Do it cuz he sez so: Ne-Yo’s “Libra Scale”

“I’m responsible for this/Sure as the moon shines,” Ne-Yo assures his girl/boy/whatever over the percolating electro beat of “What Have I Done,” an eerie recreation of a Rod Temperton track from 1982. A specialist in masochism, Ne-Yo confuses psychobabble with honesty because in his experience girls can’t tell the difference (my experience too, but whatContinue reading “Do it cuz he sez so: Ne-Yo’s “Libra Scale””

Irvin Kershner – RIP

I’d like to think the virtues of Loving convinced George Lucas to give Irwin Kershner a chance at directing the sequel to the highest grossing film in history to date. Tonally uneven, Loving (1970) wobbles between the shagginess and sexual honesty of New Hollywood and the stagebound conventions of the old, best epitomized by theContinue reading “Irvin Kershner – RIP”

Leslie Nielsen – RIP

Not so much a talented actor as a lucky one. Finding writers and directors like Zucker-Abraham-Zucker to exploit the remains of his stolid handsomeness and colorless baritone is one thing; investing non-sequiturs and gibberish as if they were written by Shaw, he seemed liberated. That’s who Lieutenant Frank Drebin of “Police Squad!” was: a manContinue reading “Leslie Nielsen – RIP”

Rock and a soft place: 127 Hours

I counted two impressive moments of visual beauty in 127 Hours. The first is sensual: Aron Ralston (James Franco), trapped in the crevice, warms his chilled body by extending a bare foot into a shaft of sunlight; the second is haunting: Ralston’s fevered brain conjures an image of his parents and siblings, sitting impassively onContinue reading “Rock and a soft place: 127 Hours”

Dreams are not my own: Rosanne Cash’s “Composed”

The book jacket is Composed‘s most attractive quality. In skinny jeans and outdated spangled boots, nails colored a punky dark blue that she might have chosen from her youngest daughter’s collection, Rosanne Cash projects the hard won, ornery confidence of a woman over fifty for whom, to cite one of her darkest songs, the SeptemberContinue reading “Dreams are not my own: Rosanne Cash’s “Composed””

Big daddy: Mark Twain

The surprise publishing event of the season? Not George W. Bush’s Decision Points, not the latest Grisham or Harry Potter novel — it’s Mark Twain’s Autobiography: Steve Kettmann, an American writer living in Berlin, said that he tried to buy a copy during a visit to a Borders in Orlando, Fla., but was told thatContinue reading “Big daddy: Mark Twain”

Cobb salad and perfect cuffs: Whit Stillman

Whit Stillman, author-director of Metropolitan and Barcelona, gives his first extended interview in years: Stillman entered college with a completely different career path in mind. His ideas changed when he had his college entrance interview. “My father was a lawyer in politics and my aspiration had always been to be the same. I was tryingContinue reading “Cobb salad and perfect cuffs: Whit Stillman”