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41 to 50 of 91 columns
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41. gilles peterson saved my life
not literally, but he digs great music
music - appreciation
3.17.08 : feature column!

I am apparently some sort of music addict. My CD collection is messy, but it's in alphabetical order, if you catch my drift. I need music when I'm driving/writing/working/ washing dishes/running. But since the radio is often useless, I am constantly on an independent search for sounds that will inform the way I live. And the way I want to live. Sometime in the summer of 2006, when my short, How Shawn Parker Fell in Love, was all I could think of, I was introduced to the work of a British DJ n...
42. in praise of 'juno'
the little film that could is an instant classic
film - appreciation
2.22.08 : feature column!

It is good, as one is aging, to find something contemporary with which one fully connects. Even if, in the case of Jason Reitman's brilliant sophomore directorial feature, Juno, a major appeal is in the film's timeless appearance. Many of John Hughes's '80s films (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, etc.) are usually regarded as The Model for how you do teen movies, because they are films that generally do not condescend to teens and find humor in realistic human scenarios. (The brilliant Fer...
43. the simple life
four down, a lifetime to go
general - lifestyle
1.23.08 : feature column!

Marriage is a shape shifter -- a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly, then a caterpillar again, then a gerbil, or a Corvette. The forces that propel it are as elusive as the origins of a sinewy summer breeze. But for all the studies and sheer years of practice, nobody can really conclusively say what makes them work. Some offer their shared faith in a higher power, others swear by communication. For me, marriage is listening to my spouse ramble on a nightly on a subject for which I have no in...
44. the ten albums that changed my life
r.i.p. record albums 1909-2009
music - appreciation
12.21.07 : feature column!

10. Rio (Duran Duran, released 5/10/83) Was Duran Duran the best male pop band of the 1980s? Probably not. But they were the best looking, their videos were the most adventurous and they had the catchiest songs -- even if none of them made any sense. I have just described everything that mattered in the '80s. The three-headed Taylor crew (drummer Roger, guitarists Andy and John), androgynous synth wiz Nick Rhodes, and charismatic front man Simon LeBon were focused and ready to take over the wor...
45. alicia keys -- as i am (review)
is the third time the charm for the multiplatinum songstress?
music - criticism
11.21.07 : feature column!

2 1/2 out of 4 A rhetorical question: Are people are more in love with the "idea" of Alicia Keys than the actual person? Sure, she's gorgeous and plays the piano and puts on one hell of a live show and has at least three songs ("Fallin'," "You Don't Know My Name," and "If I Ain't Got You") that are instant classics by almost any definition. Still, her hype is disproportionate to her consistency. While that's not necessarily her fault, the hope was that her third studio album -- the revealingly ...
46. the outsiders
tyler perry, oscar micheaux, and black filmmaking outside the system
film - discussion
10.22.07 : feature column!

“The movies are like baseball. You know how baseball is like 20 years behind the rest of the country, in terms of dealing with the black athlete? The movie business is kind of like that with black people.” -- Chris Rock to Elvis Mitchell, March 21st, 2007 I am told constantly that international audiences will not watch or buy black films, even though they have been historically passionate consumers of art forms derived from the black community: hip-hop and jazz; writers like Himes, Baldwin an...
47. kanye west -- graduation (review)
mr. west is trying to seduce us
music - criticism
9.21.07 : feature column!

The West denies change, defies change... resists change. But change is the basic nature of everything that is.... And this is how philosophy, art, morality and certain other things are established. But all established things are temporary, and the nature of being is, like music, changing." -- James Stewart, "The Development of the Black Revolutionary Artist" (1968) How to approach the spectacle that has become popular music: A world where artists make more money from rin...
48. 10 films for the deserted island
the dime that shaped me most as person, filmmaker, cinephile
film - discussion
8.22.07 : feature column!

10) Dog Day Afternoon (1975, Sidney Lumet) I'll say it here: If you can make the audience feel a connection with the people they were always taught to avoid, you'll win every time. Based on a true story, this entertaining tale of a Manhattan bank robbery gone way wrong features a pitch-perfect performance from a young Al Pacino, as a guy who needs the money for.... let's just say, an unusual reason. Has a lot to say about fame through infamy; was ahead of its time in that department. Pretty muc...
49. dead wrestlers' society
gaining the world vs. losing one's soul
sports - discussion
7.23.07 : feature column!

"It was like a childhood's end moment, because everyone you grew up with is dead." Salman Rushdie Long before I was a homeowner or got married or moved to Los Angeles or went to film school or played basketball, I had a solitary obsession, and it was with professional wrestling. This was back when Vince McMahon was just starting to get a handle on the millions of dollars out there for the taking, if he could just somehow make the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) a ...
50. san francisco
a film festival in 7 haiku poems
film - lifestyle
6.20.07 : feature column!

1. A summer of love Summer has been gone for years Dad died one summer 2. Posters printed up Credit debt flows like oceans Do I look nervous? 3. Soaring with the birds Trenekia and Tabitha San Jose is green 4. Film before ours safe Want it to end yet really don't What if they boo me? 5. Crowd is warm and smart They chuckle and understand Still I find things wrong 6. Writer smiles now Director wants two more takes Producer loves both 7. Dinner with old friends Spicy Thai food leaves full gu...
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re: on meeting adam yauch, who had nothing to lose

Awesome is all I can say about the writing, as well as what is being written about.

re: where do broken hearts go

good supporting details. strong voice.

re: where do broken hearts go

Thoughtful and well-written.

re: where do broken hearts go

Beautiful and all about being nothing but human.

re: requiem for a heavyweight

Though my exposure to rap back in those days was minimal, I at least knew Heavy D by name. Your column makes me want to learn about what I was missing. Love how you added your own personal reminiscences as well, bringing it back down to a level we can all relate to, even if we weren't fans.

re: the year of parenting dangerously

Please keep up the Jasonphilia. Loved reading this.

re: the girl who had everything

A beautiful tribute. To the point.

re: 10 things most don't know about martin luther king

Excellent. To the point, well researched (I assume), not preachy, not dishy. Very well done.

re: a tale of two sidneys

Well written, researched, opinioned. And the added visual aids were excellent.
There are also a bunch of movies I now want to see.

re: pacino, attica & dog day afternoon

a great "close reading" of this pivotal scene

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