Send Me No Flowers

Send Me No Flowers

23

May

2017

Ottessa Moshfegh is a hot property right now.  Establishing herself as a writer of excellent stories in the early 2010s in the Paris Review and Granta, she has just published her first collection of short fiction, Homesick for Another World.  It was her first novel, however, that really put her in the sights of the litera ...
MORE...

Deadly Quiet

Deadly Quiet

12

May

2017

I'm not normally a fan of horror movies.  Even when they're well-executed, they tend to be all surface and no depth; they tell us nothing about the human experience beyond the sensation of fear and our capacity for cruelty, which isn't something many of us need to be reminded of.  Without exploration, without an attempt a ...
MORE...

Vox Populi, Vox Invisibilia

Vox Populi, Vox Invisibilia

4

May

2017

As I write this, the Republicans of the U.S. House of Representatives have just voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of legislation of their own making.  That the American Health Care Act is a complete disaster almost goes without saying; it will rob millions of people of the already inadequate health insurance ...
MORE...

The Steps of the Palaces of the Rich

The Steps of the Palaces of the Rich

1

May

2017

This year's May Day sermon is an expanded version of a speech I gave this morning at the dedication by Alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa of Chicago's 35th Ward of an honorary street named for the great radical freedom fighter Lucy Parsons.We’re all here today because of Lucy Gonzalez Parsons. And when I say we’re here today ...
MORE...

Ghost Capital

Ghost Capital

30

Apr

2017

It may not be entirely fair to call French director Olivier Assayas, who has delivered some of the most thrilling as well as some of the most bewildering film of the past few decades, wildly inconsistent.  There is always, at least, a baseline of artfulness in his work that suggests a control and purpose at odds with wildn ...
MORE...

Race to the Top

Race to the Top

17

Apr

2017

Ever since the 2016 election, when the Democratic establishment faced a surprisingly strong challenge from Bernie Sanders and his relatively mild form of economic leftism, liberal partisans have insisted that everyone in America is underselling the damage done by racism.  (Everyone, that is, except themselves.  No one rol ...
MORE...

War Again

War Again

9

Apr

2017

It was only a matter of time before Donald Trump led America into another pointless, brutal conflict overseas. The only surprise is the speed with which he did it; most presidents would wait until they were in much more dire domestic straits before giving into the instinct to prop up their popularity against a pile of forei ...
MORE...

Old Wars, New Generals

Old Wars, New Generals

4

Apr

2017

For the good of the country, we are often told, the infighting between liberals (or, as they are properly understood, the party of nice rich people) and the left must cease.  Exactly which faction is supposed to lower its guns first is implicit, but so far they refuse to do so, having had a lot of experience with getting s ...
MORE...

Rush ‘n’ Attack

Rush ‘n’ Attack

3

Mar

2017

A new wave of Russophobia is sweeping the nation, surely the high-water point for such shenanigans since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  It's familiar; much of it echoes the anti-communist rhetoric of Ronald Reagan, the closest analogue in presidential history to Donald Trump, only this time our political leader ...
MORE...

Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat

20

Feb

2017

When the announcement was made a few months ago that Netflix would be shepherding a new series entitled The Santa Clarita Diet, I didn't exactly mark my calendar, because that name is terrible.  I was even less inspired when it was announce that the show would be a zombie comedy, a concept whose freshness was about 15 yea ...
MORE...

In the Middle of the World

In the Middle of the World

22

Jan

2017

Barry Jenkins' Moonlight -- his second feature film and a quantum leap from his first, the fascinating but slight Medicine for Melancholy -- is a film that builds itself up by little moments.  Very little happens in the movie itself; it is slow and deliberate, with many of its major events implied or taking place off scr ...
MORE...

The Curse of Memory

The Curse of Memory

18

Jan

2017

When I was much younger, a writer named Paul Slansky put out a book that had a huge effect on me.  The Clothes Have No Emperor:  A Chronicle of the Reagan '80s was formulated by its author as a defense mechanism, what we'd call today a means of self-care -- a way of staying sane in the face of the fact that the impossible ...
MORE...

The Most Beautiful Fraud: Tampopo

The Most Beautiful Fraud:  <i>Tampopo</i>

16

Dec

2016

Tampopo was a first for me in a lot of ways:  not only the first movie I'd seen by Juzo Itami, but the first Japanese comedy I'd ever seen, and one of the first Japanese films I'd seen at all outside of Akira Kurosawa and a few samurai period pieces.  I saw it when it was first released in the U.S. on VHS during my stint ...
MORE...

The Most Beautiful Fraud: Kate Plays Christine

The Most Beautiful Fraud:  <i>Kate Plays Christine</i>

14

Dec

2016

One of those odd little quirks of timing that happens in the world of cinema took place this year when not one, but two films based on the life of Christine Chubbuck were filmed and released at almost exactly the same time.  The first was Christine, a more or less straightforward narrative film based on the television new ...
MORE...

20 for 2016

20 for 2016

12

Dec

2016

I don't really listen to much new music anymore.  Partly this is because no one pays me to do it anymore, and partly it's because I have other things to do, but mostly it's just because I'm old, and nobody needs another white guy in his mid-40s telling them what to listen to.  And yet, here we are, and I need content!  S ...
MORE...
Page 1 of 27123451020...Last »