Tag Archives: Writing

‘Joyous and jubilant and sure’

Many poets, amateurs and pros, would cross “massively” out in the fourth draft. Wallace Stevens understood what he was doing. He also left “joyous” and “jubilant” in the same verse. Last evening the moon rose above this rock Impure upon … Continue reading

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‘The Land of Steady Habits’ finds no drama in the male midlife crisis

For twenty years writer-director Nicole Holofcener has specialized in films about women whose ideas about living are subject to constant revision. Their emotional geography is precise. Why the Netflix production The Land of Steady Habits fails is so baffling that … Continue reading

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Screenings #38

Confining himself to reconstructed transcripts, Robert Bresson takes his approach to its furthest point in The Trial of Joan of Arc. At just over an hour long, it avoids tedium but it does get buggy. Eschewing frills requires an approach … Continue reading

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All work, little play: ‘Support the Girls’

In the organic foods era, the so-called family chicken wing spot with girls in Daisy Dukes is the equivalent of a moderate Republican. Lisa (Regina Hall), general manager of the subtly named Double Whammies, understands. Yet she does her job … Continue reading

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Fraudulent ‘The Wife’ has no clue how writers work

From The Lost Weekend and Some Came Running to Finding Forrester and Started Out in the Evening, movies about writers often don’t know a damn thing about writing or writers. They assume poets and novelists say plummy things, writing sentences … Continue reading

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Good luck, North Carolina

If you don’t like the effect, George Clinton said, don’t produce the cause: In a bid to aggressively prosecute illegal voting, the Justice Department has sent sweeping subpoenas to 44 counties in North Carolina requesting all of their recent voting … Continue reading

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Burt Reynolds – RIP

He lived on the sofas of late night talk shows as comfortably as the late John McCain, from which he told jokes on himself and mused on the roles he wished Hollywood would offer him if he didn’t waste time … Continue reading

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It might blow up, and it might go pop: Troye Sivan and Ariana Grande

Troye Sivan — Bloom This Australian started making sense after re-watching Call Me By Your Name — imagine him as Timothée Chalamet’s first boyfriend, about the same age, wowed by Chalamet’s experience, for which he has Armie Hammer to thank. … Continue reading

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Ranking PJ Harvey

With all respect to White Chalk (appreciate the experiment in piano and a higher register, results not so much), 4-Track Demos (“Reeling” and “Hardly Wait” rule, the Rid of Me demos fascinating), and the John Parish collaborations, the albums ranked … Continue reading

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‘He did not love me living…’

Better known these days than her brother Dante Gabriel, Christina Rossetti has seen her stock grow as feminist criticism has re-examined her long poem Goblin Market. Her devotional poems remain delights, and when she wrote about death, as she often … Continue reading

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‘Nico, 1988’ presents the last days of an icon

Until the moment of her 1988 death in the most banal of accidents, Nico had earned her distance from the Velvet Underground material that turned the model into a camp and often transfixing chanteur in the seventies: like any star, … Continue reading

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What happened in Florida?!

Watching MSBC’s Steve Kornacki fly out of his sneakers yesterday as he read the results from Florida counted as one of the few moments of unalloyed pleasure since we Americans elected a white supremacist as president. I voted for Andrew … Continue reading

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