists of Al Jazeera are defended simply to please Bush's opponents, those willing to believe that Americans are always wrong, always to blame, never to be trusted. It's unbearable to sit in a Control Room audience full of masochistic Americans lapping up the calumny.

Of course, Noujaim heroizes journalists, the most duplicitous of modern professionals, on both sides of the war. She humors the U.S. military spokesman at Centcom in Baghdad as well as the very Westernized Al Jazeera employees. Her naive suggestion that journalists are apolitical matches Moore's disregard of journalistic accountability. (That's one way to guarantee good reviews.) She cannily keeps her distance from those Al Jazeera employees who wear robes and turbans. Noujaim wants to make Arab reporters seem just like ours—an elite class—so she refrains from asking about their politics. This ruse of journalistic fairness and impartiality links Control Room to Fahrenheit: They're sham docs for gullible viewers. Both films use non-inquiring "entertainment" devices (talking heads as celebrities) at precisely the moment we should be looking at the world more seriously, delving into personal motive.

The corruption of documentary with entertainment is at the heart of Michael Moore's style—it's also his failing. Cheap, easy laughs don't constitute an argument; like pity and self-righteous anger, it all stems from simplistic outrage. His best moment shows a phalanx of black congresspersons protesting the 2000 presidential election and being undermined by the Senate (Al Gore presiding). By targeting Bush, Moore absolves all those bad senators of their responsibilities.

But Moore neglects the real journalistic work of seeking out why this intramural betrayal happened. He's after an effect, not the facts. Difficult, gut-twisting and disillusioning as politics are, Moore never inquires into the human basis of political behavior. Such revelations once distinguished the documentary as an art form; now the genre is merde. There's no insight into the political process or why politicians routinely cheat their constituency—such as Democratic congressman John Conyers Jr. admitting, "We don't read most of the bills!" Thus Moore lets a soundbite explain why the Patriot Act passed.

As facile as the makers of The Blair Witch Project and Capturing the Friedmans, Moore's doc method avoids complexity. He makes trite points (Bush golfing, politicos putting on make-up) that vitiate his professed seriousness. Like Noujaim, Moore knows that his pseudo-serious audience doesn't want debate. Their mandate is for superficial provocation: Slam Bush and the war so we don't have to ponder our own capitalism or unwillingness to fight.

Neither Fahrenheit nor Control Room tell us what life is like now, in what the West knows as the Terrorist Millennium. Glossing the issues of "a staged war," emphasizing Bush's incompetence and the mendacity of his cabinet (even Noujaim offers distanced ridicule of Bush policies) is, essentially, an ad hominem attack, not ideological or moral reasoning. Merde. These filmmakers practice the lazy tactic of cutting from an inane Bush speech to screaming, injured Iraqi women or children. This obfuscates the war with sentimentality. (Not just morally offensive editing, it hides behind the notion that killing men is an acceptable consequence of war but only a monster would harm women and children.) Moore and Noujaim's "entertaining" sallies (gotcha shots of Bush père et fils shaking hands with Saudi business partners; grieving mothers of U.S. soldiers) might be enough to sway the inattentive, but both movies leave important questions unasked.

Moore would have audiences believe that the security alert codes are entirely a Pentagon hoax (although he doesn't investigate why the national media goes along with it). Noujaim suggests there's no bias in Al Jazeera's rhetoric of images and speeches. (She even accepts a reporter's disdain for the Kurds in Iraq). Each pompous filmmaker ignores the threat of fanaticism—and the reality of American panic—because Iraq is their only cause. They're incapable of substantive political discourse. Moore likes to put bigwigs on the spot (including Ricky Martin and a gum-smacking Britney Spears!) but he never interviews people who can articulate an opposing point of view. In his hypocrisy, he chides the corporate greed behind Halliburton and the Carlyle Group as if it were alien to American custom.

This obtuse journalism also occurs in Control Room. Most reviewers quoted an Al Jazeera exec saying he wanted his children to be educated in America, but none observed his snide, middle-class contempt. (Was it too much like their own?) A good example of the complication that these movies skirt is the same exec's anger over a U.S. missile strike that hit Al Jazeera headquarters killing a correspondent and cameraman. "This is a crime," he says. "It must be avenged!" Noujaim accepts his threat as understandable rage, rather than demand journalistic integrity. No American reviews noticed this.

These films play too loosely with the passions aroused by the war, pandering to liberal Americans' kick-me guilt. That partly explains the Cannes debacle—many liberals simply want their prejudices entertained. This reduces the Palm d'Or to the level of the MTV Movie Awards.

Good, because Cannes has been on an anti-American spree since lauding Gus Van Sant's Elephant. Such grandstanding political gestures don't address popular cinema's decline—proof that people no longer recognize quality or care that a documentary be sound and informative. Few connect the ideology of pop culture to real-world political activity.

Jean-Luc Godard once famously said, "Every edit is a political act." But Godard's denunciation of Fahrenheit 9/11 was ignored by a U.S. media fawning over its Cannes victory (the latest Harvey Weinstein promotional stunt, facilitated by stooge Quentin). No major American media outlets quoted Godard: "Moore doesn't distinguish between text and image. He doesn't know what he's doing."

This time, Jean-Luc is only half right. Moore very deliberately mixes tv drama and movie clips into his rhetorical hodge-podge (referencing Bonanza, Dragnet and song clips by REM). These tropes probably made Tarantino delirious. Fahrenheit seizes upon the mess of postmodern capitalist pop only to misread how pop trivia malnourishes the moral lives of audiences—those who are then sent off to war, as well as Beltway politicians and Wall Street bankers who have the privilege to dismiss pop as escapism.

That's what Godard meant about distinguishing text and image. In Moore's doc style, images have only superficial, convenient meaning and no historical resonance—unlike Peter Davis' 1974 Vietnam doc Hearts and Minds, which used Hollywood clips (Bataan) to show the ideological indoctrination of pop culture. Davis suggested that a generation was fooled into romanticizing war and xenophobia. That was part of how Vietnam protestors understood their experience. Moore, being culturally ignorant, stands on shaky ground when he ridicules GIs who listen to pop on bombing missions, never respecting their cultural conditioning or examining their sense of patriotism. He's as clueless as those critics who lambasted David O. Russell's Desert Storm satire Three Kings. (A neglect that helped condition the country to continue Bush Sr.'s war.)

Moore doesn't understand the link between the Entertainment Industrial Complex and the Military Industrial Complex, and his dumbed-down method of turning political tragedy into comedy is part of the problem. It's a class vice in which the media elite can exercise disdain while pitying the underclass who must pay the price. Fahrenheit 9/11 becomes infuriating every time Moore uses a poor or black person to symbolize Bush's homeland victims (the same arrogance the Coen brothers pointed out with the Mother Jones gag in The Ladykillers). He returns to Flint, MI (the setting for Roger & Me) for sociological cheap shots but misses the real story of the post-9/11 experience—such as life among Muslim immigrants in Detroit where suspicion and opportunism mix. Or even the middle-American discomfort explained in Neil Young's Greendale, a vastly more revealing film.

Propaganda like Fahrenheit 9/11 won't help today's moviegoers gain political insight. Moore's condescension settles on young GIs wounded in Iraq, now in a veterans' hospital (where they face lost funding and benefits). One vet gives Moore what he wants: "I'm going to be very active this year and make sure that the Democrats take power." We're not supposed to remember the opening sequence that showed Democrats complicit with Bush's ascension and the invasion of Iraq. Moore, as desultory as Jerry Bruckheimer, simply wants to get a rise out of us. Like Tarantino, he's uninterested in making movies that show how the world really works.

Fahrenheit 9/11 and Control Room leave viewers susceptible to the deceptions of politicians and media charlatans. Exploiting the Iraq invasion and American political distress is a form of war profiteering. Documentaries this poor are no better than pulp fiction.


(so not only are these films bad but they are partly responsible for murder and torture worldwide, etc....what a scumbag)

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 17:56 (10 years ago) Permalink

Armond White mistakes ass for hole in ground, shits, giggles.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:00 (10 years ago) Permalink

Oh, my. "The propagandists of al-Jazeera," etc.

Pretty standard right-wing fare overall, basically what I would expect Washington Times reviews to resemble. Maybe White's looking for a Golden Moonie Parachute?

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:03 (10 years ago) Permalink

Was that elementary school actually in Florida?

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:04 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Punditocracy"??!! I love it.

andy, Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

I don't know what he's on about here, his POV is non-existent and completely arbitrary based on whatever the hell he had for breakfast.

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

Does he actually refute any of the facts in Moore's film? I didn't see any examples. That says something, doesn't it?

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:13 (10 years ago) Permalink

The headline is the worst thing: calling Moore a fascist is just loopy. The review is based on the premise that Moore oughtn't to make propaganda or op-ed, but rather mull for 90 minutes over 'complexities'. Well, why on earth should he? The weird thing is that White thinks Moore should really be pondering 'our own capitalism or our unwillingness to fight'. Well, what unwillingness to fight? Surely the anti-capitalistic, pro-militaristic film White seems to be advocating would fit much better with fascism that Moore's liberalism does? Perhaps the headline is referring to White rather than Moore.

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:18 (10 years ago) Permalink

No one required Noujaim to trace the history of Al Jazeera or examine its standard content. Her celebration of Al Jazeera (as opposition to any media representing American interests) was carelessly praised as some kind of palliative: "The number one must-see film of the summer." "An essential movie [that] not only goes through the looking glass, but turns the mirror back on us."

wtf?!?!?

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:19 (10 years ago) Permalink

Oh no! Fahrenheit 9/11 incorporates morally bankrupt "pop culture"! Oh NO!

Sean Thomas (sgthomas), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:20 (10 years ago) Permalink

Exploiting the Iraq invasion and American political distress is a form of war profiteering.

Yeah let's just not make any films about it, right? Fucking twat.

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:20 (10 years ago) Permalink

Summary of this review: 'I am very annoyed by this film.'
Summary of our response: 'Good.'

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:21 (10 years ago) Permalink

She cannily keeps her distance from those Al Jazeera employees who wear robes and turbans.

Ha ha christ

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:22 (10 years ago) Permalink

As facile as the makers of The Blair Witch Project...

whoa whoa, what??!?!? Armond White thinks The Blair Witch Project was a DOCUMENTARY?!?!@?!@??!! SOOMEBODY PLEASE REVOKE HIS FILM CRITIC'S LICENSE ASAP!!!

(tho I think he's right about Tarentino)

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:22 (10 years ago) Permalink

he's also obviously never watched three kings all the way through

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:24 (10 years ago) Permalink

It seems as though the film has been pretty effective at pissing off the people that it is meant to piss off. In that sense, it certainly is a success.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:24 (10 years ago) Permalink

Tarentino is being consistent. He's not advocating peace but administering a dose of the old ultraviolence to Bush.

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:24 (10 years ago) Permalink

What do you lefties think about Godard's quote, "Moore doesn't distinguish between text and image. He doesn't know what he's doing." Agree/Somewhat Agree/Disagree?
I admire Moore's intention of bringing some of these connections, such as that between Bush and the Saudi royal family, to light. I just think he has a very heavy-handed style and his weakness is his completely overt subjectivity; which if he is a documentarist, it should be; otherwise, he is an entertainer, and the movie should not be passed off as fact. My biggest problem with it is that question - what is the intent of the movie, is it entertainment (Ricky Martin anyone?), or news?

The Devil's Triad (calstars), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:26 (10 years ago) Permalink

"it disgraces that sorrowful date just to inflame liberal guilt."

He really should have replaced "guilt" with "anger".

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:26 (10 years ago) Permalink

I meant he was right about Tarantino in this:

Tarantino, Kathleen Turner and Jerry Schatzberg encourages audiences to think or behave politically. American cinema in the Tarantino years has pandered to violence, racism, greed and self-satisfaction. It's not impossible that the torturers at Abu Ghraib—including even Saddam Hussein's own precedent-setting torturers—were inspired by the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs. QT made sadism hip and sent it 'round the world. Now we're stuck in the middle of a global crisis for which neither he, nor Michael Moore, have an answer.

Tarantino's production company is named after a Godard film but I'll be damned if I can find any Godard in what he does.

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:26 (10 years ago) Permalink

what is the intent of the
movie, is it entertainment (Ricky Martin anyone?), or news?


It's infotainment!

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:27 (10 years ago) Permalink

first frag should read: "Tarantino, Kathleen Turner and Jerry Schatzberg [don't encourage] audiences to think or behave politically" since I truncated it.

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:28 (10 years ago) Permalink

I don't follow his writing closely, but my general impression of Armond White is that he's been slowly losing his mind since the mid-eighties -- every column or essay I've ever seen of his has him seriously blowing his gasket over something or other. CONFIRM OR DENY!

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:28 (10 years ago) Permalink

Tarantino's production company is named after a Godard film but I'll be damned if I can find any Godard in what he does.

He's more of a Melville fan by way of Woo. But really, it's all in the snazzy suits.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:28 (10 years ago) Permalink

White is not wrong in that instance, but it's definitely unfair to lay all of the blame on Tarantino. In fact, by doing this, he's making himself as guilty as Moore by blowing things out of proportion.

deanomgwtf!!!p%3Fmsgid%3D4581997 (deangulberry), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:29 (10 years ago) Permalink

Bungled that of course, should read: his weakness is his lack of objectivity, which if he is a documentarist, should be his focus.

The Devil's Triad (calstars), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:29 (10 years ago) Permalink

Momus, did you ever get around to seeing Kill Bill? I would actually love to read a Kill Bill review by you.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:30 (10 years ago) Permalink

Bungled that of course, should read: his weakness is his lack of objectivity, which if he is a documentarist, should be his focus.

This is all brought up on that other Moore thread.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:31 (10 years ago) Permalink

I don't care of AW doesn't like Tarantino, but to let that dislike turn into saying "he could be responsible for prison torture from the U.S. and the Iraqis" is simplistic, pretentious bullshit from someone who doesn't understand that this sort of crap was going on in the world long before Quentin Tarantino.

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:32 (10 years ago) Permalink

No, Scott, I didn't. I probably will see it one day, though, and if ILX still exists I'll tell you my thoughts.

What do you lefties think about Godard's quote, "Moore doesn't distinguish between text and image. He doesn't know what he's doing." Agree/Somewhat Agree/Disagree?

I think that's probably a fair point. Moore is working in a very different tradition than Godard. Considering he's such a corpulent man, it's interesting that his films don't tend to have a 'body' in the way Godard's do. I hear the editing in 'F9/11' is 'good', but I suspect the people saying that (I think it was some BBC critic covering Cannes) are not people who think Godard's Brechtian editing style is 'good'. It's like criticizing a newspaper op-ed column for not being James Joyce.

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:32 (10 years ago) Permalink

"As Kevin Costner worried in JFK..." !!!!!!
Priceless. Armond White is a buffoon.

Neb Reyob (Ben Boyer), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:33 (10 years ago) Permalink

Wait wait wait isn't Armond White the guy who creamed his pants about 3000 Miles to Graceland?!?!

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

his weakness is his lack of objectivity, which if he is a documentarist, should be his focus.

Why shouldn't subjectivity and point-of-view be the focus of a documentarist?

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:35 (10 years ago) Permalink

I dunno, Gear, although Reservoir Dogs does kinda fit in with the Peckinpah legacy, I'd say its depiction of torture doesn't fit any specific trope other than "huh huh this looks cool, esp. with old 1970s tunes." Big difference between that and the opening credits of Wild Bunch (okay I know its insects but THEY'RE STANDING IN FOR PEOPLE).

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:35 (10 years ago) Permalink

Why shouldn't subjectivity and point-of-view be the focus of a documentarist?

Because people are lazy and want to accept the 'truths' that other present for them :)

deanomgwtf!!!p%3Fmsgid%3D4581997 (deangulberry), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:35 (10 years ago) Permalink

And that's Michael Moore's fault, how?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:36 (10 years ago) Permalink

Right I understand that, but I think he's overstating the film's influence on the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:38 (10 years ago) Permalink

And that's Michael Moore's fault, how?

You may have to ask someone who thinks that it is his fault.

deanomgwtf!!!p%3Fmsgid%3D4581997 (deangulberry), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:40 (10 years ago) Permalink

Al-Jazeera bashing = automatic idiotic review.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:41 (10 years ago) Permalink

Momus I think when a documentarist is reporting on a subject he should leave his bias or his favor at home. I guess we could debate whether the 'documentary' as a medium is inherently supposed to be objective or subjective, but the best ones I've seen ('One Day in September' comes to mind) leave polarizing issues like politics out of the story.

The Devil's Triad (calstars), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:42 (10 years ago) Permalink

how could this movie leave politics out of the story?!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:42 (10 years ago) Permalink

"if only 'spellbound' stayed away from polarizing issues like spelling"

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:43 (10 years ago) Permalink

You are delusional. No movie can possibly be objective (and One Day in September certainly wasn't.) I'd rather have someone be upfront with his biases than pretend they don't exist.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

"why did marcel ophuls have to keep bringing up the nazis in 'the sorrow and the pity'?"

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

for another, perhaps more informed point of view:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2102723/

lovebug starski, Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Why didn't we see more of the witch's POV in The Blair Witch Project?"

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:45 (10 years ago) Permalink

The Fog of War had to talk about war, that was what killed it for me

Gear! (Gear!), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:45 (10 years ago) Permalink

MAYBE WE SHOULD LET THE GOVERNMENT MAKE ALL OF THE DOCUMENTARIES

deanomgwtf!!!p%3Fmsgid%3D4581997 (deangulberry), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:45 (10 years ago) Permalink

hahahaha alex

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:46 (10 years ago) Permalink

I don't consider Hitchen's particularly sane or well-informed.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 18:47 (10 years ago) Permalink

we should also acknowledge the article where he goes into how 2004 was the year everything changed

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/386468/year-culture-broke-armond-white

re: negative reviews of passion of the christ

It was moral vandalism, sullying ideas and totems sacred to many. Such a fundamental offense devastated civilized behavior in ways many still have not realized. It drove a wedge between the public and the elites who make movies; the very ground we walked upon as enlightened, cultured people was scorched like Ground Zero at the World Trade Center.

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:20 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

half of the blurbs are otm

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:21 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

the fact that he's half-right is part of what makes him a troll beyond compare

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:23 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

14) A History of Violence (2005) — David Cronenberg’s new take on Ugly Americans blamed patriotic sadism.

*~~American flags flutter in the breeze over the compound of corrupt Republican Senator Richie Cusack (William Hurt)~~*

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:24 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

He's right re: the vile Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but, as evidenced by his Dark Knight blurb, he doesn't even properly read the films he has good reason to trash.

MaudAddam (cryptosicko), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:26 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

the Slumdog blurb is tom

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:28 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

otm too

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:28 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

i can easily imagine someone realizing that 2004 had two very striking, very different blockbusters and considering the effect of those hits on hollywood. but it takes a real champ to roid up to AND SUDDENLY GLOBAL TEATIME WAS SHATTERED AND THE NOBILITY OF POP CULTURE WAS LOST FOREVER without even the slightest bit of second guessing

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:29 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

and throwing in weird asides about how the fix was in at cannes thanks to tarantino instead of an actual investigation of pop film history

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:30 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Hipster Hollywood

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:31 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Maybe I'm forgetting the weird misogyny of there will be blood, idk. Strange to hear that complaint, though, from a reverent fan of 3000 Miles to Graceland.

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:32 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

that instead of hollywood reflecting the red-state/blue-state schism, critics and liberal directors CAUSED it. in TWO THOUSAND AND FOUR.

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:32 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

"liberals ruined america, can i write about it for you?"

"Please do, older black dude with journalistic credentials! Score!"

"LO, HOW THE HANGOVER DID SHIT UPON MY ONCE BEAUTIFUL WORLD. OH CURSED TARANTINO. FOUL BRANGELINA!"

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:35 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

happy Brangelina Wedding Aftermath btw everybody

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:37 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

i hope his book fills in the gaps between nanook of the north and pulp fiction, maybe a bit about how in 1984 Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters and Police Academy reflected a sense that hipsters and authority structures were learning to co-exist under reagan, smoothing the ruptures of the 60s

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:42 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Surprised at how (relatively) subdued his pan of Boyhood was, with exactly zero shit-throwing over the Obama stuff or the (largely misunderstood, I think) representations of Red State America.

MaudAddam (cryptosicko), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:45 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

i hope his book fills in the gaps between nanook of the north and pulp fiction, maybe a bit about how in 1984 Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters and Police Academy reflected a sense that hipsters and authority structures were learning to co-exist under reagan, smoothing the ruptures of the 60s

ha – isn't this what J. Hoberman's book is about?

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:46 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

not in a rush to find out but it wouldn't surprise me

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:47 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

In what the New York Times’s A.O. Scott called a “suave, scholarly tour de force,” J. Hoberman delivers a brilliant and witty look at the decade when politics and pop culture became one.

This was the era of the Missile Gap and the Space Race, the Black and Sexual Revolutions, the Vietnam War and Watergate—as well as the tele-saturation of the American market and the advent of Pop art. In “elegant, epigrammatic prose,” as Scott put it, Hoberman moves from the political histories of movies to the theater of wars, national political campaigns, and pop culture events.

With entertaining reinterpretations of key Hollywood movies (such as Bonnie and Clyde, The Wild Bunch, and Shampoo), and meditations on personages from Che Guevara, John Wayne, and Patty Hearst to Jane Fonda, Ronald Reagan, and Dirty Harry, Hoberman reconstructs the hidden political history of 1960s cinema and the formation of America’s mass-mediated politics.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:48 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

capital letters, so it's important

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:49 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Armond misses 2004, and this is all straight up nostalgia.

a guy named Christian White who represents the typical white Christian (Eric H.), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:53 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

You'll Never Believe Which Of Your Favorite Movies Ruined Our Country

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:53 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

That said, I'll probably get What We Don't Talk about When We Talk about the Movies from the library when it comes out.

a guy named Christian White who represents the typical white Christian (Eric H.), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:54 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Armond misses 2004, and this is all a suave, scholarly tour de force.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:54 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

I just hope Mel Gibson reads it and gives Armond a "you get me" bouquet

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:55 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

saw this pop up on twitter and i knew this thread would be all a-light

goole, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:55 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

these sentences, my god

goole, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:57 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

SARCASTIC VIOLENCE IS THE NEW MARRIAGE EQUALITY

goole, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:58 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

i feel like i'm reading dayo's hong kong tshirt thread

goole, Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:58 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Armond misses 2004, and the toilet.

a guy named Christian White who represents the typical white Christian (Eric H.), Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:04 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Armond gets slack from me these days for saying that Michael Cera is a "modern Sterling Holloway."

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:08 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

David Fincher’s new Horatio Alger tale glorified technocrat Mark Zuckerberg with chic, digital-era arrogance.

"Glorified." You know, the guy who ends the movie alone and debating whether or not to send a friend request to the girl who dumped him at the beginning of the movie, showing he had grown not a bit.

Welcome to my spooooooky carnival! Hope I don't... blow your mind! (Phil D.), Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:10 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Armond gets slack from me these days for being the most interesting part of the NYFCC banquet.

a guy named Christian White who represents the typical white Christian (Eric H.), Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:13 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

well arguably any movie about a person is "glorification" in the sense that you're suggesting they're worthy of getting a movie about them. though the fact that he calls it a "new horatio alger tale" does undermine his thesis that these movies were unprecedented blows to our collective morality from the liberal left

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:14 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

that's why Armond's a perfect fit for NRO. "Glorify" is one of their favorite verbs.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:16 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

i still think he's gonna get too real for them eventually

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:18 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

He's splitting the suicidal conservatives who won't watch Hollyporn from the ones who go, "Well, wait a minute, I can like The Dark Knight and vote for Romney" more than anything I've seen on the regular site.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:20 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

yeah i assume one day he's going to piss off bruce willis or somebody and then he'll be quietly dispatched from the site

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:22 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Just now on Twitter:

Glenn Kenny ‏@Glenn__Kenny 13s
Shorter Armond White: God how I hate attractive, socially adept people

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:37 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

oh come on jesus was clearly attractive and socially adept

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:38 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

ok we can debate "socially adept" considering his fate but dude obv had a pull

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:41 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

There you go, glorifying Jesus again.

Welcome to my spooooooky carnival! Hope I don't... blow your mind! (Phil D.), Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:43 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 17:44 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

for all his manias and delusions, i suspect AW can still distinguish what constitutes a romantic comedy.

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:36 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Michael Cera is a "modern Sterling Holloway."

omg how could I not have noticed this before

Οὖτις, Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:39 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

for all his manias and delusions, i suspect AW can still distinguish what constitutes a romantic comedy.

― son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius),

whew! it saves you the trouble

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:40 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

c'mon man this is the armond white thread, if you're gonna troll show some teeth

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:40 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

"meh meh lest you forget i'm uptight about people liking judd apatow movies" armond white has declared judd apatow movies in part responsible for the fall of man try harder

da croupier, Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:41 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Armond said liberal media disparaging the passion of the Christ was worse than 9/11. That's a pretty high bar for any troll to match.

a guy named Christian White who represents the typical white Christian (Eric H.), Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:49 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

I don't wanna derail this thread, but Jesus kinda strikes me as one of the least socially adept people ever... Like, the guy attacked the freaking temple in Jerusalem, that was quite clearly a social no-go...

Frederik B, Thursday, 28 August 2014 21:57 (3 weeks ago) Permalink


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