Rick McGinnis writes:
White’s thesis is simple: Popular culture was already teetering on the brink in the wake of 9/11, but 2004 was the year when the divisions became terminal, with the release of two films – Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. The media staked out their position clearly, and any discussion of either film was predicated on a simple formula, according to White: “Passion became a red-state movie, and Fahrenheit became a blue-state movie.” (…)
His infamy was amplified last year, however, when he was ejected from the New York Film Critics Circle, where he’d been chairman for three years, after heckling Steve McQueen, director of the critic’s favorite 12 Years a Slave, at their awards dinner. That White is himself black only made the outrage of his many enemies more ferocious. His contrarian bona fides are enhanced even further by the fact that White is homosexual, and sometimes reviews the same films for both National Review, a conservative magazine, and Out, a gay magazine. (…)
Helpfully, White published a supplement to accompany his National Review polemic, listing the 20 films he thinks “effectively destroyed art, social unity and spiritual confidence … a corrupt, carelessly politicized canon” released in the decade since the culture broke. They include films that I disliked as much if not more than he did (Good Night and Good Luck, Inglourious Basterds) with films I wouldn’t single out as nearly that sinister (United 93, The Social Network) and some I actually enjoyed (Wall-E, Knocked Up).
I checked out White’s 20-film list.
True, the Ocean’s 11 remake is glossy eye candy, but White’s suggestion that it somehow desecrated some wholesome message in the original is odd.
Because in the original, the thieves all served in WW2 together and were, like the original real life motorcycle gangs, left unmoored by their experience, like proto/fictional Vietnam War vets, but without the heavy drug use.