Style Guide I: Do Not Be Armond White
I couldn’t write the actual rule because it was too long – ‘Do your best not to include the history of cinema while writing about one movie,’ which is pretty much what he does every. Single. Time [Fr.]. And you know, I’m trolling [coll.] for page views so that title seemed more apt for that purpose.
With almost every post here until recently, I check out what other paid film critics say about movies so I don’t unwillingly [d. neg.] steal from them. For “Odd Man Out,” there’s one from either Variety or TV Guide of all places. Then Armond White, who wasn’t listed in RottenTomatoes as a top critic.
You know what? To rehash the Armond White thing is so last year. White’s name comes up every time someone asks who the worst presently working critic. In my pre-blogging, days, I read an interview of his and he said that he disliked P.T. Anderson “There Will Be Blood” because it was pretentious. I looked up his track record and saw that he’s fine, and by fine I mean Pauline Kael-esque. Both, by the way, are notorious for hating movies touted as classics. And if we allow Kael to have a .500 batting average and write books about it, so can White.
Back to “Odd Man Out,” White’s uses his piece on its recent screenings in Film Forum in New York to shit on “Blood,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” and David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” And it’s like, why do I have to hear this? Besides, “Che” was passable, “Blood” was fun (call the psych ward if you want) and “Button” pulled on the heart-strings and I saw that on a plane! If I like a movie while seeing it on a plane, it can’t be [pass.] that bad! And [conj.] I liked it not because of the lack of oxygen because everything else on a plane annoys me and I’m inside so my oxygen isn’t lacking at all!
Ok, I’m calm. I also reminded myself that there are exceptions to every rule. If you’re gonna write about a Tarantino film, go ahead and write your head off about the history of cinema. Because it’d probably all be there. But with bending rules you have to only do it once or twice. Like Ron Fair or whatshisname from the Pussycat Dolls show says, one growl per album.
Talking about the history of cinema makes you look like a dick because you’re probably telling the world that said movie is the worst thing ever made, which it’s probably not. And it makes you seem distracted. In doing something well, you must know and do the task at hand.
To remind the 26 of you who pass by, do your best not to include the history of cinema while writing about one movie. I cuss and write like a teenager, and I know to avoid doing that.