High Rise

Loving “Young Turks” isn’t revisionist in 2013. For the generation which knew Rod Stewart as the spandex-clad raspy wonder with the grasshopper legs prancing through video after video, it’s considered as indelible as “Maggie May.” I’d rescue quite a few of eighties Rod singles: “Tonight I’m Yours”; the Jeff Beck collaboration “People Get Ready” inContinue reading “High Rise”

Rural life done right: The Southerner

What a disappointment to learn that, no, I hadn’t rented a new version of The Southerner but merely a transfer as crapulous as what I watched on VHS in 1997. Considered Jean Renoir’s best American film by the fortunate who’ve seen the others, The Southerner follows the Tucker family as they start a farm withContinue reading “Rural life done right: The Southerner”

Abolish the Senate

Alex Pareene on the DC Court of Appeal’s decision finding recess appointments unconstitutional: But, you know, in another, more important sense, who gives a shit what the Founders intended with their vaguely written delineation of the separation of powers, because half the point of their system was to create an undemocratic government unresponsive to theContinue reading “Abolish the Senate”

Weightless in your eyes: Dawn Richard

Ambition she’s got, and her talent will keep apace. Take the aptly named “’86,” the unstable nucleus of Dawn Richard’s Goldenheart. A three-note synth hook evoking So-era Peter Gabriel shimmers while Richard performs like a woman confronted in a hall of mirrors by her multitracked, distorted longings. A disembodied male voice tries and fails toContinue reading “Weightless in your eyes: Dawn Richard”

Lady Antebellum – “Downtown”

  Inspiration and lightness of being all but dissipated since the deserved smash “Need You Now,” the boys and girl return with a slinky, sly number about city kids who work among “storefront mannequins sleepin’ in lights” but sneak into clubs cuz they know the band and — guess what — grow up to beContinue reading “Lady Antebellum – “Downtown””

Jean-Louis Trintignant: “His lack of apparent definition”

I missed this Terrence Rafferty appreciation of Jean-Louis Trintignant — “a hard actor to get a fix on, though, because he never really had a type, and he didn’t take especially flamboyant, awards-ready roles, either — published in December: Mr. Trintignant appears to have realized early on that he was, in the usual terms ofContinue reading “Jean-Louis Trintignant: “His lack of apparent definition””

Amour: The cinema of expiation

Enhanced by some of the sharpest high definition imaging I’ve seen, the first scenes of Amour had me in knots anticipating to what enhanced interrogation techniques writer-director Michael Hanenke would subject Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant. The septuagenarians, former music teachers, watch a Schubert concert performed by a talented pupil. In the sea of facesContinue reading “Amour: The cinema of expiation”

“We’re on the right side of history”

Republicans be meetin’ to change their “strategy.” No more lousy Tea Party candidates: For the past four years, Republicans have faced a series of disappointing setbacks after mediocre candidates—often tea party favorites—have gone on to lose very winnable elections. They include Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, who lost a Missouri Senate race last year and forcedContinue reading ““We’re on the right side of history””

Singles 1/25

Carrie Underwood’s work could stand a shrewd compilation. “Two Black Cadillacs,” Dust Bowl corn complete with preachers and the Other Woman, is as histrionic as “Blown Away” and more fun. Speaking of, Eve is always fun but never compelling (did anyone notice she was gone?). In the never-fun pile, Dido yearns, Thom Yorke’s side projectContinue reading “Singles 1/25”

The other Wilder

Undergraduates looking for witticisms on Kafka, Shakespeare, Tarkington, Cervantes, among others, are advised to check Orson Welles’ collected conversations with Peter Bogdanovich out of the library. The polymath was a hell of a critic. A passing reference to the author of Our Town prompted the puppyish Bogdanovich to inquire about his relationship to Welles. “TheContinue reading “The other Wilder”