Category Archives: Uncategorized

The best of the Coen brothers

Nine’s a good number, and notice that five of the finalists the Coens released in the last decade, during which their mordancy and fetish for concision meshed with their sharpening tragicomic sense. For a time Barton Fink, the first one … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The best of Brian De Palma

“A Filmmaker by Pauline Kael,” an ancient joke went, but she’s dead and Brian De Palma undead. To make grand claims for him these days is as unfashionable as beef Wellington, but no reason to poo-poo his impressive record of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

The return of the evil dead

From the Frankenstein Files: the shitty plan that strips poor people of health care is back, this time with Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as co-sponsors. Starting in 2020, the Cassidy-Graham bill would eliminate both … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

I’m gonna do it on purpose: the best of Fiona Apple

This exquisitely self-dramatizing singer-songwriter has kept her sizable cult intact through the vagaries of record company politics. When I saw her in September 1997 on the Tidal tour she had already seduced a fair number of teenagers who have matured … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Irma update, FPL anger edition

My parents and several friends belong to the ten percent of FPL customers without power this morning. Although the utility had been promising full restoration for the southeastern coast of Florida all week, it revised its statements on Friday: now … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

‘mother!’ revels in a new kind of psyops

Claustrophobia has rarely been depicted with the precision that Darren Aronofsky demonstrates in mother!. This horror comedy about the depredations to which an unnamed young wife (Jennifer Lawrence) is subjected by her poet husband (Javier Bardem) is terrible and boring … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Go ahead with your schemin’: the best of Vince Clark + Erasure

Suspicious of Vince Clarke’s facility, I hesitated before publishing this list, in cold storage for several weeks. But a Facebook discussion with Ned Raggett about Music for the Masses forced a re-listen of Pop! in the car. Clark isn’t a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

‘Paris Can Wait’ a hunk of moldy cheese

Escargot should be cooked alive. Fava beans were found in Egyptian tombs. American cheeses are dead because we pasteurize them. If Paris Can Wait had appeared as an article in a French travel magazine, I would’ve excused its genial snobbery. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Singles 9/15

In three years, Lee Ann Womack has become a necessary adjunct to my life. Steeped in blues verities, “All the Trouble” would be wallpaper at a country fair were it not for producer-husband Frank Liddell’s sympathetic settings and Womack’s aversion … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Courtesies that I despise in me: the best of Portishead

Ready to allow for the originality of their admixture of trip hop and film scores, once the provenance of kitsch, I admit I found them silly in 1995 when Beth Gibbons’ pinched expressions of misery sounded like automatic self-parody. But … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Harry Dean Stanton — RIP

He had a face like a map: flat but riven with the topography of many lands, in his case states, for Harry Dean Stanton was as American as the interstate system. Paris, Texas made this clear. The 1984 Palme d’Or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I’m curious to know exactly how you are: the best of Grant Hart’s Hüsker Dü material

I don’t have much else to say that I haven’t already. 1. The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill 2. Green Eyes 3. Diane 4. Books About UFOs 5. Turn on the News 6. Pink Turns to Blue 7. Never … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment