Armond White

Armond Allen White (born 1953) is an American film and music critic known for his provocative and idiosyncratic[1] film criticism. He currently writes for National Review and Out. He was previously the editor of CityArts (2011–2014), the lead film critic for the alternative weekly New York Press (1997–2011), and the arts editor and critic for The City Sun (1984–1996). Other publications that have carried his work include Film Comment, Variety, The Nation, The New York Times, Slate, Columbia Journalism Review, and First Things.

Early life

Armond Allen White[2] was born in Detroit, Michigan as the youngest of seven children. His family was the first African-American family to move to a primarily Jewish neighborhood, where he grew up. Raised Baptist, he later became Pentecostal, and identifies himself as "a believer".[3]

His interest in journalism and film criticism began as a student at Detroit's Central High School, when he first read film critic Pauline Kael's book, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang[3] whom he cites for "her willingness to go against the hype", along with Andrew Sarris, for his "sophisticated love of cinema",[4] as being a major inspiration on his choice of professional career.[5][6][7] White received a Master of Fine Arts degree in film from Columbia University's School of the Arts in 1997.[8][2]


White was the arts editor for The City Sun, where he wrote film, music and theater criticism, for the span of its publication from 1984 to 1996. He was hired by New York Press in 1997 and wrote for the paper until it ceased publication in August 2011. He then assumed the editorship of the Press's sister publication CityArts starting in September.

White is a member of the National Society of Film Critics[9] and New York Film Critics Online.[10] He was the three time chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle (1994, 2009 and 2010),[11][12] and has also served as a member of the jury at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival and was a member of several National Endowment for the Arts panels.[8] He has taught classes on film at Columbia University and Long Island University.[5] White claims to watch "five to 10 movies a week"[6][13] and "as many as 400 films a year".[3]

In 1992 White won the 25th Annual ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for music criticism for "The Gloved One Is Not a Chump", his essay on Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video.[14][15]

In January 2014 White was expelled from The New York Film Critics Circle for allegedly heckling director Steve McQueen at an event for the film 12 Years a Slave.[16][17] White maintained his innocence,[18] and characterized his expulsion as a "smear campaign".[19] White received an "Anti-Censorship Award", as a part of the 35th annual American Book Awards, because of his being "unfairly removed" from the New York Film Critics Circle.[20]



  1. McNeil (2015), pp. 61-78
  2. 1 2 "Columbia University – Online Directory". Columbia Alumni Association.
  3. 1 2 3 Jacobson, Mike (February 15, 2009). "No Kiss Kiss, All Bang Bang". New York. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  4. Staff (2004). "The Critic". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  5. 1 2 Kipp, Jeremiah (April 2002). "Beyond Entertainment: An Interview With Film Critic Armond White". senses of cinema. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  6. 1 2 Lingan, John (May 15, 2008). "INTERVIEW: Armond White". Splice Today. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  7. White, Armond (July 3, 2012). "Armond White's Mid-Year Awards". New York Press. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  8. 1 2 Staff. Armond White. IndieWire. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  9. New York Film Critics Circle. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  10. New York Film Critics Online. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  11. Goldstein, Gregg (October 16, 2008). "N.Y. Film Critics re-elect Armond White". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  12. White, Armond (2010). "Message from the 2010 Chairman". New York Film Critics Circle. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  13. Nesterowich, Casey (March 3, 2010). "Film critic uses quirky taste to set self apart". The State News. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  14. ASCAP. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  15. Dolowicz, Caz (October 5, 2009). "Armond White’s Michael Jackson: Keep Moving (At St Felix & Dekalb)". Who Walk in Brooklyn. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  16. Gleiberman, Owen (January 13, 2014). Why Armond White got kicked out of the New York Film Critics Circle. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  17. Child, Ben (January 7, 2014). Steve McQueen heckled as 'garbage man' at New York film awards. The Guardian. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  18. Feinberg, Scott (January 7, 2014). Embattled Film Critic Armond White: I Never Heckled Steve McQueen (Exclusive). The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  19. Chen, David (January 8, 2014). The /Filmcast Speaks to Armond White About Heckling Claims: “It’s a Smear Campaign”. /Film. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  20. Staff (August 26, 2014). "Jamaica Kincaid, Armond White win American Book Awards". Daily Mail. Retrieved September 6, 2014.


External links

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