Title Comment Comment Date Comment Link
Best Ever Album Tournament - Round 1 - Part 1

I haven't heard a good number of these :(.

The Magic City
The Velvet Underground (tough call)

4/25/2015 View
50 Greatest Voices

I love seeing Billie and Al Green rated so high; as well as blues singers such as Skip James who don't come up very much around these parts. I'd never heard of Amália Rodrigues but I'm listening to this, right now; not the aesthetic I'm accustomed to, but certainly interesting, and at times very moving.

Do any classical singers have a shot of making the list? Maria Callas, Placido Domingo, Jussi Björling, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, etc.

4/23/2015 View
Favorite movies

"Simply watching the camera watch something else becomes miraculous"

This reminded me of one of Kiarostami's relatively minor works, ABC Africa. An interesting and moving film, but the most memorable moments were his shots in which nothing happens and time seems to stop. His camera completely rewires the brain and the simple, borderline banal images begin to radiate with life and poetry.

He has that master touch.

4/16/2015 View
Favorite TV Shows

I like all the recent Sherlock adaptions-- the Downey Jr. films, Elementary (which suffers from unevenness), Sherlock. I really enjoyed the Conan Doyle stories growing up, and have read them all, but I think his giving Sherlock such a bland personality is responsible for making all these wildly different adaptions possible. It gives a lot of freedom.

4/16/2015 View
Best Ever Album Tournament - Welcome!

It's a shame classical and pre-LP era music (Bix, Louis, Billie) are naturally out of the running. In any case, a lot of my favourites have been mentioned (A Love Supreme, Ascension, The Black Saint, & Nico, Highway 61, Exile, etc. I guess I have conventional taste). Here's a list I'm comfortable enough signing my name to, at least for the moment:

Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners (1957)
Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
Buddy Guy - A Man & the Blues (1968)
The Tony Williams Lifetime - Emergency! (1969)
Miles Davis - A Tribute to Jack Johnson (1971)
Sly & the Family Stone - There's a Riot Goin' On (1971)
The Clash - London Calling (1979)
The Indestructible Beat of Soweto (1986)
DJ Shadow - Endtroducing... (1996)
Ghostface Killah - Fishscale (2006)

4/14/2015 View
Favorite movies

I read that the same way.

It's amazing how faith isn't just a theme in his work, but an actual structural line in his creative process (evidenced in Nostalghia, but also the close of Andrei Rublev and especially The Sacrifice).

4/11/2015 View
Favorite movies

Tarkovsky's interviews are invariably fascinating, and this website has four of them on Nostalghia. He deals with personal, interpretive and methodological matters. The interview with Gideon Bachmann is the best of them.

4/9/2015 View
Film Log

I saw a couple of episodes of Flight years ago and didn't take to it at all. I gave True Detective a go and stopped after two episodes; I don't think the perfect Alexandra Daddario even made her appearance. I didn't dislike it by any means, but my interest wasn't particularly piqued. I'm not at all familiar with Angels, I'll have to remember that one, thanks.

4/8/2015 View
Film Log

Great to hear! Can't wait to dive into them.

"The finale is one of the very few works of art that have reduced me to tears."

Now that's a kind of list I'd be interested in seeing from people.

4/8/2015 View
Film Log

I don't know if I'm qualified to compare it to HBO's corpus as a whole (I've seen The Wire, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, The Newsroom [yawn], How to Make it in America, 1.5 seasons of Game of Thrones and Boardwalk each, and am in season 3 of Deadwood) but it's really, really great. I'm astonished that it was cut after the third season (well, I would be if I was completely naive), because the quality is unparalleled. An amazing ensemble cast, an absorbing, nuanced narrative, and beautiful reconfiguration of the period. Right now I’d say it’s at least as good as The Sopranos, though it’s been a few years since I’ve seen that. It’s brought my movie watching to almost a full stop. (Well, that and Das Kapital)

I’ve heard great things about Six Feet Under… and am really interested in Enlightened… it also suffered cancellation, but the premise intrigues me, not to mention Laura Dern!

I'm grateful they allow genuinely great TV to be made... The format is so conducive to greatness, but commercial reasons intrude on its potential. It could be equivalent to the serialization of great novelists in the 19th century, imo. Any HBO thoughts / recommendations?

4/7/2015 View
Best Kanye West songs

Any contenders from Late Registration? I love tracks like "Heard Em Say," "Drive Slow," "We Major," "Celebration," "Gone," "Late ", etc. I go back and forth a bit, but I generally settle on Late being my favourite Kanye.

4/5/2015 View
Greatest Films of All Time

No, no, no! Forget Ivan for now: Tarkovsky is just beginning to tap into his genius there. I'd say Andrei Rublev or Stalker... the latter is more demanding, the former more conventional insofar as having a narrative, though Tarkovsky does not at all strictly abide by it. Those are value neutral descriptions, btw, as both are masterpieces. Alternately: Mirror is his shortest film (90 minutes!), perhaps the richest and most resourceful use of cinematic language ever, and absolutely perfect.

3/31/2015 View
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