Title Comment Comment Date Comment Link
Favorite TV Shows

The greatest scene from the greatest show?

Granted, competition is pretty stiff...

3/28/2015 View
Favorite TV Shows

I've never seen Arrested Development, and don't even know its premise. I'll give it a gander... I find it's a handy thing to have a comedy on deck for when one doesn't want to consider anything involving brain activity. That said Deadwood is currently on my must-see list, though from what I understand it's not at all a show that one should watch passively. I'd also like to rewatch Twin Peaks before the new season.

The Wire is the greatest of them all, and I can't recommend it enough; The Sopranos is often touted as its rival, but it's leagues behind (though very good in its own right).

3/24/2015 View
Favorite TV Shows

I've seen it a handful of times now and it keeps getting better. For me, even the implausible storyline of fifth season is overshadowed by its overall high quality. I also really love the second season, and find it absolutely inexplicable that many regard it as a drag.

Uncontroversial opinion: the fourth season is the best.

3/23/2015 View
Favorite Painters [archived]

Deleuze's book on Francis Bacon is fascinating, and this helpful blog is a great collection of his paintings.

3/22/2015 View
Film Log

It's great! (I've had some friends over for the past few days, which explains the aberration in film watching habits). But Mean Girls is very funny... comic, satirical, entertaining, and some very attractive actresses!... There is undoubtedly some nostalgia at play, and that makes it all the more enjoyable. It would be silly to suppress such feelings, no?

3/20/2015 View
My Favorite Movies (7+/10)

Yes, yes, yes to all of this! She plumbed deep, and came up with harrowing gold. I know some people see Cassavetes as being almost pornographic, and although they mean it negatively I can't help but agree. He forces us to see the localized intensity of daily life... It's hard to watch, and better for it. In many ways it is terrifying, and unpleasurable, to see Rowlands's performance, which is--I think--a testament to their power.

3/20/2015 View
My Favorite Movies (7+/10)

So glad you liked Cassavetes, what a film! Gena Rowlands was a tour de force.

3/20/2015 View
Favorite Literature [archived]

The greatest of them all.

3/19/2015 View
Best books (that I've read)

I haven't read it in years, but I found Holden Caufield to be unbearable, though he did inspire me to drink scotch and soda.

3/18/2015 View
Favorite Movies

Yeah I've never seen him discuss rock either, but it's interesting insofar as his elitism isn't bound to the typical low/highbrow categories, so I doubt he'd dismiss it outright... Though his aversion to popular culture would probably lead to him dismissing anything on the radio. No idea what he'd go for, though.

3/18/2015 View
Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)

Authenticity is a slippery thing to fetishize as art is, ultimately--as Robert Frost says--a performance, and the dancer is not the dance. I understand your point, but I'd go as far as saying that the "actorly" approach is present in every single piece of artwork ever made: there is no such thing as naked expression.

In the case of the Stones, for whatever (non)comprehensible reasons, Christgau is one of many who cannot distinguish what he knows about an artist from the art. I know people have problems with the films of Woody Allen and poetry of Lord Byron because they can't get past the terrible people they were, and--while understandable--I think it's unfortunate. Caravaggio was a murderer, Céline and Wagner were horrifically anti-Semitic, but those awful qualities are not in their work, and should not get in the way of one's appreciation. It's when the works are themselves ideologically compromised--The Merchant of Venice, Oliver Twist, etc--that they become problematic... But I think I've veered off track by this point so I'll stop here.

3/13/2015 View
Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2015)

It's interesting that Christgau has revised his stance on the Stones, and their current lack of authenticity has impacted his perception of their earlier work:

--
I still like the Stones a lot as a band, but as individuals, compared to such contemporaries as Dylan or Reed or Young, I find both Jagger and Richards--especially Jagger, of course, although Keith's blood changes are an exercise of economic privilege every bit as dislikable as Mick's posturing--harder and harder to suspend disbelief over. I can no longer go to the work and avoid what I know of the man. And this calls the realism I once prized in their work into question. I played Sticky Fingers not long ago and my wife said she couldn't hear them anymore without snickering a little (that's not how she put it, she's no snickerer, but they just don't mean much to her now). I enjoyed Sticky Fingers a lot myself. But its power was certainly diminished.
--

I'm surprised so shrewd a critic allows an artist's personal life to come between himself and the musical performance.

3/13/2015 View
Best movies of the 2010s (that I've seen)

Leviathan...! Glad you dug it; it's stayed with me a lot longer than expected.

3/11/2015 View
Best movies of the 2010s (that I've seen)

Thanks, that answers my question.

It seems a little silly, to proffer opinions on films he hasn't seen, but I suppose Scaruffi is always bucking the norm.

3/11/2015 View
Best movies of the 2010s (that I've seen)

I don't understand his system; how come his one man operation suddenly changes for cinema: "The following list averages the opinions of my favorite critics plus mine." It's a sharp deviation from the norm... And he absurdly has almost 550 films listed from 2014 alone, it makes me wonder if he even sees the majority of the films he rates. Any insights?

3/10/2015 View