ACF Critic Series #1

 

Happy New Year, fellow Ricochetti. The ACF is introducing, along with our flagship movie podcast and the Middlebrow series, a Critic series. Our first guest is one of my favorites, Armond White, of NRO and Out magazine, formerly of City Arts and other venues. He is the gritty reboot of American criticism–the hero we need even, if not necessarily the one we deserve. No one is more counter-cultural and there is nothing more needful, because it is absent, than counter-cultural voices and thoughts. If you want to get to know a man who thinks of criticism as a vocation and whose love of American pop culture is both deep and spontaneous, he’s your guy.

We talk about lots of different topics in film criticism and society and ultimately we appeal to consumers to drive the change. Conservatives are not happy with popular culture and rightly complain it’s often not even popular and it’s not clear how often it’s art, either. But they too often follow the liberal impulses and are driven in their judgment by them. Here we come to save the day.

Two movies Armond White recommends: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, The President (2014), and Andre Techine, Being 17 (2016).

Two shows I discuss: “The Crown,” on which I’ve written before, and “Twin Peaks,” on which I’ve done a podcast.

As for our discussion of tragedy in American pop culture, The Godfather takes pride of place (here’s my podcast) and nowadays we have the DC movies made by the Nolan brothers, David S. Goyer, and Zack Snyder. See my essay on Justice League, as well as my podcasts on the Nolans, on Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and of course on Nolan’s latest, Dunkirk. (That was one of my picks for best movie in my essay on stoicism at the movies in 2017.)

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  1. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    I cant wait to hear from Mr. White myself.

    • #1
  2. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Listen at your leisure! If you use iTunes, the podcast’s there, too, & I’d be grateful for a review, as well, of course, for sharing whichever of our episodes you like.

    Next guest is Prof. Paul Rahe!

    • #2
  3. Typical Anomaly Inactive
    Typical Anomaly
    @TypicalAnomaly

    This was a very interesting podcast.  May I add that in order to understand it thoroughly I had to pause at various times and the vocabulary was a real step up from the average. Both of these made it more work to follow, but I found it worth the effort. Being much less familiar with media art than the two of you, I had comprehension gaps here and there. That notwithstanding, nice work.

    • #3
  4. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Glad to see you’re putting in the effort! The podcast does reward effort, I promise! Pick which episode treats a movie you like & you’re bound to hear thoughtful stuff that’s respectful of the movie & movie-maker both. We’re always trying to get critics, writers, & academics who have insights to offer, but part of the risk is, not all insight comes free of the professional language & context…

    • #4
  5. St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member
    St. Salieri / Eric Cook
    @

    A great conversation and wonderful insights, I hope there will be more conversations between you two to continue the many threads that didn’t have time to develop fully.

    Well worth anyone’s time to listen.

    • #5
  6. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Sure, we’re gonna do this again. One thing we’ll do is talk about neglected movies. Mr. White does a yearly ‘better than’ list, with his counter-cultural choices. We agree above all on one choice–Valerian, the Luc Besson masterpiece, the first true revelation of our year, The City of Love!

    • #6
  7. St. Salieri / Eric Cook Member
    St. Salieri / Eric Cook
    @

    Titus Techera (View Comment):
    Sure, we’re gonna do this again. One thing we’ll do is talk about neglected movies. Mr. White does a yearly ‘better than’ list, with his counter-cultural choices. We agree above all on one choice–Valerian, the Luc Besson masterpiece, the first true revelation of our year, The City of Love!

    Yes, his list is out at NRO.  It has some intriguing films.  I can’t wait for your next installment.

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I ain’t watching The Crown. I ain’t, I ain’t, I ain’t! She’s a nice old lady, and Phil would be a hoot to have a snootful with, but the rest of the freak show … no, I’ll pass.

    A good show. Thank Mr. White for me.

    Disney delenda est.

    • #8
  9. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Percival (View Comment):
    I ain’t watching The Crown. I ain’t, I ain’t, I ain’t! She’s a nice old lady, and Phil would be a hoot to have a snootful with, but the rest of the freak show … no, I’ll pass.

    A good show. Thank Mr. White for me.

    Disney delenda est.

    Damn skippy!

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    • #10
  11. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Ok. Recording new podcast with Armond White now! Look for it next week!

    • #11
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