Animal Eyes

Animal Eyes

9

Feb

2018

Paul Kingsnorth, it's safe to say, is a man of special talent.  His work with the Dark Mountain Project -- one of the only cultural movements to take seriously the concept of a post-human world -- and his insightful environmental journalism alone would be enough to establish his brilliance and insight, but he also wrote T ...
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The Professional

The Professional

12

Jan

2018

It's been ten years since Donald Westlake left us, and it's a loss that's still deeply felt for those of us with a taste for pure throwback noir novels.  Westlake was the creator and author, under the pseudonym Richard Stark, of a series of novels featuring the enigmatic professional criminal known only as Parker; while th ...
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A Thousand Beers

A Thousand Beers

7

Jan

2018

I have drunk a thousand beers. A thousand beers have been drunk by me.  Since I started keeping track in 2014, my drinking has encompassed a thousand beers.  "The Man Who Has Drunk a Thousand Beers" is what they call me in fashionable quarters; some ruffians in low spots prefer "Ol' Thousand-Beers Pierce".  In the tech s ...
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As Above, So Below

As Above, So Below

4

Jan

2018

Okay, let's first get the obligatory Twitter joke out of the way:  The Shape of Water is the best movie you'll see all year about fish dicks.That was fun, wasn't it?  It feels good to laugh.  Now, let's move on to the actual review of Guillermo del Toro's latest fantasia.  Set some time around the end of the Kennedy a ...
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A World Where Every Neighbor is a Friend

A World Where Every Neighbor is a Friend

2

Jan

2018

Death, we are reminded every time someone dies*, comes in threes.  A good truism; a strong truism; and most importantly, a truism that can be stated in less than five words, making sure it will lodge in our consciousness before we get bored and go off to play video games or join a drug gang.  Unfortunately, it suffers fro ...
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Indistinguished Opposition

Indistinguished Opposition

6

Dec

2017

In my last entry, about the massive betrayal of the American people to a handful of plutocrats via the passage of a license to loot posing as a tax reform bill, I caught a small amount of hell from Democrats, who wondered why I had harsh words for their party.  While I feel that I spared the majority of my wrath for the Re ...
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The Way It is Today

The Way It is Today

2

Dec

2017

The possibility of having to restate the profound and likely irreversible damage the new tax bill will inflict on this country exhausts me. There are only so many times you can say that America is involved in a one-sided class war and that the rich (all of the rich) are doing their best to reduce the poor (all of the poor) ...
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Giving As Well As You Get

Giving As Well As You Get

22

Nov

2017

I used to have a little tradition around these parts -- by which I mean this blog, which I've been maintaining in some form or another for a good fifteen years or more -- where every Thanksgiving, I'd talk about the things I was thankful for.  It's not an original idea, or even a particularly interesting one, but as someon ...
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Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray

21

Nov

2017

Noir means, of course, "black"; and it refers not only to the dark moods and bleak tone of American crime dramas of the '40s and '50s, but also to the impenetrable slabs of shadow that surround the violence and betrayal on screen.  Much of what made noir what it is had to do with these blocks of darkness, intersected by sh ...
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The Stars Are Ageless

The Stars Are Ageless

16

Nov

2017

If you'd never seen Sunset Blvd. before -- if you knew nothing about it, about its unique place in cinematic history, about the curious effect it had on both the public and the town it opened up like and old and ugly pornographic magazine -- you'd be forgiven for wondering why it's considered film noir at all.  While it ...
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The Blacklist

The Blacklist

9

Nov

2017

Before we get too much deeper into Noirvember, I've often been asked to provide a list of my all-time favorite noir films.  This is painfully hard to do, because it's like picking my favorite bastard child whose birth I had nothing to do with.  It's a lot of good movies, folks.  Also, I'm pretty sure that I've done this ...
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Show Me Forgiveness

Show Me Forgiveness

6

Nov

2017

It may be too soon to talk about forgiveness.  The sins of the world are still so great, after all; and we are only now developing the language and the means to articulate our objections to some of its greatest crimes.  Why should we now talk about forgiveness, when even now, the powerful are contriving ways to continue t ...
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What Else is On?

What Else is On?

26

Oct

2017

Folks, you know me.  You're the same six people who keep reading this site throughout the years, so I can say with total confidence that I love you one hundred million times more than I love my own family or even a dog.  It doesn't matter which dog, that's not relevant.  The point is, you know that I normally provide in- ...
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I Know What’s Real

I Know What’s Real

18

Oct

2017

Blade Runner -- the original, which is to say whichever of the seemingly endless number of versions that are available thanks to studio meddling and the obsessive recutting of director Ridley Scott -- is one of my favorite movies.  Ill-received at the time of its release and scorned by some as too ham-handed in its metapho ...
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Fucker

Fucker

9

Oct

2017

Darren Aronofsky wants there to be no confusion about the intent behind his new allegorical whatever-it-is, mother!.  (I use his preferred stylization of the title, even after everything he has done to me.)  Eschewing such aesthetic values as subtlety and ambiguity, Aronofsky has delivered a psychological horror film tha ...
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