Monday, January 14, 2008

INTERVIEW: Critic Armond White on Michael Jackson Lincoln Center Tribute

Michael Jackson To Be Honored at Lincoln Center in New York City
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 -- by Wow Jones

Groundbreaking Pop Star Michael Jackson is the subject of a one-of-a-kind presentation this week at New York City’s Lincoln Center.

As part of the
Dance On Camera Program at Lincoln Center, distinguished NY Press Film Critic Armond White is dedicating an entire evening to the work of Michael Jackson in the music video genre. His “Pop Video Artists and Hollywood Influence” will be held on Friday, January 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater.

In this 90 Minute Presentation, esteemed critic and author Armond White will take an in-depth look at Michael Jackson’s early music videos and examine the Influence of Hollywood Choreographers and Hollywood Dance Icons in them. In an exclusive interview with The Wow Jones Report, Noted Film Critic and Author Armond White explains what he’s up to...

TWJR – Why is Michael Jackson’s music video work the focus of your presentation?

AW – Because he’s the single most important show-biz performer of the past quarter century.

TWJR – Do you think that people still care about Michael Jackson and his work? If so, who?

AW – Sure. Absolutely, from those who are obsessed with Michael Jackson’s notoriety to those who still feel the joy and beauty of his art.

TWJR – What makes you think that Michael Jackson still matters?

AW -- The
evidence is everywhere from the constant reference to his music by other musicians and filmmakers and in all media. Michael Jackson may have dubbed himself the King Of Pop; but the fact is Howard Stern stole his real title, because Michael Jackson is the King Of All Media.

TWJR – Where’d the idea for a music video presentation on Michael Jackson come from?

AW -- Joanna Ney, who runs the
Dance On Camera Program at Lincoln Center; requested the show in response to the number of Michael Jackson videos I have shown in past music video presentations at Lincoln Center.

TWJR – Why the attempt to link to past Hollywood Influences? Isn’t it obvious?

AW – No it’s not obvious to most people. It’s fascinating to see the source of so many of Michael Jackson’s movements and visions.

TWJR – Is it fair to compare and contrast Michael Jackson’s dancing in his music videos to those of old Hollywood Dance Icons like say…Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and/or Bob Fosse?

AW – Of course it’s fair, we do it all the time. We always respond to new artists in terms of artists we’re already familiar with. And it’s clear that Michael Jackson was inspired by artists who came before him.

TWJR – In light of the current option and ability to say…watch clips on DVD or on an IPOD, why is this Michael Jackson music video presentation necessary?

AW – They won’t get these insights or this program of videos any other way. Besides, I’ve always relished (and been thankful for) the opportunity to show this kind of work in this manner: LIVE and on the BIG movie screen—it’s unique and rare.

Film Critic ARMOND WHITE currently writes for the weekly newspaper, The New York Press and the periodical First Of The Month. In 1992, his essay on Michael Jackson’s ‘Black Or White’ music video, entitled “Black Or White, The Gloved One Is Not A Chump” won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Music Criticism. In 1994, he was the chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle. He’s served on the jury for the Sundance Film Festival and his music video presentations (Change the Style, West Of MTV, Romanek Fiction, Crossculture Dreams, Dreamworlds, Music To My Eyes, Visual Radio, Believe The Hype: Hype Williams -- ‘The Best Who Ever Did It’, The Official History of Music Videos: An Introspective) have been shown in film and video festivals all over the world from New York City to Dallas To Providence, Rhode Island to Miami, Florida to Tokyo, Japan to Brazil since 1993.

Armond White is also the author of two books – “
The Resistance: Ten Years Of Pop Culture That Shook The World” (Overlook Press 1995) and “Rebel For The Hell Of It: The Life Of Tupac Shakur” (Quartet Books -- UK, Thunder’s Mouth Press -- USA 1997)

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit this link:

-- The Wow Jones Report


Anonymous said...

Brief but insightful comments by Armond White. It's about time Michael Jackson has gotten his due.

Ben Kessler said...

Wow Jones,

Thanks for sounding the alarm about this event. It was, at last, the tribute MJ deserved for his culture-defining oeuvre. Your great interview with White brilliantly anticipated and accompanied this master critic's insights at Friday night's presentation.