“Liberty Valance” and the Obligations of Progress


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of watching and then discussing John Ford’s inestimable The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with a group of college students. By the end of the evening, the film had further cemented its position as My Favorite Ford not simply because of its technical and cinematic excellence — has [Read More...]

Andras Schiff’s Lifelong Marriage to J.S. Bach

András Schiff.

“Every day of my life, I start with playing Bach, usually for about an hour, sometimes even before breakfast! It’s like taking care of your inner hygiene. There is something very pure about it.” As a lifelong Bachophile. I’ve loved Glenn Gould for about as long as I can remember. (Will we ever see the Crazy [Read More...]

Drew Struzan Returns to the Star Wars Universe


I’m slightly behind the curve here — the speed at which “Star Wars” rumors fly ’round the Internet these days would make Doohan drool — but this little one from Fanhattan’s otherwise “Being Human”-themed interview with Drew Struzan is worth the effort. Who is Struzan, you ask? The artistic mastermind behind the spectacular “Star Wars” [Read More...]

Michael McGlynn, Anúna, and the Magic of Mouth Music


My youth is full of musical memories, ranging from Sunday afternoon brushes with my father’s classical record collection to my uncle’s frequent performances of Simon and Garfunkel classics in our family library. But to this day, one of the strongest (and most beloved) remains our weekly tidying of the house to the upbeat stylins’ of “The Best of [Read More...]

When Winning Is Everything


In the wake — or, I fear, in the eye — of this week’s mind-boggling sports storm, Iván Fernández Anaya’s story was exactly what I needed to see (HT: Dreher and Mills): As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the [Read More...]

The Elusive Genius of Bill Watterson


In my more giddy moments I think that a simple comic strip featuring Calvin, a preternaturally bright six year-old, and Hobbes, his imaginary tiger friend, features some of the most lucid sentences committed to print. And when I sober up, I usually think exactly the same. Edd McCracken Edd McCracken has rendered me an invaluable [Read More...]

Jeremy Irons Reads Eliot’s “The Waste Land”


The existence of this recording has restored my faith in the Internet – and, quite possibly, in humanity itself. (Sorry. I haven’t decided exactly how much hyperbole to use.) Thanks to BBC Radio 4 and jeremyirons.net, I am happy to present T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” featuring Jeremy Irons and Eileen Atkins. (The recording has [Read More...]

Feeling Wonderfully Blue


In the wake of yesterday’s unexpected (and Sunday-consuming) water heater repair, this morning’s “Bird and Moon” comic was just what the doctor had ordered: Sorrow over the fact that we will one day live in an Attenborough-less world — “Sadly, there is only one known David Attenborough in existence” — is offset by the instantaneous cinematic [Read More...]

Largoing My Way Through Winter


Walking through this morning’s six inches of fresh (and falling) powder, I was reminded once again of the main reason why I, flying in the face of my 25+ years of SoCal residency, have come to so dearly love the Wyoming winters. I’ve never heard anything so quiet. For someone who was O-for-Snow during their childhood [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — Vivaldi vs. Bartoli Edition


Every now and again, when I’m feeling particularly discouraged … or particularly buoyant … or sometimes for no reason at all, I hunt down this video. And marvel. Amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I’m at a loss to know what else one can say in the face of such exuberant and extraordinary ability. No [Read More...]