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October 16, 2009


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Pastiche-moi, mon ami!

Daniel L.

As much I love Karina's stuff, I still cast a hearty vote in favor of posting said nastiness here.


I'd like to see some blood.


yes, please.

Glenn Kenny

FYI, while I appreciate the support, the pastiche in question doesn't exactly go for anyone's jugular. It's more of a jeu d'esprit. At least I THINK so...

trooper york

I enjoy a tasty veal with peppers and onions as an alternative to sausages with same that you might get at the feast.

The veal at "Good Food" is paticularly good. Just ask Mike to slice you some new cutlets instead of the stuff he has in the case.

Perfect to make veal spadina's or to use to whip up a quick sauce.

The veal rollatini at Vinny's is also sublime. With rice in a marsala sauce. Just sayn'


"Since I'm here, let me state unequivocally that I am not down with the Karina Longworth haters. I like her just fine personally, and while I might take issue with a lot of what she writes, and while she might take some of my objections in that area more, well, personally than I mean them, I don't stand by the ad hominem attacks on her, and I don't think they add much to any constructive dialogue. Just to be clear." - GK.

While she was blown out the water by both you and Chaw during the Blogger's Roundtable, and despite not really grokking her literary and critical prowess, I was a bit taken aback that you didn't come to her defense at any point following the AW imbroglio.

They're both guilty of rampant generalizations and oversimplifying an argument to suit their own needs, but, c'mon, AW launched that bromide broadside from out of nowhere, and...forfuxsake, it's Armond White on one side vs. a (relatively) opportunistic young lady trying, desperately, to make her way in a rapidly retracting field.

Protocol dictates that you should at least side with the underdog on this one; the underdog who happens to NOT be Armond White!


So can we guess by this week's topics that you are taking a semi-backsies on your pledge to no longer make fun of David Poland?

And, also, thank you for taking a bit of air out of the whole Armond/Karina imbroglio. For what it's worth, I say keep your rage in a bag on this one. I mean, really. Armond says something quasi-shitty at a film festival and it's suddenly supposed to be a topic of conversation? Are we all supposed to pretend to be outraged?

Glenn Kenny

@ Maximilian: That's some interesting logic you're extrapolating there. But let's step back a minute. In the piece Longworth wrote for Spout called "On Film Criticism and Professionalism," (http://blog.spout.com/2009/10/12/on-film-criticism-and-professionalism/) Longworth admitted that she wasn't even sure that Armond White had delivered a personal insult to her writing or not. So there's that.

Secondly, there's the fact that White, in spite of whatever "professional organizations" he belongs to (and I believe that the New York Online FIlm Critics' Circle is one of them, hilariously enough), is, once we step back and look at the reality of things, in just as precarious a position as Longworth is as far as the "professional" status is concerned. Longworth's thread right now is Spout, while White's is The New York Press. Neither of them could truthfully be called media powerhouses. And in fact Spout may, in the long run, have the upper hand over The New York Press. So your characterization of Longworth as the underdog in this fight might not be 100% accurate, appearances aside.

Thirdly: hey, who's the only film writer out there who, years ago, stopped making rationales and excuses for White and called him out as the repellent bully that he actually is? Oh, what do you know? That was me! See here: http://glennkenny.premiere.com/blog/2008/04/white-noise.html

My objection to Karina's post is not her umbrage at White, but the silly self-importance attached to it. I know times are hard, but I don't believe in the entire oeuvre of Manny Farber you're going to find an essay in which he complains about his inability to find precisely the best-exposed and highest-paying perch for his opinions. Know what I'm saying?

John M

Forget AW and Longworth. Keep making fun of Jonathan Safran Foer. This:

"For all you know the damn kid'll be overturning headstones at Greenwood Cemetery and buying loosies at the bodega you spent so many years steering him away from by the time he's twelve."

made me laugh.

Foer's twice as pompous as Armond White, and half as self-aware. Imagine!

Steven Santos

Glenn, if your piece addresses the excessive film critic navel-gazing that this blown-out-of-proportion incident inspired, then please have at it.


circular stoner logic is a kind of logic, right? And I think your link to Longworth's retort is out of whack, unless there's some Bruce Willis jibe that's sailing over my admittedly befuddled head.

After having my attention drawn to this boondoggle by you yourself, I read Longworth's befuddled rebuttal. For the record, I don't think White even knows who she is, he was just being his usual curmudgeon-y self, tossing a Molotov Cocktail/Cocktease onto the intertubes, a practice of his I find extramusing, seeing how he often champions himself as a bastion for the people. Unless having computer and internet access makes one part of a shadowy, tech-savvy intellectual elite, an argument that might've held water, what, let's say 10 or so years ago, his uproariously out of touch nattering w/r/t internet criticism is just that...uproariously out of touch.

Point taken re: NYPress vs. Spout, but I don't think Karina will be chairing the New York Film Critics Circle anytime soon (and nor should she. Ever.)

Yes, yes, well versed on your justly motivated and highly entertaining written assaults on Mr. White, a (small) part of what makes me such a fan of you and your writing. As an aside, 2k4 was when I finally saved enough scratch to purchase my very own computer, I think I had that particular "In the Company of Glenn" bookmarked for a while.

Silly "self-importance" is a qweird thing to quantify, as we all have our own pet peeves and buttons that can be pushed by the slightest touch. Personally, I would've ignored it were I her, but I find pimping my own work and whoring myself out to be utterly distasteful; clearly, she and I view the world through radically different lenses ('cuz I wouldn't be caught dead in hers!).

I took White's comments to be a slag on you and the forum you share your musings, which was why not seeing you whipping out the snarknives on him was so disconcerting.


Not that anyone else is talking about this, but, for the record, Anthony Lane has a point. Why is it so awful for him to point out the anti-Christian nastiness that is, indeed, pretty strong these days? Oh, I know, because some Christians are assholes, so that means it's not bigotry. Have at 'em, I guess.

And I thought the Safran Foer stuff was hilarious, by the way.

Glenn Kenny

@ Bill: Don't get me wrong. I don't necessarily have any issue with Lane's point. It's just not a point that I'm accustomed to seeing him make!

Yes, I did rather have too much fun with the veal sandwiches, although I'm particularly proud of the cemetery stuff. Local color and all. Thanks.


Okay. I'm surprised that Lane would take that stance myself, but the Muggeridge comment seemed like a veiled shot. But then, I'm not too versed with Muggeridge outside of the LIFE OF BRIAN kerfuffle, so what do I know?

Safran Foer once said something completely obnoxious about how writing shouldn't be considered a craft -- I think he would have been about thirteen at the time -- and since then I've refused to read a word of him. Subsequent circumstantial evidence has indicated this was a wise choice.


Why do people dislike Longworth? I've only read her Inglorious Basterds piece, and thought that it may have been the best article I read about the film. Then again, I've come here to defend White occasionally, so maybe I'm not quite down with the consensus on certain critics. For all I know, she normally has ghastly taste and little insight. Also, I (for once) agree with Lane. The Invention of Lying was some of the weakest religious satire I've ever seen, reducing millennia of knowledge to "telling comforting stories about a big man in the sky." I also liked James Wood's retort to the whole popular atheism tomes a few weeks ago in the NYer--an atheist who chided the ridiculous straw-man arguments against religion made by the likes of Hitchens.

Glenn Kenny

@ bill: I read a good deal of Muggeridge as a teen (what can I tell you, I was a weird teen), and thought him both a brilliant stylist and a bit of a loon.When he got going on, say, Mick Jagger, it was really "fasten your seat belts" time. Which is to say I found/find him valuable! And I regret that he's so little known in the States. Just so you know.

K, Amis's chapter on MM in his memoirs is a hoot. Of course.


Armond White's pro-Wild-Things take springs out of his pro-music-video-cum-feature-directors-whose-names-do-not-rhyme-with-Favid-Dincher agenda.

Earthworm Jim

Glenn making fun of J.S. Foer equals, as the kids say, epic win.

"David Eggers" cracked me up as well. Sometimes AW's cluelessness is downright charming.

Earthworm Jim

Joel, I think most people *do* like Longworth. I certainly do. She's a smart cookie, a deep thinker, even if her ideas are sometimes out on wacky limb. And it's been my observation that Glenn respects her but enjoys antagonizing her in a friendly sparring way. I could be way off on that. And FWIW, she did admit on Twitter that her response to the Armond thing was over-dramatic.

jim emerson

Bring it on! It can't be any nastier than Jeffrey Wells' anal sex metaphors re: Patrick Goldstein and Mr. Fox.

Ryan Kelly

"Also: man, he's thrown me off for the third week in a row by bestowing a positive review on Where The Wild Things Are. Isn't White supposed to hate hipsters?"

I'm with you on that one, Dr. Kenny. This is the sort of tripe I expect White to see right through! Does he realize that he's in agreement with Lisa Schwarzbaum and Peter Travers, among others?


Forget the hipster angle. Didn't Armond White dismiss "Wall-E" as a "downer?" (And tried to argue that it wasn't really popular?) Now he's praising "Where the Wild Thing Are?"

One more question -- WTF?


The Things, I should say. Still waking up, apparently.

Recktal Brown

Well, in the least give us more Foer bashing. Nice that he got his requisite grandparents survivor shtick in there from sentence one. In all the Where the Wild Things Are hoopla we are forgetting to castigate Foer alongside Eggers as the top men on the totem pole of horrendous writers who can't compose a decent sentence, let alone paragraph or book, and aren't 1/100th as smart as they think they are.

Dan Coyle

You wanna some really out there Wall-E bashing, look up what NY Post critic Kyle Smith had to say about it.

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