All is seemingly well again following an outraged e-mail and Twitter campaign over famed troll (and New York Press film critic) Armond White’s disinvitation from a screening of Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg. Last night, the Hot Blog’s Poland had posted a delightful anonymous e-mail making the rounds among critics, comparing the fiasco to Nazi censorship and calling on other critics to boycott the film. White told the New York Press’s Jerry Portwood, “I was told this rescinded invite was ordered by director Noah Baumbach, producer Scott Rudin and their publicist [Leslee Dart]. They objected to my previous reviews of The Squid and the Whale and Margot at the Wedding.” And to Poland: “Disrespect for criticism is rampant … This seems to be a case of ‘If they can do it to me, they can do it to you.’”
What did White say that Baumbach’s people might have objected to? Here’s the intro to his Margot review:
Noah Bambauch makes it easy to dislike his films. Problem is, he also makes it easy for New York’s media elite to praise them. Start with his style: The Squid and the Whale and Baumbach’s new Margot at the Wedding are two of the decade’s most repellent movies. Visually, both look like mud; their smart-ass, low-budget affectations (shot by high-price cinematographers) bridge lo-fi mumblecore with Conde Nast hipsterism. This anti-aesthetic lays waste to the bromide that nobody sets out to intentionally make a bad movie; Baumbach does.
And he shared some additional thoughts on the director in a 2007 interview:
You look at Noah Baumbach’s work, and you see he’s an asshole. I would say it to his face. And, of course, he gets praised by other assholes, because they agree with his selfish, privileged, stuck-up shenanigans.
But Leslee Dart told Jeff Wells last night that White “wouldn’t be prevented from seeing the film in time to meet his weekly review deadline — just that he wasn’t welcome to see it presently.” And now a Focus Features publicist tells Jerry Portwood that White is scheduled to attend a Greenberg screening this Friday. We hope he likes it!
Update: Dart tells Michael Musto: “He was not banned from screenings. He will see the movie. He has RSVPd for Friday afternoon. I made a decision, not the filmmaker, that based on the horrible comments he’s made about Noah personally — like how his mother should have had an abortion and how he’s never met him, but he’s an asshole — I made a decision that he shouldn’t be one of the first critics to see the film.”
Below, for your reference, is the incensed e-mail that landed in some critics’ in-boxes last night. If you’re ever in a similar situation, you should definitely write one exactly like it as this shit totally gets results.
From: John Doe
Date: Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 11:35 PM
Subject: Support Your Fellow Film Critics
You may not have heard that Armond White has been blackballed by Focus Features at the request of Noah Baumbach and his producer Scott Rudin from seeing Noah’s latest “masterpiece” GREENBERG. [Noah, maybe you should make better films. Scott, go throw a cellphone at some PA you thin-skinned pussy.]
Some of you may think that Armond is a pretentious pompous fool who has no idea what he’s talking about, but he is still a fellow film critic. [Hail Todd McCarthy, fired by Variety today so they can save some shekels.]
Publicists are akin to Nazis. Remember what Hitler said, “Who remembers the Armenians?” As publicists blacklist each of us one by one we will be left with the Paul Wunders of the 21st Century aka blogger hacks who can’t spell or write a comprehensive sentence.
I suggest we all do three things:
1. DO NOT review Greenberg, if you are ordered to by your superior make a reference to the Gestapo tactics of the distributor, filmmaker and producer.
2. Complain directly to the President of Focus Features, James Schamus who prides himself on being a writer and supporter of the written word. This is his email address: email@example.com
3. Write directly to Scott Rudin and tell him you will not review any of his upcoming films.
Scott Rudin Productions
New York, NY
Upcoming Films: Margaret (Fox Searchlight), The Social Network (Columbia - 10/15)
Hail the First Amendment. Fuck the talentless hacks.
Film Critic 1138
An Angry Scream From The Land Of The Critic [Hot Blog/Movie City News]
Armond White and Noah Baumbach: The Screening is On [New York Press]
Larry Kincaid Isn’t Dead [Hollywood Elsewhere]