Check out Film Critic Armond White’s 2012 Better Than List

Critic/contrarian Armond White has released his 2012 “Better Than” list, where he uses one film to pick on another. Great stuff, even if you disagree. A few samples:

Sacrifice > The Master
Chen Kaige finds the roots of culture in patriarchal responsibility; P.T. Anderson loses culture’s meaning in anti-religious hysteria and high-art folly. Chen also featured superior acting by competing father figures You Ge and Xuegi Wang.

Holy Motors > Cosmopolis
Leos Carax’s dreamy limousine kineticism shamed Cronenberg’s oft-entrancing limousine stage drama. Carax parked and bloomed. Cronenberg parked then harangued.

Dark Horse > The Turin Horse
Todd Solondz’s modern soap opera steadily, comically bored into our self-deceptions, while Bela Tarr’s highbrow jape steadily bored us.

The Lady > Lincoln
Luc Besson’s bio-pic examined Aung San Suu Kyi’s marital and political commitment, while Spielberg’s unholy marriage to Tony Kushner pushed the cult of personality. Aphorisms vs. Propaganda.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Taken 2 > Zero Dark Thirty
Neveldine-Taylor and Olivier Megaton revealed the post-9/11 zeitgeist in genre tropes, while Bigelow reduced the zeitgeist to an enigmatic comic strip, a “mission accomplished” delusion.

A Thousand Words > Argo
Brian Robbins and Eddie Murphy dared the most personal Hollywood critique since Clifford Odets’ The Big Knife; Ben Affleck trivialized Hollywood accountability.


2 thoughts on “Check out Film Critic Armond White’s 2012 Better Than List”

  1. The deed is done! Luc Besson and his ilk of bunglers (Pierre Morel, Olivier Megaton) better than Steven Spielberg! When Liam Neeson pulverizes legions of east-european untermenschen, to save the Holy Family, it’s “post-9/11 zeitgeist in genre tropes”. God beware us from a self-righteous, messianic black film critic, who hates leftists & atheists and loves first and foremost himself & his mixed-up worldview. At heart he will know that his better-than-list is at best not much more than an egotrip-joke.


    1. a self-righteous, messianic black film critic

      I’m curious why you point out that he’s black—would it be different were it a self-righteous, messianic white film critic?
      Plus, if one reads White’s essays, one will quickly see that he adores Spielberg—that Spielberg usually tops his lists.


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