Tag: Armond White

ACF Critic Series #41: Make Spielberg Great Again


Armond White’s back on the podcast. Barely a month after his work was collected in The Press Gang, he has a new collection of his essays and reflection on his career: Make Spielberg Great Again, So I talked to Armond about America’s most famous and most popular director of the last 50 years or so–what it means to be a pop artist, how image and sentiment go together, and what humanism in cinema means, how Spielberg is open to conservative morality and spiritual longing. Armond’s been critical of Spielberg’s latest decade, the Obama turn, but we instead talk about the praiseworthy turn he took during the Bush years.

ACF Critic Series #39: Novels & Cinema


Today, I’m joined by Jody Bottum and Armond White to talk about novels and cinema–movie adaptations,  when they work, how they can improve on literature, and when they fail. We talk about why it’s never been the case that a great novel has been turned into a great movie. We also talk about the difficulties of turning narration into performance.

I Saw Satan Laughing with Delight, the Day the Culture Broke


Don Mclean’s classic, “American Pie,” would not likely become the hit it was in 1971 if released today. Apart from the biblical references or its unembarrassed use of the word “love,” the song has another disadvantage. It was written at a time when popular music was for everybody.

Today, the popular arts are strictly for the kids – or more broadly, toward non-adults. (The country’s easiest target demographic.) And the non-adults have objectively bad taste buds today. More importantly, despite access to the entire repository of world culture in their pockets, so many of them don’t know how to read – at least not in any meaningful way. Thus, those thankless gatekeepers we once called critics are no longer accessible to them.

ACF Critic Series #19: Armond White, Jean-Luc Godard


I have a new conversation on movies and politics. Armond White and I talk about Jean-Luc Godard, perhaps the most talented filmmaker obsessed with politics. We talk about his latest movie, The Image Book, but especially about three of his ’60s movies, which serendipitously arrived in America together in ’68, as a kind of trilogy of 20th c. Europe, past-present-future, or from the war to the coming revolution: Les Carabiniers, La Chinoise, and Weekend.

From ironic documentary to prophetic farce, Godard had a humorous way of revealing the terrorism of the left, half-a-year before May ’68, and the consumerism proposed by the right, both forms of materialism that would prove soul-desiccating.

ACF Critic Series 2: Armond White’s “Better Than” List


Armond White published his 13th “Better Than” list, the only counter-cultural idea in year-end, awards-season fawning over the same overpraised film-making, usually in undercooked  film criticism. Here’s the list! He joined me to talk about the sorry state of film criticism, as well as about three worthwhile movies. We discuss where they touch on greatness: Greta Gerwing’s teenage girl’s coming of age story, Lady Bird, Terence Davies’s Emily Dickinson biopic, A Quiet Passion, and the indefatigable Luc Besson’s dazzling, startlingly insightful galactic 3-D blockbuster, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Worlds.

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.

The Problems with Film Criticism


Hello, folks. I’m inaugurating a series on what’s wrong with movie criticism. We all the know the answer in advance: The problem is, movie criticism exists but doesn’t serve any purpose. Americans want to know whether they’ll like a movie or not but they will never trust critics on this. It’s can be solved by technology; we’d all rather have Cinemascore or even Rotten Tomatoes instead. Fair enough. Them’s the breaks…

But the other purpose of criticism is to have all our feelings expressed in a pithy or sentimental way, depending on our attitude to a movie. “There, that guy gets it, and now I can share his thoughts with other people, or quote him!” Again, fair enough, we all want clever speakers on our side.

Member Post


I pick up with the conclusion of my previous piece: Vote for Sandler! Say it with me, folks. Who is the comedian who best shows you the outrageous & vulgar jokes of Aristophanes, who first discovered comedy & made good its attack on politics & science? Sandler! Who shows you the various social classes in […]

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