Decade: 1990s

Safeway Cart

The new Song of the Moment, Neil Young’s “Safeway Cart,” scores a scene in which the Legionnaires march through a rocky desert, one of their many meaningless exercises in the film. It plays like a dirge and is one of Beau Travail’s few explicit references to the Christian allegory at play.

May 15, 2005
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Slacker (1991)

Linklater, perhaps more than any other contemporary filmmaker, is alive to the potential and the basic human value of the men and women who walk in and out of his films. And he seems to have a particular fondness for the folks who live on the margins, whether by choice or necessity.

Mar 29, 2005
Category: Film, Film Responses

Strange Waters

I asked Bruce about “Strange Waters” yesterday, and his answer was a tense, beautiful sermon.

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

Random Musings . . .

On some recent viewings . . . Shame (Bergman, 1968) — Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow star as Eva and Jan Rosenberg, cultured musicians who escape to a rural island when their orchestra is shut down during a war. Their new, more simple life as farmers is soon interrupted when their home is invaded, […]

Aug 6, 2004
Category: Film, Film Responses

Snow

Since watching Caveh Zahedi’s In the Bathtub of the World on Sunday, I have probably listened to The Innocence Mission’s “Snow” thirty times. Hopefully I’ll find time to write about Bathtub in the next day or two. It’s been a long time since I was so moved by a film.

Jul 15, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Late August, Early September (1998)

Like, one of Rohmer’s late comedies, the charm of Late August is found almost entirely in its characters (all of whom are likeable enough and three-dimensional enough) and in the smart things they say to one another. They twist themselves in existential knots, struggling to balance their idealized visions of integrity with the muddy necessity: compromise.

May 17, 2004
Category: Film, Film Responses

Dreamer

I’m almost finished Dreamer, Charles Johnson’s novel about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s struggles in Chicago in 1966, and it’s amazing — the finest novel I’ve read in months. (Dreamer wants to become part of my stalled dissertation; I have, as yet, managed to fight that urge.)

May 17, 2004
Category: Book Reviews, Words

Cross Bones Style

The oft-repeated but still-juicy line from Godard: “The history of cinema is boys photographing girls. The history of history is boys burning girls at the stake.” You can confirm the second sentence by watching TV for three minutes. To confirm the first sentence, watch the Cat Power videos available here at the Matador website.

Jan 1, 2004
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

I’ll Be Gone

I have no idea why I’ve been listening to American Music Club’s San Francisco so much lately — I mean, other than because it’s a great album. “I’ll Be Gone” is a damn fine song.

Dec 19, 2003
Category: Music, Song of the Moment

Calendar (1993)

Made for German television and with a budget of only $100,000, Calendar is one of the most compelling and stylistically inventive films I’ve seen this year.

Dec 16, 2003
Category: Film, Film Responses