Friday, March 19, 2010

When a contrarian film critic gets skewered by film publicist--plus his fellow critics.

The above is a bit of inside-baseball, but it's a rare demonstration of what happens when a film critic's pointed opinions of a filmmaker and his work cause the critic to be 86ed from a film screening.

This happened about four years ago when then-LA WEEKLY critic Scott Foundas was banned
from a screening of Kevin Smith's CLERKS II because Foundas upset Smith's sensitivities in
panning the meant-to-be-mainstream JERSEY GIRL.

But Foundas (now working for the Film Society of Lincoln Center) hasn't aroused the kind of antipathy that NEW YORK PRESS critic Armond White has.

My opinion is that Leslee Dart, Scott Rudin and Noah Baumbach should not have banned White from the screening of Baumbach's GREENBERG. But at the same time, White hasn't done himself any favors with angry, overheated responses which have mostly devolved into settling scores with THE VILLAGE VOICE head critic J. Hoberman (at one point, White calls Hoberman's position something like "inherited hipsterism"--odd since Hoberman inherited his post from the departure of Andrew Sarris, who was definitely not in the hipster category).

This temporary exposure of film-critic feuding and filmmaker/publicist attempts at quality-review control will probably carry on for another week (GREENBERG will have a wider opening next Friday), before it becomes almost completely forgotten like the Foundas/Smith dustup.

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