Saturday, July 31, 2010

you struck me dumb like radium

I take back everything bad I've ever said about PT Anderson's "Magnolia". I hated it the first time around, but I've watched it twice in the past three nights. A lot has changed in the past 11 years. A third of my life essentially. Back then I couldn't really relate to the lives of quiet desperation and a deep yearning for Something Else that all the characters were living. And what a knock-out cast assembled to tell those intertwining vignettes. While I can't say I'm quite thrilled about the past 6 months or so, I'm grateful to have finally come around and be able to appreciate a stunning work of art that I completely missed out on the first time around. The final shot of the film, the slow zoom on Melora Walters' face while John C. Reilly's back is to the camera while Aimee Mann's "Save Me" is right up there along side the door shutting on Diane Keaton in the Godfather and the freeze frame on Jean-Pierre LĂ©aud in Les Quatre-Cent Coups as my favorite final shots of all time. That weary, sad smile (the first time in the whole film you don't see her in a coked-up frenzy) is the perfect image to end on, especially timing it right at the peak of Aimee Mann's "Save Me". I think Anderson's ultimate triumph is that he is able to convey an all-consuming desire for love in all the characters without resorting to schmaltz and most importantly not ignoring the uglier, darker things that are part and parcel of such a complex emotion as love, which makes the catharsis/redemption that much more believable, especially the scene when Tom Cruise finally meets face to face with his dying father, masterfully played by Jason Robards. It's nice to be reminded that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

did you get yr disconnection notice?

I've found out what my new favorite album to listen to after eating a huge Colombian bandeja paisa dinner and laying around your sweltering tiny apartment with a cold wet cloth on your head while the liquid gold infused twilight creeps in the windows is: Sonic Youth's "Murray Street". Everything else feels like it's falling apart but the sheer degree of perfection of this exact moment is making my chest want to cave in. I know it will shatter once "Karen, Revisited" ends and I have to get up to flip the record but the past 20 minutes or so have been the best 20 minutes of the past month. Thanks Thurston, Kim, Steve, Lee & Jim. You have to latch on to moments like this and crack their bones and savor every last bit of marrow from them or else the darkness can swallow you entirely.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tragedy or Farce?

I'm not a very complicated man. As per usual, my life can be summed via the media/hubris I have accumulated from years working at record stores. Here is my current situation: I have approximately 1100 CDs and exactly 0 working CD players. That speaks volumes about me right now. I'm going to listen to some Townes Van Zandt and have it all figured out by the morning. Which morning though, I can't rightly say.



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hey Joni now I've put it all behind me too

I just bought and put on a Joni Mitchell record for the express purpose of listening to it for the first time in my life. I thought I should make a note of it. It is the Court & Spark LP. It's not that I had anything against Joni Mitchell ever. I just decided today would be the day to listen to her. It's not bad. Perhaps a little better than I expected it to be. Good soundtrack for a nap with late afternoon winter sunlight filtering in through my dirty windows.