Chris Rock on Christmas and Jesus: a rant

Back in 1965, Charles Schultz gave us perhaps the best of all Christmas TV specials. Because it's not just about the season, it's about all that comes with it: depression, loneliness, and self-doubting, as well as family and the sweetness and holiness of the Nativity. It's sad, silly, funny, touching. It won all the bigContinue reading “Chris Rock on Christmas and Jesus: a rant”

The unbearable whiteness of Wild: a black perspective

Perhaps the most interesting meditation on the movie Wild to date comes from Brandon Harris on the Talking Points Memo site. He frames the question a little less provocatively than my headline wondering: Why is camping a white thing?  He points out that the one black character of any stature in Wild, a self-described hobo,Continue reading “The unbearable whiteness of Wild: a black perspective”

Flying tumbling vehicles: #1 movie visual today?

Took a look at the classic old disaster movie, Earthquake, from 1974, which has a great preview/trailer:  This movie surprises, first of all, because its strongest images inadvertently connote 9/11. Not what one expects from a movie set in a natural disaster.  Of course the plausibility question, so often an issue with disaster movies, cannotContinue reading “Flying tumbling vehicles: #1 movie visual today?”

The wisdom of Carl Jung on Eros and love (not)

In my medical experience as well as in my own life I have again and again been faced with the mystery of love, and have never been able to explain what it is. Like Job, I have had to “lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer.”

–Carl Jung

Overrated movie of the year: Snowpiercer

Yours truly sees all sorts of movies with alleged environmental messages (even the recent Godzilla, for crying out loud) to see how pop culture understands the on-coming prospect of planetary disaster. One of the best such movies in recent years was "The Host," from South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho, which at least one other criticContinue reading “Overrated movie of the year: Snowpiercer”

Pain can lead to growth: Geoff Dyer (and the research)

Geoff Dyer writes so well it seems somehow demeaning to call him a critic, but that's how the world slots him, pretty much, and in books like "Out of Sheer Rage" — his admiring account of D.H. Lawrence's battles — he helps redefine the form.  At only 56, last week Dyer suffered a stroke, while livingContinue reading “Pain can lead to growth: Geoff Dyer (and the research)”

It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel like eating…everything

Dana Goodyear, the editor/poet/reporter (for The New Yorker) has focused in the last couple of years on the weird edges of foodie culture of today. At least from a traditonalist's perspective, the foodie culure of today has evolved from deliciousness, to hipness, to eating what others haven't — and decadence.  Anything that Moves is anContinue reading “It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel like eating…everything”

I can’t pretend to be interested in your books: Chekhov

A Times review of a"Seagull" set in Ireland during the time of "the Troubles" doesn't love the production but brings its wit out lovingly nonetheless. Among the production’s freshest scenes is the brief colloquy between the bluntly bitter Mary and Aston. Mary’s no-nonsense approach to the impossibility of finding lasting love is in contrast toContinue reading “I can’t pretend to be interested in your books: Chekhov”