Lightness of being: ‘The Worst Person in the World’

A devotee of pleasure but devoid of caprice because she takes pleasure seriously, Julie is imbued with the lightness of being. It gets her in trouble with serious boyfriends, who don’t know what to make of her, and older people, who look at her as if she dances on tables. The audience’s acquaintance begins inContinue reading “Lightness of being: ‘The Worst Person in the World’”

Hot tears flow as she recounts:The best songs about actresses

Readers will look at the top entry and think, ‘lol wtf.’ But John Grant’s thick rattling synth jam reconstructs an actor’s image in queer form with the thoroughness of a Pet Shop Boys approach to same, and as of 4:30 p.m. EST it’s the song I want to keep listening to. The list:

We’ll make them turn their heads: Songs about gossip

“Where are Timex Social Club?” readers will ask. Too chintzy even for 1986, I’ll respond. Because pop music relies on sexual tension provoked by hearsay, songs about rumors and gossip provide ideal kindling. I wish most songs were as giddy as Bananarama’s last American hit or Missy Elliott’s 2003 top ten; on just about everyContinue reading “We’ll make them turn their heads: Songs about gossip”

Why do so few good film satires exist?

The high dudgeon shown by the online left over the at worst mixed reaction to Don’t Look Up is enough to make me weep with laughter (I’m not a fan). A life spent denouncing DLC types for praising speeches over legislation will erode your ability to enjoy art. “Cut the crap and get to theContinue reading “Why do so few good film satires exist?”

Who’ll love Aladdin Sane: Songs inspired by or about David Bowie

The best contemporary song about the Dame doesn’t take him as seriously as fans did — the truest demonstration of love. Compressing at least four of his signature tunes into a Stars on 45 medley, “Bowie” does in three minutes what took the Divine One forty years. I have no idea what he thought atContinue reading “Who’ll love Aladdin Sane: Songs inspired by or about David Bowie”

Ranking #40 singles, U.S. edition: 1990-1998

Snappy, sassy, quite un-full of itself, “Kiss You Back” is even more representative of Digital Underground’s awesomeness than “The Humpty Dance.” Until researching this post I’d no idea it even went top 40. It joins Geto Boys’ “Six Feet Deep” and The Puppies’ “Funky Y-2-C” as welcome party crashers.

It’s only there to fool the public: Songs about circuses and clowns

A universal acknowledgment that clowns suck is one of the more remarkable developments in my lifetime. My pediatrician had a chalk drawing of one of those motherfuckers holding an umbrella. To use clowns as a conceit is to acknowledge in this life you’re on your own while insisting on smiling. The list:

‘Don’t Look Up’ and satire in the Trump era

In Don’t Look Up, a pair of astronomers fret over the lack of urgency from leaders as a planet-destroying comet nears. Way before the film approaches the halfway mark you may start rooting for the comet, so vast is the stupidity on display by world leaders. Grad student Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), who discovers theContinue reading “‘Don’t Look Up’ and satire in the Trump era”

The one who insists he was first in the line: The best songs that inspired movies

Using pop songs to inspire films accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s for the purpose of movies that would singe the eyebrows of the faithful. Can’t Buy Me Love? Calendar Girl? Love Potion No. 9?Have these films ever faced you in a dark alley? As much as I can’t stand the John Hughes-scripted Pretty inContinue reading “The one who insists he was first in the line: The best songs that inspired movies”

Love in the Valley: ‘Licorice Pizza’

Sticky and fresh in discrete bits, overpowering as a whole, Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie tastes like licorice pizza. How audiences respond to this comedy set amid the post-sixties convolutions in the 1973 San Fernando Valley will depend on their tolerance for Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. He plays Gary Valentine,Continue reading “Love in the Valley: ‘Licorice Pizza’”