Decade: 1970s

Les rendez-vous d’Anna (1978)

This essay was originally published at Mubi.

Jul 5, 2010
Category: Essays, Film, Film Responses

Inner City Blues

If I’m remembering theory notation correctly, the change for “Inner City Blues” is i-IV. Two chords. It opens with twenty-four straight measures of the minor root before finally changing to the major IV, where it stays for all of four measures before returning to the root. Would have bored me senseless a decade ago; now, I’ll be damned if that change ain’t transcendent. The song is a chant-like, soul-filled lamentation. An angry prayer.

Feb 20, 2006
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Also Sprach Zarathustra

I only know of Deodato because of Being There (1979). Hal Ashby drops his needle on “Zarathustra” during the long sequence near the beginning of the film when Chance leaves his now-dead employer’s estate and wanders, umbrella and suitcase in hand, through the streets of Washington, D.C.

Aug 10, 2005
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Fallen Creatures in a Fallen World: The Films of John Cassavetes

This essay was originally published at Sojourners.

Mar 1, 2005
Category: Essays, Film

Riff Raff

The Song of the Moment was supposed to be Mark Kozelek’s version of “Riff Raff” from What’s Next to the Moon, his album of Bon Scott-era AC/DC covers. Something in that combination of Kozelek’s voice and his tasteful acoustic guitar arrangements unearths the roots in AC/DC’s rock. That album is borderline bluegrass–not the arrangements or […]

Feb 21, 2005
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Yeah, I know. There’s nothing less hip than Elton John, but while walking through Toronto last month, my iPod randomly landed on “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy,” and it was, at that moment, the single greatest song I had ever heard.

Oct 29, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

La Villa Strangiato

“Listen to this song,” he told us. “It’s the coolest.” Robbie was something of an authority on such things, and so I listened. Intently. Sitting stone upright on Dave’s bed. And Robbie was right. It was most definitely the coolest. This wicked keyboard sound introduced a simple, shuffling drumline.

Sep 10, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

South Side of the Sky

When I was 19 I played piano in a big band. One night, during a break, I started playing part of “South Side of the Sky” and within a minute the rest of the rhythm section joined in. It was really sloppy, but we made it from the end of the piano solo through most of the “la la la la la la la la” part.

Mar 26, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Great Directors: Hal Ashby

This essay was originally published at Senses of Cinema.

Feb 12, 2004
Category: Essays, Film

Carney on Minnie and Moskowitz

The greatest face in film history? Ray Carney on John Cassavetes’ Minnie and Moskowitz.

Oct 27, 2003
Category: Film