My Conversation with Alex Ross

Here is the video, audio, and transcript.  Of course Alex has a new book out Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music, which explores the complicated legacy of Wagner and music more generally.  We learn Alex’s nomination for the greatest pop album ever made, but many of my questions focused on progress in […]

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Against digitalized subscription services for the movies

Quality public taste is a public good, and right now we are taxing it: Another response to my whining might be to tell me that I live in a world of cinematic plenty, especially considering my various subscriptions and DVD collection. That is also entirely fair, but do keep in mind the original worry: that […]

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*Tenet* — a review (no real spoilers)

Although liquid securities markets play no role in the plot, this is nonetheless a movie where the value of information is repeatedly very high. You can think of the movie as constructing a world so that a high value for information is ruling all of the time.  And how strange such a world would have […]

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From the comments, comedy vs. drama

I would say that many, if not most, comedies are “conservative” in their underlying messages or themes. Look at romantic comedies: the whole point is for characters to establish a committed relationship and either explicitly or presumably get married. The comedy is in watching characters who are notoriously bad at following tradition and institution find […]

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The film culture that is royal Britain

There have been few insights into what the Queen’s favourite film is but one might assume that it would be a black and white classic from her youth or perhaps Black Beauty. According to Brian Blessed, however, one of her favourite films is Flash Gordon, the 1980 high camp space opera in which the actor […]

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Rewatching *The French Connection*

I had not seen this 1971 movie since I was thirteen or so, and I was startled by how well I remembered the famous “subway scene.”  This time around, it struck me much more as a portrait of the decline of New York City than as a plot-driven vehicle per se.  “Popeye” (Gene Hackman) has […]

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What I’ve been watching

Graduation, a Romanian movie and perhaps the most notable film about corruption I have seen, ever.  From the director of Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days, also known as “the Romanian abortion movie.”  Both strongly recommended. Moana.  I had to stop watching this one.  I am not amongst those who regard Disney as a […]

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