Monday, January 15, 2018

Cars 3 (2017) **

Strictly for the toddler set, but so technically well done it's quite watchable for all ages.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Future (2011) ***

Another quirky, unusual and interesting film from Miranda July about intelligent but seriously flawed individuals trying to make sense out of life. Not as fully realized as her first film but not a bad second try at all.

She's Funny That Way (2014) **

It's nice to see old Bogdanovich regulars back in action and Ms. Aniston is always a treat but there are too many times when the "comedy" seems forced and the jokes tired.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Nefertiti, Confucius, Genghis Khan, and Charlemagne Are Almost Certainly on Your Family Tree

The answer was merely 600 years ago. Sometime at the end of the 13th century lived a man or woman from whom all Europeans could trace ancestry, if records permitted (which they don’t). If this sounds unlikely or weird, remember that this individual is one of thousands of lines of descent that you and everyone else has at this moment in time, and whoever this unknown individual was, they represent a tiny proportion of your total familial webbed pedigree. But if we could document the total family tree of everyone alive back through 600 years, among the impenetrable mess, everyone European alive would be able to select a line that would cross everyone else’s around the time of Richard II.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Greta Gerwig Comments on Woody Allen Sexual Assault Allegations – Variety

“I can only speak for myself and what I’ve come to is this: If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film. I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again. Dylan Farrow’s two different pieces made me realize that I increased another woman’s pain, and I was heartbroken by that realization. I grew up on his movies, and they have informed me as an artist, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward.”

So sad to hear this from a woman I had thought was an intelligent and thoughtful person. Apparently she is confused as to the meaning of the word "allegation". An allegation that was refuted 25 years ago:

DF: Why is it that Harvey Weinstein and other accused celebrities have been cast out by Hollywood, while Allen [continues working]?

RW: It’s called due process. It was carried out in 1992 when two separate investigations found there was no credibility to Mia’s accusations, so no charges were ever brought against Allen. He lost the custody battle, but as a legal matter, the assault accusation has been a non-issue for 25 years. The fact that there are members of the Farrow family and others who remain angry at Allen is not a basis for studios to stop funding his movies, or for his fans to stop attending them.

Here's the full essay. I hope Ms. Gerwig gets a chance to read it.

Monday, January 01, 2018

2017 In Review: Music

**** Blondie - Pollinator
**** Game Theory - Supercalifragile
**** Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie - s/t
**** New Pornographers, The - Whiteout Conditions
**** Shins, The - Heartworms
**** Shout Out Louds, The - Ease My Mind
*** Aimee Mann - Mental Illness
*** Alvvays - Antisocialites
*** Beaches - Second of Spring
*** Bye Bye Blackbirds, The - Take Out The Poison
*** Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest
*** Chuck Berry - Chuck
*** Girl Ray - Earl Grey
*** Juliana Hatfield - Pussycat
*** Pains of Being Pure At Heart, The - The Echo of Pleasure
*** Paul McCartney & Elvis Costello - Flowers in the Dirt Demos
*** R. Ring - Ignite The Rest
*** Robyn Hitchcock - Robyn Hitchcock
*** Slowdive - Slowdive
*** Stef Chura - Messes
*** Surfer Blood - Snowdonia
*** Waxahatchee - Out In The Storm
** Cheap Trick - We're All Alright!
** Frankie Rose - Cage Tropical
** Haim - Something To Tell You
** Karla Kane - King's Daughters Home For Incurables
** Menace Beach - Lemon Memory
** Mew - Visuals
** Nicole Atkins - Goodnight Rhonda Lee
** Party Battleship - Cake + Flames
** Paul Weller - A Kind Revolution
** Popguns - Sugar Kisses
** Pugwash - Silverlake
** Spoon - Hot Thoughts
** Squeeze - The Knowledge
** TC&I - Great Aspirations
** Twin Peaks (Music from the Limited Event Series)
* Charlotte Hatherley - True Love

2017 In review: Movies

**** A Ghost Story
**** Get Out
**** Ladybird
**** The Disaster Artist
*** Logan Lucky
*** The Little Hours
*** The Big Sick
*** The Beguiled
*** Wonder Wheel
** Wonder Woman
** The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
** Suburbicon
** Okja
** Logan
** Ghost In The Shell
** Fifty Shades Darker
** Dunkirk
** Blade Runner 2049
** Baby Driver
** Atomic Blonde
* The Shape of Water
* Murder On The Orient Express

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Shape of Water (2017) *

Straining at its fantastical and metaphorical ambitions, this film never comes together even on its own terms unless you are a "hopeless romantic" or just into aquatic bestiality. Also it uses the decapitation of a cat as a punch line. Not funny.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Elvis Costello's New Year's Resolution - Rolling Stone

He's also writing new, non-theatrical songs but he hasn't committed to making a new album out of them yet. "Making a record is a much more difficult thing than it used to be, because people have to persuade themselves it's worth slapping down the greenbacks to get the songs onto tape or some recorded medium," he says. "Most people get their music these days in some sort of subscription service, so all the songwriter wants to do is suggest what order to listen to the songs in for the best effect. Beyond that, people usually make their own choices."

Minimal carbs, lots of fat, incredible dieting results – but no science - The Globe and Mail

All human diets before agriculture were effectively carbohydrate-poor, and many, particularly in northern latitudes, were fat-rich. And until the industrial revolution, virtually all human diets were absent the highly refined grains and sugars that the LCHF philosophy specifies as the primary causes of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

As early as 1825, French culinary expert Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, whose The Physiology of Taste is among the most famous books ever written about food, was arguing that carbohydrates cause obesity. In the 1860s, the LCHF diet became widely known as a Banting diet, after British undertaker William Banting, who wrote the first bestselling diet book based on his LCHF conversion experience. Variations on LCHF then spread from England to the European continent, embraced by German medical authorities as the most effective diets for reversing obesity.

By the early 1950s, physicians from some of the best medical schools in the world – Harvard, Stanford and Columbia, for instance – were publishing articles in the academic literature advocating for LCHF diets to treat obesity, advising obese patients to eat "as much as [they] like" of meat, fish, fowl, eggs, animal fats, cheese and green vegetables, while avoiding all carbohydrate-rich foods and beverages, particularly "all sweets." This is what Hilde Bruch, the leading mid-20th-century authority on pediatric obesity, believed. It's what Benjamin Spock taught in six editions and almost 50 million copies of Baby and Child Care, the bible of child-rearing from the 1950s onward. "Rich desserts," Dr. Spock wrote, and "the amount of plain, starchy foods (cereals, breads, potatoes) taken is what determines, in the case of most people, how much [weight] they gain or lose."