|A better person would explain why, without saying something idiotic like "Suppose Eddie Argos were still going strong into his '50s," and an even better better person would have gotten this information, in the form of a pick, into a real publication, but: go see The Nightingales at Brooklyn's Union Hall on Thursday. (Or at the Cake Shop tonight - who knows how late they go on.) And then tell me how they were.|
Did someone declare the 3/05 issue of The New Yorker the late-winter let's-beat-intellectually-demanding-art-with-any-stick-that-comes-to-hand, especially-if-it-also-purports-to-have-political-content edition, and just forget to mention it on the newsstand obi? See Denby, who uses the reasonable judgment that Babel is manipulative and pseudo-serious as a wedge against any film code save the classical; which of course isn't a "code" or anything, but most natural thing in the world. (How much sleight-of-hand is packed into the sentence: "As soon as film was invented, experimental film was invented"?) See also Schjeldahl, relishing his own snideness with regards to the "strenuous" underpinnings of Jeff Wall's work: "It may be enough to know that, in theory-drunk circles of the period, any sort of aesthetic appeal could be regarded as a stratagem of “late capitalist” ideology or some other wrinkle of malign social power. (The enemy’s identity was never entirely clear.)" Even Alex Ross jumps in, by way of implying that "Mahagonny" is better for being a (Weillian) "timeless morality play" rather than a (Brechtian) "up-to-date piece of agitprop"; but given the prior knowledge that Ross treasures Hanns Eisler, no slouch in the agitprop department, we can conclude that he's more capable of making case-by-case judgments than those of his cohort already quoted.
I don't even know where to start with my tailbone shattering Out 1 experience, beyond saying something deflationary: "It's like watching half a season (plus a bit) of 24 in two sittings, except with fewer gunshots (which isn't to say none - didn't someone say that if a revolver appears onscreen in the first hour, it must be fired in the thirteenth?), and measurably more documentary footage of 'tacto-physical' theater rehearsals." In no way do I want my weekend back, or anything like that, but I wouldn't be inclined to make anyone feel guilty, or like a philistine, for not being interesting in this sort of thing. Even as one who'd recommend Celine and Julie to anyone with eyes and a frontal lobe, I think it's just barely possible that partisans (Rosenbaum) whose word as to the pleasures and payoffs of this work everyone else had to take for decades could possibly have been gilding the lily a wee bit. Hoberman is a bit more honest about the difficulties for the mortal whose expectations and internal clock have been formed by other sorts of movies: "For me, Out 1 didn't begin to cast even a minor spell until late in the fourth hour..." But my favorite recent review may be Variety's, for the inappropriateness of its house style: "Lensed by Rivette as a response to his tyro pic..." Do have to look back at Ashbery's piece; it doesn't seem insignificant that this is one of the very few movies he's ever written prose about.
More to say, someday, but it will have to come out in dribs and drabs. Not necessarily significant ones: there's an handwritten ad for the Dylan bootleg "Great White Wonder" in a window of the head-shop/front that figures heavily in the middle third or so of the movie.
The loose nerviness of the backing band on the 2/3 of Phantom Punch I heard today considerably weakened my resistance to Sonrdra Lerche, which had previously been 100% successful.
The frienemy of my frienemy is my frienemy.