Author Archive

Newish Pornography: Old French smut for modern screens

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Movies that have no moral purpose are pornographic. That goes for Bruce Willis, John Travolta, William Friedkin and Neil LaBute movies as much as any clearly presented as pornography. These facts are borne out by The Good Old Naughty Days, a compilation of hardcore shorts made in France between 1905 and 1930, collated by Michel [&hellip
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Rat Catching: Crispin Glover in the role he was always meant for.

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Cultural memory keeps shrinking—especially when it comes to movies. It’s commonly thought that today’s target movie audience—ages 15 to 35—recalls only a few films made before 1994’s Pulp Fiction. (The previous point of measure was 1977’s Star Wars.) That means the 1971 horror movie Willard is nearly antique, presumably due for a remake. Yet writer-director [&hellip
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Cash’s Hurt: A music video worthy of film comparison.

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Ahhh, film. Director Mark Romanek mixes staged footage, old documentary, Hollywood clips and sundry movie excerpts into an emotional impasto for Johnny Cash’s music video for "Hurt." There is a conscious use of film as the repository of memory and feelings that seems a perfect expression of the song’s mournful nostalgia when, in fact, nostalgia [&hellip
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MC Jemima: Queen Latifah turns back the clock.

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

"You obviously have pockets of intelligence, so why do you act the way you do?" Steve Martin asks Queen Latifah in Bringing Down the House. "Because it’s sexy!" sidekick Eugene Levy butts in. The fact that rappers’ vulgarity excites some people—white and black—might be the simplest reason this culture-clash comedy was made. But since Martin [&hellip
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Stunted Hero and David Gale

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Daredevil was made to bilk the comics audience, but comic book sensibility doesn’t belong on film. A bold statement, perhaps, seemingly contradicted by the number of comic book-derived movies we’ve endured lately. But despite all the floating, hurtling camera moves and cgi effects that director Mark Steven Johnson employs–just like the same moves and f/x [&hellip
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Green No More: A second offering of Southern lives in progress

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Was George Washington a fluke? No, it represented a genuine cultural moment—the small miracle of young, white filmmaker David Gordon Green connecting his artistic ambitions to the lives of poor, rural black and white kids. Green (perfect name) looked inside the souls of those forgotten souls. It was a wonderful discovery, anticipating the astonishing communion [&hellip
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Calling: Fassbinder

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Now that Todd Haynes, Stephen Daldry and Neil LaBute are film culture’s reigning art frauds, it’s the right time–in fact, it’s urgently necessary–to rediscover Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Of the three major directors in Germany’s New Wave (along with Herzog and Wenders), it’s the late Fassbinder whose 41 features–made from 1969 to 1982–convey the most obsessive [&hellip
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Season’s Greedings: Too Many Film Awards, So Little Thought

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

  "Greedy, greedy, greedy!" is how Meryl Streep cheers Awards Season, and the New York Times wasn’t ashamed to quote her post-Golden Globes glee–although the power-protecting Times reported that she "jokingly blurted" those words so as to play down Streep’s saying exactly how she felt. Streep’s crass admission, more than any of the emotional geometry [&hellip
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Deliver Us from Eva; Biker Boyz

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Motown means different things to different people. But few pop fans seem to get what really makes that 60s music movement special. Writer-director Gary Hardwick comes closer than most when he begins Deliver Us from Eva with a Motown tribute—the film’s cast is dressed in 60s styles, dancing and lipsynching to Marvin Gaye and Tammi [&hellip
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