In its current issue, the New York Press—which is a real paper, that pays its writers and everything—runs a photo, pictured at right, of a staff writer posing with a movie star, surrounded by clip-art hearts.
The photo accompanies film critic and outgoing New York Film Critics Circle chair Armond White’s account of the NYFCC’s annual awards banquet, which he hosted and at which, it was reported by fellow-critics and other outlets, he was boorishly dismissive of many of the evening’s honored films and film artists. White’s piece attributes unflattering accounts of the evening to a racially motivated campaign orchestrated by his enemies in the at-once toadyish and elitist New York media, notably Village Voice critic J. Hoberman, who, White says, has at his disposal “legions of internet clones… [who] imitate his bigoted art and race preferences and follow his telepathic command.” (Given that there are some contributors to The L’s film section who also freelance for the Voice, I’m now very concerned that Hoberman is controlling my writers with his mind.)
The Photoshopped image, of White and the NYFCC’s Best Actress for this year, Annette Bening—who, late in the evening, felt moved to deliver an impassioned speech about the role of the critic—is meant to demonstrate White’s deep rapport with the very movie people with whom it was reported he sparred; the photo previously appeared, in different form, in a blog post written by Press editor Jerry Portwood, in which he defended White’s actions and attributed unflattering accounts of the evening to a racially motivated campaign orchestrated by his enemies in the at-once toadyish and elitist New York media, notably Village Voice critic J. Hoberman. (For two people so obsessed with the sinister conspiratorial groupthink of their enemies, White and Portwood often seem to have an uncanny mind–meld thing going on. A fact which is, like so many others equally beautiful in the purity of their irony, not waving but drowning just beyond the horizon line of Armond White’s self-awareness.)
In claiming Bening’s allegiance, White declares himself a true guardian of film culture, rather than a slack-jawed, dissent-crushing “handmaiden” of Hollywood—and now, we at the L have uncovered the original, undoctored photo of the actress and the critic at the NYFCC banquet. The truth is out there, folks: