I don’t care what they say anymore this is…My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

For a director specializing in pop and modish violence, Nicolas Refn sure overvalues his capacity to feel. I don’t doubt that like most people he’s a complex guy but in the documentary created by wife Liv Corfixen he comes off as a man given to bathos, pontificating with numbing banality on his loneliness, the receptionContinue reading “I don’t care what they say anymore this is…My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn”

‘Have I got a deal for you’

Emails published by The Intercept and the New York Times reveal the degree to which the American Psychological Association “secretly coordinated” with the Bush administration to give it the legal imprimatur needed for its torture program: In 2003, the APA and CIA even cohosted a conference on “The Science of Deception,” which was attended byContinue reading “‘Have I got a deal for you’”

The drug war and ‘social control’: David Simon

Using his experience as a cops reporter, David Simon, creator of “The Wire,” analyzes what has happened in Baltimore, addressing the comment I’ve read about What To Do about a city whose police force boasts a black chief and most of whose officers are black. I’ll paste the lengthy response: What did Tom Wolfe writeContinue reading “The drug war and ‘social control’: David Simon”

Mother love: Mommy

Some movies want to belt you out of the theater; Mommy wants to tie you to the chair, jam a stick of dynamite in your mouth, and light it. The young Canadian writer-director Xavier Dolan has made fascinating movies that thrive on awkwardness and humiliation. Like Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk in their Cassavetes films,Continue reading “Mother love: Mommy”

The so-called thrill of live performance

I’ve been to few concerts alone, all for the purposes of reviewing, so the real question is whether I like them. The peripatetic nature of bands touring Florida had an influence. In my younger and more vulnerable years I didn’t relish getting home at 3 a.m. after a Consolidated-Meat Beat Manifesto show. Even in myContinue reading “The so-called thrill of live performance”

Gay workers…?

Digby: It’s hard to imagine a country in which it’s legal for gay people to marry but it’s also legal to discriminate against gay workers, but it’s possible. In the past, as miscegenation laws were struck down, in some states it was still legal to discriminate on the basis of race against one member ofContinue reading “Gay workers…?”

Transience, Swiss style: Clouds of Sils Maria

In Olivier Assayas’ breakthrough film Irma Vep, Maggie Cheung plays an actress whose role infects her real life. Clouds of Sils Maria also studies the correspondences between script and life. But Assayas’s tread is as careful and expert as Cheung in her cat burglar costume. Although he films moments in which Maria Enders and personalContinue reading “Transience, Swiss style: Clouds of Sils Maria”

Democrats ‘stunned’ by intensity of lobbying mounted by White House

Katrina vanden Heuvel is not my favorite representative from the left, but this column nails it: It has come to this. To sell his trade treaty — specifically the fast-track trade authority that would grease the skids for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), President Obama is mobilizing a coalition anchored by corporate lobbies,Continue reading “Democrats ‘stunned’ by intensity of lobbying mounted by White House”

“Was Harry Reid really pummeled by a relative?”

Amazing. Rolling Stone got legitimately destroyed for running a story about UVA rape allegations in which the reporter didn’t confirm the allegations. Now John Hinderaker, a blogger at one of the filthier online sewers, got punked by one of his own sources: In the pages of the Las Vegas Sun, a man named Larry PfeiferContinue reading ““Was Harry Reid really pummeled by a relative?””

Rhyme and reason: Speedy Ortiz and Young Thug

One of the best things about these two wonderful albums: I can hear Young Thug doing wonders with “Law school rejects/so they quarreled at the bar instead” and Speedy Ortiz fuzzing up “Constantly Hating.” Young Thug – Barter 6 Barter 6 presents Jeffrey Williams in his best appointed settings – I giggle at the aptnessContinue reading “Rhyme and reason: Speedy Ortiz and Young Thug”

Katha Pollitt: ‘Reproductive rights come with a price tag’

Katha Pollitt has a way of clarifying important questions. Recent gains in acceptance of gay marriage have not translated into a concurrent rise in accepting reproductive liberty. Pollitt: Reproductive rights are inescapably about women. Pervasive misogyny means not only that those rights are stigmatized—along with the women who exercise them—but that men don’t see themContinue reading “Katha Pollitt: ‘Reproductive rights come with a price tag’”