Armond White, Get Your Stethoscope

I have read a few articles about Armond White’s comments that “Robert Ebert destroyed film criticism” (on the /Film podcast) and I agree with the general distaste for Armond’s approach.  What really jumps out at me, though, is the terminology Armond uses and the emphasis he puts on titles and credentials.

The idea that anyone with formal training is immediately to be assumed to be more valuable is elitist and archaic, but perhaps the assertion that Roger Ebert has done a poor job is not completely off-base if you put it within the right context.

Let’s take the job “Film Critic” and truly formalize it.  Create a regulatory board, control certification, restrict the job to professionals.  Basically elevate it to the level of medical doctor.  Armond White, here are your scrubs.  Everyone now views you as you view yourself.

So if we give credence to White’s argument we have now turned Roger Ebert into Frank Abagnale, Jr..

Where does that really leave Roger Ebert and the rest of the film reviewing world?  Nothing changes.  Roger Ebert still does what he does, and does it well, and the rest of the world pays attention and enjoys it.  If the world doesn’t want formalized, professional film critiques you cannot force it upon them.  So what if you can’t call what Ebert did on television “criticism”.  Call it whatever you like but the reality is that he did what people wanted, and what people didn’t want was “proper film criticism” televised.

This also does not invalidate what White does.  White provides something that people enjoy and find value in, which is why he has a job.  White and Ebert are doing different things, and that is a good thing.  There is nothing wrong with White’s views on movies, or his views on criticism or his formalized training.  It’s the fact that White is so concerned with sharing the title of Film Critic with the common man that makes him an ass.  Get over yourself.

Oh man, I said I wasn’t going to swear.


About OneGoodMinute
Blogging about the fun and interesting things in life. Nerd stuff - movies, music, comedy, podcasts Social Media - Documenting my way through social media, blogging and online promotion. Learn from my experiences, mistakes and successes.

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