Deep down, I always knew this day would come. I’ve been writing about Armond White, the New York Film Critic Circle’s palavricent trucularian, for a few years now, with my opinion of him evolving over the years, but my fascination always consistent. I knew it was inevitable that one day someone would drop the dime on how much fun we’ve been having with him and FilmDrunk would find itself in the crosshairs of one of A-Dubz’ revolutionary truth torpedoes. A-Dubz was on the Ron & Fez show yesterday morning (which you may remember as the place where he outed that schmuck Hoberman and that dingy slit Schwartzbaum for the racist fascocrites they are), and a FilmDrunk post (the one about White at the NYFCC Awards — aka The Bull Moose Moving Picture Appreciation Society of the 1934 World’s Fair ) was discussed.
I’ll post the transcript below, but to make a long story short, while I was a bit disappointed not to be called a racist, I’m proud to be a mole-like sub-human, ruining journalism one slimy, libelificent smear scrawl at a time. [Thanks to Stephen for recording this for me]
WHITE: I’m there [at the NYFCC Awards], and little did I know there are little moles standing around listening to what I do.
[about telling Albert Brooks that Hoberman was a jackass] I was quoted correctly, but it was only a fraction of what I had to say. We talked about an album he did called “A Star is Bought.” It’s absolutely brilliant, and I had to tell him so. And that was really the gist of our conversation. But the little Hoberman moles, the Hobermites standing around, they didn’t care about that, they just wanted to… broadcast something about me, I don’t know.
RON (or Fez, I have no idea): Over at FilmDrunk.com, Vince Mancini wrote an article, do you know him?
WHITE: Don’t know him at all.
WHITE: I don’t know him either.
RON: Well I guess he over heard you saying that J. Hoberman was a jackass to Albert Brooks.
WHITE: Yeah, well Albert Brooks asked if I knew where J. Hoberman was, and I said ‘that jackass?’ Because I couldn’t figure out why somebody as smart as Albert Brooks would wanna even know.
RON: And then Mancini from Filmdrunk, also said that you were doing some strange heckling [actually I was only quoting Vulture's account]. Shouting “The Good Shepherd” at Robert DeNiro.
WHITE: Is it heckling when you’re cheering? I’m on the record as being a Good Shepard fan, and I’m a DeNiro fan.
RON: Right — you were having a fun night, and it’s a night when people can kind of let their hair down and relax, and as you’re doing that, you feel like some of the other critics are just there taking shots at you.
WHITE: Well, these people you mention, they’re not critics, I don’t even know what they are. I don’t even know if they’re human. They’re just little moles, that attach themselves to critics. It’s strange, they come as invited guests, and then they eavesdrop, and give incorrect reports on what other people do.
RON: Well were the reports incorrect, or…
WHITE: Well not incorrect, but out of context. I said Hoberman’s a jackass, because Hoberman’s a jackass. So, that’s true.
RON: Were you happy when he was laid off?
WHITE: No, because I guess I fear where his contagion will land next. He’s just a bad guy, and he’s like an octopus, he’s got tentacles all over this town. So he won’t be gone for long. If he was gone for good I might be happy.
RON: Also, when Viola Davis was onstage, were you yelling “Ethel Waters!” the whole time?
WHITE: See, this is the bad… well, yes, I did. But see, this is the bad thing about the internet, because it evidences the decline of journalism, because there’s no real journalism anymore, it’s just gossip. Because certainly none of the people who wrote about this came to me to verify, to ask WHY I did what I did. And they didn’t report in fact the NEWs of that awards dinner, which was Albert Brooks’ speech, and a beautiful speech by Jessica Chastain, who won a supporting actress prize.
They also did not report that when Viola Davis got on stage, and talked about, “as an African-American actress, the only inspiration I ever had was Meryl Streep.”
Well, Meryl Streeep’s a great actress, but if she’s going to couch it in terms of being an African-America, I would like to know, don’t you know who Ethel Waters is? There’s a problem here, which is why I shouted ‘Ethel Waters!’
Apparently the only actress she knows is Meryl Streep.
RON: Who’s ready to play black at any time…
WHITE: I’d rather see her do it than Viola Davis at this point, she’d probably do a better job.
I don’t think that Brad Pitt, Robert DeNiro, Viola Davis is any better than me. You know, we’re all working folk. So I engage their work on the same level that they presented to the public. They’re not better me, and as a critic, the movie isn’t better than me. Hollywood isn’t better than me. Hollywood better please me, is my attitude. I’m not subservient to movies, and I think everybody else should have that attitude. I don’t bow down to Hollywood. Why should I?
RON: [asks about White 'fanboyishly' going outside to talk to Brad Pitt]
WHITE: I’m not a fanboy. I’ve met more famous people than Brad Pitt, believe me.
And here again we see the conundrum of Armond White. He’s totally right about me writing gossip and not journalism. I could’ve, and probably should’ve, asked him for confirmation and clarification about the Bull Moose Moving Picture Society dinner, but it was funnier not to. Even the part where he’s saying he’s not subservient to movies is expressing a truth of sorts among all honest film critics, but the way he says it is hilarious. And yes, there were probably many more “newsworthy” things that happened at that dinner, but Armond himself is so delightfully nutty that he’s way more interesting. What do you want, Jessica Chastain’s speech, or a vain film critic who compares another film critic to “a contagion” with “tentacles all over town?” The inside of Armond White’s mind must be like the Watchmen, with him as Rorschach, forever providing his own hard-boiled narration to describe the sea of filth and vermin around him that is the world of New York film criticism. I will never stop loving that.
[banner pic source = DeathandTaxes]