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‘The Black Film Critic Who Dared to Critique the Critics’: Mike Figgis on Armond White

'The Black Film Critic Who Dared to Critique the Critics': Mike Figgis on Armond White

It’s been more than a year since Armond White was expelled from the New York Film Critics Circle, but “Leaving Las Vegas” director Mike Figgis has just found out about it, and he is not happy. Figgis posted a note to his Twitter feed (and cc:ed a White parody account), the latest in his Tweets by Hand series, taking issue with White’s ouster, and the state of criticism in general.

Tweet by Hand #240: ARMOND WHITE

Armond White is black. A film critic who lives and works in N.Y. He was recently expelled from the N.Y critics circle for heckling Steve McQueen at an award ceremony for the Slave Movie. Having read some of his quotes and his comments about critics in general I find myself in total agreement with him. Critics behave like sheep and have a lack of independence. They seem to be taken in by shallow pretention time after time and represent low-end taste. They all seem to love their moments of glory — Tabloid [?] T.V shows at the Cannes festival, hanging out with the film crowd etc. At one point it seemed possible that the internet might create some new alternatives but clearly that will not happen. So, MR ARMOND WHITE. Please continue to be a pain in the asses of critics.

Figgis hasn’t released a feature theatrically since 2003’s “Cold Creek Manor,” but he’s kept busy with commercials, short films and other projects. According to his website, Figgis is “in the editing stages of his latest feature ‘Suspension of Disbelief,’ an erotic thriller which examines the structure of the feature film as a plot device” and is “due for release very soon.” Peruse his Twitter feed for further “Tweets by Hand,” including:

#239, “Oscar Notes”: “Either I’ve become deeply jaded — OR — it’s a sad situation. To my taste buds everything is either bland or so full or artificial additives as to be uneatable.”

“#237, “The Falls”:  “I think British thriller writing tends towards the gloomy and lacks interesting balance — it could use a touch of DANISH.”

#236, “10 Hours on the M-1”: “I switched to R. 2 for a while and quickly got depressed listening to Taylor Swift etc — totally fucking boring song writing and generic production — you long for an original phrase and lyrics that contain self irony or poetic observation — not a glimmer — what’s out there ae a series of MUSICAL SELFIES. But MUGISON gives me hope.”

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