September 2004 Archives

Wes Anderson’s movies are magic acts, in the sense that he creates resonance out of broad comedy, eccentricity, and the ridiculous. I mean that both as compliment and criticism.

The One-Man Soul Band

It was a recording-studio engineer who turned me on to Martin Sexton. The most incredible live performer he’d ever seen, he said. Don’t mess with the studio recordings, he advised; go to Live Wide Open, his double-disc live set from 2000.

Without doing much research, I bought it, listened to it, and was underwhelmed.

Then I started reading. Those howling electric guitar solos on “Beast in Me” and “Women and Wine”? Ummm ... there is no electric guitar.

Abandon All Hope

Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum has so much to say that it can’t survive as a narrative. Still, slogging through it might be worth the effort if the movie spoke meaningfully to the human condition, but the essence of the film is distilled misanthropy, and its flavor is so outrageously bitter that you immediately reject it.

Two of the most endearing qualities in a movie critic are the ability and willingness to re-consider a judgment in a public forum.

So it seems pretty big of Roger Ebert (and Vincent Gallo, for that matter) to sit down and talk about the new version of the The Brown Bunny, the famously derided Cannes blowjob movie that famously spawned a cancer curse from writer/director-star-editor Gallo. And big of Ebert to give it a three-star review.


One of the fun elements of baseball (more than probably any other sport) is that it has a statistical richness through which one can completely divorce oneself from subjectivity. Take, for example, my beloved Boston Red Sox, who through May, June, and July were accused regularly of being playoff pretenders, to the point of being more than 10½ games behind the God-Damned, Mother-Fucking New York Yankees on August 16.