Specials: Lizz Wright! Rosenbaum on Last Days

Today’s specials:

I’ve just discovered an album that’s definitely going to be on my year-end favorites list. Lizz Wright’s Dreaming Wide Awake is a revelation (at least to me, I didn’t hear her previous release, Salt.) Dreaming Wide Awake gives Wright’s glorious, smoky, passionate vocals fantastic opportunities in covers of songs like Joe Henry’s “Stop” and what may be the definitive version of Neil Young’s “Old Man.” Craig Street’s production is so pristine, T-Bone Burnett would be impressed. Here’s the All-Music Guide review.

  • You can always count on Jonathan Rosenbaum to write a rabble-rousing review. Here’s his take on Last Days:
    “A film about a junkie rock musician, played by Michael Pitt at his most narcissistic, doing nothing in particular for the better part of 97 minutes isn’t my idea of either a good time or a serious endeavor. Yet a few of my colleagues seem to be responding to Gus Van Sant’s Last Days the way some responded to The Passion of the Christ — taking it without a grain of salt or an ounce of irony. But it’s the grunge version of the Christ story, so that makes it hip.”
  • You’ve gotta love this film’s title.
  • This ain’t another episode of That 70s Show! Donna’s got a movie of her own… Deadly… and it’s causing a bit of trouble in Canada, where this horrible true story is still a little too fresh in people’s memories.

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  • Anonymous

    Lizz Wright’s Dreaming Wide Awake

    Sam Phillips: I Dreamed I Stopped Dreaming

    Over the Rhine: “We’ll wake up dreaming” from Spark

    … a common theme

    – Adam

  • Peter T Chattaway

    when is that canadian one coming out, Peter?

    “Fall 2005” was the official word, five months ago. It will certainly be playing at least one of the Canadian festivals next month. But two weeks ago I got a release schedule indicating it would not get a general theatrical release until “March, 2006”.

  • Adam Walter

    The fact that The Usual Suspects also made it onto Eggbert’s most-hated list, makes me wonder if Constantine isn’t worth taking a look at after all…

  • jasdye

    am i the only person who doesn’t care for gus van sant?

    i don’t care for that ‘motion-capture’ or whatever that new-fangled technology is from zemeckis. i have a feeling his beowulf might even be freakier than Laimbert’s version. when is that canadian one coming out, Peter?

  • jasdye

    i don’t think it’s about whether or not you agree with his rating or ranting. he has long made it apparent that he doesn’t give a lot of stock to his own ratings – they are about how he feels about the experience of watching the film. he hated waterboy and taste of cherry, for obviously different reasons.

    so the exciting part is watching him expound on a film. sometimes, he thinks too much (and it all amounts to a hill of beans), sometimes not at all. but it’s most fun when he gets into a writing frenzy about a film he doesn’t care for. or, in his words:

    “I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it.”

    that’s hilarious!

  • Peter T Chattaway

    But it’s the grunge version of the Christ story, so that makes it hip.

    That’s interesting, cuz Ken Eisner’s review also says, “You could call this The Passion of the Kurt, in which the hero is fried, not flayed.”

    Re: Deadly. The last I heard, its name had been changed to Karla — I’ve been following the controversy at my own blog, the most recent post being here.

  • Anonymous

    Ebert hated The Village that much? I agree with him about a lot of these, but I loved The Village. It’s definitely a movie that elicits strong responses from folks, one way or another.

    -Doug D