Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 In Review: Music

**** Chrissie Hynde - Stockholm
**** Drowners - Drowners
**** Dum Dum Girls - Too True
**** Ex Hex - Rips
**** Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
**** La Sera - Hour of the Dawn
**** New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers
**** Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The - Days of Abandon
*** Architecture In Helsinki - Now And 4Eva
*** Army Navy - The Wilderness Inside
*** Belle Brigade, The - Just Because
*** Both, The - The Both
*** Broken Bells - After the Disco
*** Bryan Ferry - Avonmore
*** Inspiral Carpets - Inspiral Carpets
*** Kooks, The - Listen
*** Muffs, The - Whoop Dee Doo
*** New Mendicants, The - Into The Lime
*** Peter Buck - I Am Back To Blow Your Mind Once Again
*** Raveonettes, The - Pe'ahi
*** Roseanne Cash - The River And The Thread
*** Snowbird - Moon
*** Stevie Nicks - 24 karat gold - songs from the vault
*** Suzanne Vega - Tales From The Realm of The Queen of Pentacles
*** TV on the Radio - Seeds
*** Tacocat - NVM
*** We Are Scientists - tv en francais
** Honeyblood - Honeyblood
** Hooray For Earth - Racy
** Hospitality - Trouble
** Kitten - Kitten
** Larkin Poe - Kin
** Lust For Youth - International
** Neil Finn - Dizzy Heights
** Phantogram - Voices
** Robyn Hitchcock - The Man Upstairs
** Sarah McLachlan - Shine On
** Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
** Shonen Knife - Overdrive
** Sinead O'Connor - I'm not bossy, I'm the boss
** Sleeper Agent - About Last Night
** Spoon - They Want My Soul
** Temples - Sun Structures
** Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye
** Tori Amos - Unrepentant Geraldines
** U2 - Songs Of Innocence
** Vashti Bunyan - Heartleap
* Juliet Dagger, The - Hi-Ya
* Mr Little Jeans - Pocketknife
* Natalie Merchant - Natalie Merchant
* St. Vincent - St. Vincent
* tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Wind Rises (2013) **

Gorgeously animated but the lack of a compelling story can't hold attention for its long running time. Disappointing.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Half of All Children Will Be Autistic by 2025, Warns Senior Research Scientist at MIT | The Alliance for Natural Health USA

"This month, the USDA released a study finding that although there were detectable levels of pesticide residue in more than half of food tested by the agency, 99% of samples taken were found to be within levels the government deems safe, and 40% were found to have no detectable trace of pesticides at all. The USDA added, however, that due to 'cost concerns,' it did not test for residues of glyphosate. Let’s repeat that: they never tested for the active ingredient in the most widely used herbicide in the world. 'Cost concerns'? How absurd—unless they mean it will cost them too much in terms of the special relationship between the USDA and Monsanto. You may recall the revolving door between Monsanto and the federal government, with agency officials becoming high-paying executives—and vice versa! Money, power, prestige: it’s all there. Monsanto and the USDA love to scratch each others’ backs. Clearly this omission was purposeful."

Shadows and Fog (1991) ***

With a look and story frame "lovingly ripped off" from Fritz Lang, Woody adds some good one liners, another who's who cast and some clever musings on the battle of the sexes and the nature of evil.

The Double (2013) ***

Part Kafka, Gilliam, Lynch and the first half is stunning but the overall impact falters as the story loses steam and the logic of the film seems to slip.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) *

Peter Jackson can REALLY stretch out a scene. The film is bloated, repetitive and heavy handed. The entire trilogy would have been a terrific single film. As it is, it's a sprawling mess.

Alice (1990) ***

Wonderfully designed and sumptuously shot fable about getting outside your comfort zone for true happiness. Great cast, typical Woody film (and that's a good thing).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert? What It Means For Your Career | Fast Company | Business Innovation

"Introverted people are known for thinking things through before they speak, enjoying small, close groups of friends and one-on-one time, needing time alone to recharge, and being upset by unexpected changes or last-minute surprises. Introverts are not necessarily shy and may not even avoid social situations, but they will definitely need some time alone or just with close friends or family after spending time in a big crowd."

Monday, December 08, 2014

September (1987) ***

Apparently Woody doesn't think too much of this film, but it's another well written, acted and shot Chekovian study of (again, white elite) people and the secrets and lies they keep to avoid despair.

Interiors (1978) ***

Gorgeous looking examination of an insular elite family of upper crust New Yorkers and the havoc wreaked by the patriarch's divorce and remarriage. Well written and acted but doesn't quite reach universality although some of the characters are exceptionally well drawn.

Friday, December 05, 2014

The Police in America Are Becoming Illegitimate | Rolling Stone

"This policy of constantly badgering people for trifles generates bloodcurdling anger in 'hot spot' neighborhoods with industrial efficiency. And then something like the Garner case happens and it all comes into relief. Six armed police officers tackling and killing a man for selling a 75-cent cigarette.

"That was economic regulation turned lethal, a situation made all the more ridiculous by the fact that we no longer prosecute the countless serious economic crimes committed in this same city. A ferry ride away from Staten Island, on Wall Street, the pure unmolested freedom to fleece whoever you want is considered the sacred birthright of every rake with a briefcase.

"If Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Dimon had come up with the concept of selling loosies, they'd go to their graves defending it as free economic expression that 'creates liquidity' and should never be regulated."

Random Harvest (1942) **

Well done weepie with excellent lead performances although Colman seems a bit too old for the part.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Front (1976) **

Never quite manages to rise above its contrived origins and Woody is miscast, but the great Zero Mostel is so good he almost pulls it off.

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) *

Maybe Terrence Malick could have done something with the source material but this literal adaptation just does not work.

Fedora (1978) **

The story is just not as emotion packed as the director thinks it is and the actors just aren't capable of providing the difference. A little too "inside Hollywood".

Ida (2013) ***

Tightly paced, crisply shot in black and white, a portrait of human beings pushed to the brink of despair and sometimes beyond. Difficult, but well made and often profound.