Employee Picks is where I, the American film critic Nick Pinkerton (seen below), write about whatever happens to take my fancy at the given moment. If you haven’t heard of me, which is more than understandable, you have possibly heard of some of the publications that I have written for since 2003 or so: Film Comment, Sight & Sound, Artforum, Bookforum, Frieze, Reverse Shot, The Guardian, 4 Columns, The Baffler, Rhizome, Harper’s, the Village Voice… Those of these that still exist I still contribute to sometimes, among other professional endeavors, but I mostly do this now, because of neoliberalisms, but also because I enjoy it more than anything else, and it allows me to let my freak flag fly, as it were. Some people who are more famous than me have said nice things about me, which you can read after the abovementioned second image. I know this is gauche, but I’ve got to move bodies through the turnstiles here. My children are dying.
The emphasis at Employee Picks is on films and filmmakers that are not particularly well known and, in the case of those filmmakers that are well known, the tendency is to concentrate on the works of theirs that have been less seen or appreciated. There is also the occasional Sturm und Drang screed where I wail about the state of film culture. Everything is free for all to read for about five or six months, then goes behind a paywall, accessible to paid subscribers only. Some people seem to enjoy what goes on here, others not so much, which is probably how it should be. Maybe just take a gander for yourself, see if it’s the sort of thing that you’re into? Obviously no worries if not, kind of a niche concern, not everybody has to be into the same stuff, like as not you’re a good person anyways.
In addition to access to the back catalog here, paid subscribers will receive some other “perks,” detailed at the Subscribe page. I’m really trying to be cool about all of this while still finding a way to earn a little beer money, which seems only fair given that I do put in some long hours on the factory floor. Anything you pay in will be put towards not only paying myself for what I write here, but towards other quixotic endeavors that will hopefully be of interest to subscribers, such as an Online Archive of my Collected Works and other Interesting Projects. The way I figure it there ain’t too many good film magazines left so you might as well huck some cash in my direction, but this is of course just one man’s opinion. Let your conscience be your guide, in this as in all things.
TODAY I CAN DO ANYTHING.
PRAISE FOR THE AMERICAN FILM CRITIC NICK PINKERTON:
“With his insight, erudition, and fearlessness, Nick Pinkerton justifies film criticism in the 21st century all by himself.” —Dave Kehr, writer
“Years ago I saw a movie with Nick and friends. The group was shitting all over it, myself on the fence. He said, ‘Laugh now, but in three years you'll all still be thinking about this movie.’ It's been three years and I think about it often. I don't read much film criticism, but I read Nick Pinkerton.” —Josh Safdie, filmmaker
“I admire Nick Pinkerton but I'm also slightly terrified of him. Not a bad combination!” —Naomi Fry, writer
“After the Cultural Revolution all critics will most likely get ‘the wall.’ Pinkerton will be the only one spared and given a role in Party leadership.” —Adam Friedland, America’s funnyman
“When I read Nick Pinkerton, not least in reading his almost unhealthily well-researched, brilliant book about Goodbye Dragon Inn, I get the feeling that he has not only watched the film many times, or at least more than once—a rare and totally necessary thing—but has also watched, read, listened, and searched in the dark recesses of the trash for everything that revolves around the film, to understand where this thing came from. In a world of fast superficial readings, Nick's writing is a fresh elixir.” —Ben Rivers, filmmaker
“Nick is a wonderful writer with a rigorous mind attuned to the finer moments and dedicated to the pursuit of beauty.” —Kate Lyn Sheil, actress
“If I were ever to be subject to a takedown, there'd be no one else I'd hope would write it more than Nick Pinkerton. Because, for what I know of him, he is (like a true Scorpio) actually one of the biggest, most open hearts in the game, and a true believer in the art and what it can do... Just like in The Rapture (1991), the actual hell from Nick is... indifference...” —C. Spencer Yeh, musician, interdisciplinary artist
“Pinkerton's sprawling longform posts combine critical discernment with investigative energy. His writing is a bracing antidote to complacency, an invitation to dive deeper into the contradictions coiling around movies, art and life.” —Michael Almereyda, filmmaker
“Nick Pinkerton is a tireless explorer in film criticism, which makes him an Internet pioneer and a discoverer of many new territories. His work should be followed and treasured.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum, writer
“Pinkerton says I ‘show no ear for quotidian dialogue’ and by all accounts he thinks I’m an asshole, yet still I am inclined to think he's the smartest, punkest, most acerbic critic working. Subscribe to his Substack if you want to be fully present for the last gasps of film criticism.” —Ari Aster, filmmaker
“Nick Pinkerton ranks among the top film critics who have emerged since the millennium.” —J. Hoberman, writer
“Nick Pinkerton is a film critic of increasingly rare principle, and his aesthetic and cultural insights I often adopt as my own to disseminate via my popular podcast program. I’ve been a long-time fan of his excellent prose, and upon first meeting we bonded quickly over three shared passions: Christianity, Mark E. Smith, and the films of Whit Stillman. Nick has a uniquely American spirit and an approach to his work that is both rigorous and emancipatory. His newsletter is charming and wise and sure to enrich any soul, particularly if you have a few cents to spare for it.” —Dasha Nekrasova, actress
“Nick is a historian and art lover. The movies are blessed to have his intellectual and emotional attentions, and we, the readers, to learn from and be encouraged by them. Whether 280 pages or 280 characters—his no-bullshit chronicles radiate humanity and humor. He can turn a phrase, and as such his words are regularly trafficked among friends: as memes, valentines, koans, psalms, clues, and counsel.” —Daniel Schmidt, filmmaker
“The only Chad film critic in North America.” —The Ion Pack, anonymous in-jokey Instagram meme account
“He has never been in the pizza category.” —“Papa” John Schnatter, founder Papa John’s Pizza