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Showing posts from December, 2002

The Truth About Charlie

Dir. Jonathan Demme, 2002 A French New Wave homage, full of frenetic hand-held work which at one point moved from cool Godard-style work to just headache-inducing. But awful charming, and I like its view of Paris, all seedy and multi-culti. Plus, Thandie Newton is incandescent.

Overrated and Underrated Lists, 2002

Overrated - mojitos, ___tinis, merlot - J-Lo's from-the-block cred - the supposed underratedness of rap-rock bands - Sam Mendes - Heath Ledger - Anthony Lane - "Road to Perdition", the movie - "Everyone Loves Raymond" - "Six Feet Under" - Scotland - Carrie - wins by starting pitchers - interleague baseball - the NBA salary cap - the amount of guilty pleasure one can derive from reality shows - the New York Times' liberal bias - William Safire - Cary Tennis as chronicler of generations - "I Don't Know How She Does It" - the hotness of the Bush twins - the freakiness of Bing-Bowie's "Little Drummer Boy" - politically incorrect humour - pronouncing 'Target' with a soft 'g' - spelling 'America' with any number of 'k's - Tom Tomorrow - China - "Best (or worst) lie I've ever told" - Simon Cowell's heartlessness - the staying power of "terror sex" - the sincerity of

Long Live the Clash

R.I.P. Joe Strummer .

On the Condition of Music

Here's a good Chicago magazine piece about rock criticism. Mmm, Christgau worship. Speaking of which, here's my traditional end-of-year lists. Like Michael Kinsley, I could never be a completist - we only have so much time, and I can't devote as much of it to listening as I did back in college days. And I don't get promos all the time anymore! So I admit I still haven't got round to listening to the Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots or David Gray's A New Day At Midnight . But of what I did get to hear this year, this is what moved me: Singles of 2002: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Bang". "As a fuck, son, you sucked". Six words. Sex hurts. Missy Elliott "Work It". With a ridiculously catchy hook that proved impossible to decipher - until some research pointed out that it was just a flipped-and-reversed version of the previous line. Backward masking lives, and takes centre stage. Tweet "Oops (Oh My)". Drips s
Triangulation Are people the sum of their mailing lists? What would your picture of me be if all you knew was that these were the lists I'm subscribed to? Bar None The Civic Strategies E-letter Defected News The Economist : World This Week The Emerald Hill Group The Fiver (from Football Unlimited) The Foreign Exchange Fox Searchlight Pictures The Harvard Crimson Weekly E-Digest Juice Weekly Update Media Bistro Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day NYTimes.com's Movie Update newsletter Other Music The Plain English Campaign planetdream Provignage Random Thoughts SEconomicsRJC SG News Bites Television Without Pity TransAtlantic: The Atlantic Online What's New Writers' Market ZoukEflyer
Downtown Someone squash the Ketchup Song. Please. Anyway, so I'm back from Kuala Lumpur. Ethical dilemma: so DVD piracy is rampant in Malaysia and you can get most movies there - even the latest ones like Solaris, which hasn't even come to the screens around here - for about RM10 (roughly S$5 or US$3). This is intellectual theft, of course. But at the same time, it's often the only source of indie films in the region - films like Auto Focus or The Rules of Attraction (Dawson as psychopath!) probably won't make it to the cineplexes or the video store. Or they'll play the film fest circuit, which means I'll have to wait till next year. Oh, I know it's economics - the Picturehouse, my city's attempt at an arthouse cinema, had to shut down eventually. But it still creates a moral morass. And don't even get me started on censorship... Sometimes what worries me is that people who seem to want to create that feeling of excitement (I hesitate

Born in the USA?

I continue to be fascinated with the topic of how Americans perceive their countries of ethnic origin, regardless of how far in the past that origin was: how the Irish-Americans in Boston, for instance, find those new 20-something Irish migrants odd because these young Irish people don't come from a land of poverty and of agriculture, but from a dynamic economy that's very urban. (See the entry for " Foreign-Born Irish " in this Southie slang guide.) That was the redeeming part of The Guru, that Jim Mistry-Heather Graham film, for me I think: I liked how the Americans kept insisting on the Indian's mysticism, when really he was brought up on Grease .