Why the Long Face? I Watch “BoJack Horseman”

for AmCon. This piece could have been twice the length--I have a lot of feelings about this show, apparently: We’ve suffered a rash of cynical, sarcastic, hyper-competent white manchildren on our TV screens: “House” was one of the purest versions of this creepy fantasy, where self- and other-loathing make you cool and insightful. Recently there has been a bit of a backlash. Leading men (Walter White, Don Draper) now display the gross and pathetic nature of entitled narcissism, no matter how well … [Read more...]

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“Et in Academia, Ego”: I review “Bradstreet Gate”

for the University Bookman: Death and defeat haunt the college novel. College novels—whether they focus on students or professors—typically tell a story in which the shining promises of academia prove not only false but absurd. College promises insight; college novels display the blankness of human depravity. College proclaims the power of reason and dialogue; college novels expose irrational passions and farcical miscommunication. College exalts the life of the mind, while the college novel is … [Read more...]

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Madeleine Peyroux Covers “Between the Bars”

let's start our Monday on a high note … [Read more...]

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“Obedience School”: Brian Dewan’s Utter Brilliance

a window into my id?via Simone R, back in 1993. Oh those bygone days! … [Read more...]

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I Watch “Mistress America,” The New Noah Baumbach/Greta Gerwig Flick About Women’s Friendship

for AmCon: One of the weirder trends in today’s art is the rise of a certain kind of comedy: cynical and even scathing on the surface, but in the end, staunchly moral. These comedies push forgiveness, humility, and love as self-gift; the great enemies are personal ambition, unwillingness to embrace adult responsibility, and concern for one’s own self-image. (The lesser enemy is positive self-talk, which all these comedies go out of their way to satirize.) It’s a sort of comedic burned marsh … [Read more...]

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It Always Rains on Ben Affleck: Short Movie Reviews

The Leopard: Burt Lancaster is the patriarch of an aristocratic Sicilian family whose role in society is inevitably being usurped by the rising middle class during the period of Italian unification. Directed in sun-soaked autumnal shade and color by Caravaggio--I mean, Visconti.Lancaster is so good at these autumnal roles (The Swimmer) and everything here is gorgeous to look at. My favorite social or psychological note was the complex role played by the Church/the family priest. The … [Read more...]

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Ian MacKaye (From an Interview I Haven’t Read)

What about legacy. Does that matter to you? No. I already have a legacy and I realise how perverted it is, and misleading. I’m not interested in legacy in terms of my reputation. I am however interested in leaving a trail. (here; via Mockingbird; and see also.)  … [Read more...]

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