restricted access White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art (USA, 1962)

A major influence on a whole generation of film and rock critics (including J. Hoberman, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Greil Marcus), Manny Farber was a painter and film critic who wrote film reviews for, among many other publications, The Nation, New Republic, and Artforum. Farber, in this manifesto published in Jonas Mekas’s Film Culture, very much going against the dominant critical trends of the time, decries the bloated nature of much of the cinema that strives for high art and respectability— Truffaut in particular is a bête noire for him—and instead valorizes the burrowing, termite culture of B movies, The Big Sleep, and Laurel and Hardy.