So I’m a pretty big admirer of The Wire — just got done watching its fourth season on DVD last night, and I have the fifth on pre-order already — and as such will more than likely be watching its creators’ adaptation of Evan Wright’s Generation Kill at some point as well.
I’ve been meaning to read Wright’s book for a while now, ever since a friend recommended it to me. Is it crazy for me to be a little baffled, though, that the book is seemingly out-of-print now, especially given that I’m seeing ads for the miniseries pretty much everywhere? I mean, I’m more than happy to go the Powell’s route, but that just seems…odd to me.
One: Molly Templeton on this week’s Frightened Rabbit/Oxford Collapse show in Portland. In a similar vein, Pitchfork on the Collapse’s terrific “The Birthday Wars”.
Two: David Edelstein on Wall-E. Interesting choice of the word “conservative” in there — I think I know what he’s referring to, but I don’t know if that would be the word I’d use to describe it at all. Either way, though, it’s a hell of a film; probably the most purely cinematic of all the Pixar films I’ve seen to date.
Three: Miss Heather on the condos roughly a block from the apartment I call home, and their secret mysteries. (Nothing like this, I’m afraid.)
One: In the coming months, I will be attending many weddings. Therefore, I’m grateful for Achewood for providing a guide to etiquette there. (Potentially not safe for work.)
Two: Mike McGonigal on Spiritualized’s latest.
Three: Jessica Suarez on Sex and the City. (And, to spark some debate: Timothy Noah on the same, as it pertains to the Clinton campaign.)
Last week, I watched Chameleon Street for the first time. It’s a disconcerting and at times elating film, one featuring one of the most compelling antiheroes I’ve seen in a while, and managing to deftly touch on major issues (race, class, etc.). What’s equally impressive is director Wendell B. Harris, Jr.’s ability to establish a distinctive mood for each of the film’s set pieces within a short series of shots.
Stop Smiling‘s review is worth a read, as is this Filmmaker piece. Its author, Mike Plante, also wrote about the film for Wholphin’s blog, which features some clips from the film; for his own Cinemad, he interviewed Harris about the film, its release on DVD, and Harris’s current project, Arbiter Roswell.
I watched Michael Clayton last night. When I finished, I walked to my computer to check the news and learned that its producer and co-star, Sydney Pollack, had passed away. The man was a fine director and an excellent actor (I remember his scenes, more than anything else, in Eyes Wide Shut); David Edelstein has an appreciation up, and there’s a discussion of his work currently ongoing at The House Next Door.
…I’m going to link to David Edelstein’s review of the same, and follow with a “what he said”.
One: Robert Christgau on Ken Braun of the Sterns label, with a particular focus on last year’s amazing Tabu Ley Rochereau compilation The Voice of Lightness.
Two: Daphne Carr on the No Fun Fest.
Three: Jessica Suarez interviews Islands on their new Arm’s Way. I’ll have some lengthier thoughts on the record in question on this space soon…
Four: At The House Next Door, three critics examine the Indiana Jones films to date. Highlight: Matt Zoller Seitz on Temple of Doom: “Doom starts out in more or less the same helium-high action mode as Raiders, but stirs in wacky slapstick and surrealism, then piles on nightmare logic: by its midpoint, a seeming escapist action picture has become a horror film“.
One: Rob Walker on reviving defunct brands, and the selective, not entirely reliable of the American consumer.
Two: Matt Fraction on the recent activities of your favorite filmmakers.
Three: Skyfarms, via Reihan Salam. My mind is blown.
One: Reihan Salam on the anarchist politics of Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay.
Two: Given that I’ve been known to post a fair amount of praise in the direction of High Places, the news that they’ve signed with Thrill Jockey seems like a fine fit for all concerned.
Three: Also in the category of artists I’m fond of: Marilynne Robinson. The New York Times’ Reading Room blog has begun a discussion of her Housekeeping, which is about as close to a perfect novel as I’ve ever read. (Also in the running: Robinson’s Gilead.)
One: David Edelstein looks at Iron Man and Redbelt.
Two: Spencer Ackerman on Leon Wieseltier’s review of Martin Amis’s The Second Plane.
Three: I’m going to have some longer thoughts on Reihan Salam’s Slate essay on the concept of a music tax forthcoming. For now, though: the link.
This week, Slate has a piece up by Matthew McGough on the recent DVD reissues of Bull Durham and Eight Men Out.
This is as good a time as any to plug a recent piece I did for eMusic on books about baseball, including McGough’s fine memoir Bat Boy.
Preparation for EMP has kept me busy as of late, but here’s one link for your consideration, via The House Next Door: Armond White on Shine a Light.
Ever so often, regardless of who’s around, I’ll go into a lengthy spiel on the overall underratedness of Peter Weir. I was raised on many a Weir film: my mother’s particularly fond of The Year of Living Dangerously, and a good chunk of my junior year English class in high school focused on themes from his adaptation of The Mosquito Coast.
The House Next Door has a fairly lengthy appreciation of Weir’s filmography to date. It’s a hell of a read.