My Personal Canon (edited June 9, 2023)
I've got a new column going in the Cleveland Review of Books. Paradoxically, the first one is something a bit impersonal: read on and you'll see why. We are wading into weird waters here.
(But I'm very happy with how this turned out.)
"T/K: A Fragment, A Letter, A Dream, and Some Movies"
One of the more memorable parasocial relationships I’ve been in began in a used bookstore. You never know what you’re gonna get at Grey Matter…
"I don’t think I’m very good for you..."
Or: Vincente Minnelli Jr.'s 3 Hours in Another Town ...
"I knew Proust, you know..."
(UPDATE: Dec 30, 2022: I’ve consolidated my two initial reviews into one, here. I say “initial,” for there will be many more responses to BABYLON from me in the future — in review form, in fiction form, in film form — and this should obviously not be taken as an exhaustive read on the brilliances, the stupidities,…
Feels like a Hawks hangout movie, which is about the highest compliment you could pay a film. I love Anthony Quinn’s rabble-rousing sailor, known only as The Portuguese, who seems to defy all known laws of morality and reason; everyone needs a The Portuguese in their lives.
So, to recap: INTERSTELLAR, Love conquers all 🥰; DUNKIRK, Home is where the heart is 🏡 ; in OPPENHEIMER, it’s complicated 🤷🏻
If I wanted the Wikipedia article, I would just read it.
Needs more Albert Einstein randomly barging in Kramer-style.
Two hours spent obscenely building up suspense of a vile image: the explosion of the A-bomb? two minutes of a tossed-away announcement that the bomb was dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? dumb corny Marvel-y…
I had one of the most exciting encounters at a movie theater EVER yesterday, so bear with me.
Yesterday, I re-watched It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Bland-ley Kramer, 1963) in glorious 70mm at LACMA! It's gotten a lot of hate around these parts for being cataclysmically unfunny. And while I can see why people would think so (Kramer has an awful eye for comedic direction, and the sheer pomposity of his statement that he would make "the comedy…