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January 08, 2010


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Dan Coyle

I admire your restraint in not quoting Armond White.


Social morays! Dunderhead that I am, I had to google it to get it, and now that I have, I must say -- hats off! Brilliant!

Glenn Kenny

Dan, I haven't been reading White lately—such a novel yet effective activity, to just ignore the guy—but you did get me to check out his latest, just for giggles, and I came upon the fantastic lead for his review of "Police Adjective;" "Every negative review for 'Police, Adjective' strikes a blow against film movie fascism. " "[F]ilm movie fascism," brilliant. When's Armond gonna start scripting "Western Redundancy Playhouse Theatre," I wonder.

James Keepnews

"...the fantastic lead for his review of "Police Adjective;" "Every negative review for 'Police, Adjective' strikes a blow against film movie fascism. '" -- Hmm. I see. Mindful of the significant, clear and demonstrably present danger that celluloid cinema fascism presents to our fragile polity, I still think Mr. White needs Vlad Ivanov to (spoiler alert) bust open a dictionary for him, starting with "fascism"...


I think what Armond was missing there was a good ol' "/" between "film" and "movie". The idea being (I think) that negative reviews of POLICE ADJECTIVE are somehow blowing apart the idea that there is a difference between a "film" and a "movie".

Ben Sachs

I haven't been able to read White for a few years myself. I found much inspiration in his '90s Film Comment essays about Rohmer and Godard; ditto his pieces on Spielberg till around the time of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. It's unfortunate to see such a talented writer resort to ad hominem attacks at the expense of genuine analysis.

I'm willing to accept "film movie" as a typo. (Given the context, I imagine he wavered between "film criticism" or "movie criticism" and deleted the wrong word.) What's upsetting here is the juvenile use of "fascism." Orwell observed in the mid-40s that too often people were using the word to mean any system of government they didn't like. Here, White degrades the word even further to mean any aesthetic opinion he doesn't like. Surely there are valid reasons for disliking this movie, but framing them in those terms doesn't seem at all useful in getting them across.


Oh, I don't disagree, Ben. "Fascism", as a word, has been terribly abused, and robbed of any meaning, for the past 40+ years. I was just trying to figure out what White was saying.

Glenn Kenny

Ha! Bill's correction, which is both charitable and plausible, closes a copy-editing door, and opens an Orwellian window.

Ben Sachs

Just reconsidering... Is it possible the mention of "movie film" is an allusion to the AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE feature?

Dan Coyle

I think Armond believes that only movies he likes kill terrorists, or something.

Jeff McMahon

It's been my notion for years now that Armond scrawls his pieces in pencil on the subway ride home from the screening and submits them without a single rewrite.

Term Paper

You used the opportunity to ruminate a bit more on the politics of, and political reaction to Avatar, you also can use your idea in other films and shows.

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