Mira Nair’s films evoke the feeling of lush reds and yellows. That is such a prevalent visual theme in the four films I’ve seen by her: Mississippi Masala (1992) Kama Sutra (1997) Monsoon Wedding (2002) Vanity Fair (2004) I saw Vanity Fair last night. It was better than expected, and better than the critics rated it. But then, I LOVED Kama Sutra. Of those I’ve seen, Kama Sutra is my favorite, mostly that’s due to the director’s commentary. On the one hand, Kama Sutra is somewhat inaccessible to American audiences. OTOH, I love this film because I do find it most accessible compared to someRead More →

When Rolling Stone heavily promotes a new group or singer, something suspicious has gotta be going on. They liked Avril Lavigne’s new album, right? So when they went ga-ga over Los Lonely Boys, well… CMT played their video, showing a group of three Mexican-American men, one with long hair and sunglasses. Now, that is not something you see very often on CMT. After listening for three or so seconds, I stayed because the tune was so resonant. Their style resembles Santana with just a little bit of a country kick. On their website they describe themselves the same way! “It’s kinda crazy, we’re like theRead More →

The latest Rolling Stone (my main news source these days, it seems) has an article on Clear Channel. Here is what Clear Channel owns in Baton Rouge: Radio Stations: 96.1 The River 102.5 WFMF 1150 WWJBO News Radio 1210 AM The Score 1380 AM Talk Radio 101.5 WYNK The only one on my dial is 102.5. That will be changing this afternoon. Thank goodness they don’t own 104.5. They own the Seanger Theatre in New Orleans 🙁Read More →

The women on either side of the imaginary moral divide are both gorgeous and potent, both capable of cruel violence, and both dedicated to their own desires. And both understand themselves as victims of masculine oppression. The stakes of their conflict have to do with a derivative, Joker-style gimmick in the toxic makeup (as the deadmeat doctor who cooks up the cream puts it, “I can’t live with turning people into monsters”). Even the final showdown between Laurel and Catwoman is staged so they throw each other through giant images of beautiful models. Got it: the beauty industry is bad. But if it can help you look like Berry or Stone, or even better, pay you like it pays them, well, its faults might be intermittently overlooked.

– Cynthia Fuchs’ review of Catwoman

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Hype around a new summer replacement show called The Days attracted me to the interesting storyline, so I watched the first twenty minutes of the show. Promoted as unique, edge, and unexplored, the show was disturbingly flat. It’s failure is an example of postmodern hyperbole in contemporary panic culture. Consider this review from Zap2It.com (A Tribune Media Service), “‘The Days’ Gets Chance To Shine”: Booked for a six-week test run, “The Days” is a bold attempt by creator John Scott Shepherd (“Life or Something Like It”) and executive producers Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins (“Smallville,” “One Tree Hill”) to revisit a series format that hasRead More →

I can’t believe how much money has become a part of my life. Now, that’s a strange statement, and it needs clarification, since money is a part of everyone’s life here in the 21st c. US — money or lack thereof. Growing up poor white trash meant that money, as in the lack thereof, dominated my life. Being one of the “have nots” threaded so essentially through the fabric of everything I did that I can still smell poverty today, even as a “have.” Poverty smells like someone else’s old clothes; like dirty rags used to stop up gasoline tanks on junk pickup trucks, andRead More →

Michael Moore’s “Farenheit 9/11” was rather brilliant. Although it dragged in some parts, it impressed because of the way that Moore managed to present cinematically a potentially boring, text-centered issue. Most of what Moore shows comes from documents in the public domain for some time. He weaves these together in a dramatic blitz of information with his signature humor. Much in the film was old material, but it was touching and hilarious. We’ve all forgotten the pre-9/11 W., the man who golfed more than he presided. The most hysterical scene showed W.’s immediate reaction to 9/11. Moore also slowed down every facial expression we hadRead More →