Soldiering on

“Soldier of Love” is Sade’s best single since “No Ordinary Love,” and boasts the same virtue: it develops a metaphor musically. In the case of the latter, with an elongated guitar lick, at once raunchy and poised, that sliced through Sade Adu’s vocal and the oddly mixed drums (they’re all high end); the former sportsContinue reading “Soldiering on”

Don’t worry about the government

In which the editors of Newsweek expose themselves as cretins. Apparently you’re a “terrorist” only if you’re Muslim or come from a country with which we’re at war, or, as the managing editor (!) avers without irony: Here is my handy guide: Lone wolfish American attacker who sees gov’t as threat to personal freedom: bomber,Continue reading “Don’t worry about the government”

Heartburn: eighties film and its discontents

A.O. Scott’s essay on Meryl Streep inspires two questions: why did mainstream film in the eighties suck, and when did Streep suddenly get fun? As far as the latter goes, I don’t know; it’s one of the mysteries of acting. Streep still chooses prestige crap like Doubt for which she’s assured an Oscar nomination; andContinue reading “Heartburn: eighties film and its discontents”

Of martyrdom and legerdemain

A lot of reviews have compared Hunger to The Passion of Joan of Arc. It’s closer to Bresson’s A Man Escaped, as remade by a drama queen who lingers too long on shit smeared on prison walls so the audience can appreciate the Genet-esque poetry-in-squalor. Although surely no accident that Bobby Sand’s (Michael Fassbender) cheekbonesContinue reading “Of martyrdom and legerdemain”

Ebert: “The Essential Man”

While I knew cancer cost Roger Ebert the ability to speak or eat properly, I’d no idea he looked so terrible. For all that, though, I applaud his bravery; let people see the ravages of cancer. But he still loves movies, and may love writing more. From Chris Jones’ Esquire profile: But now everything heContinue reading “Ebert: “The Essential Man””

Ready for the floor?

The most beguiling song on Hot Chip’s One Life Stand is “Brothers,” a ballad in which Alexis Taylor or Joe Goddard, I still can’t tell them apart, commemorates playing X-box and enjoying the company of a sibling or an intimate male friend. Stacked harmonies and thick synthesized chords create unexpected suspense; you keep expecting aContinue reading “Ready for the floor?”