Monday, July 14, 2008


I'm always back and forth whether I like David Mamet's movies or not. Glengarry Glen Ross is amazing to me, and I'm one of those folks on the bandwagon. The play's amazing, and the movie's incredible just as well. But I saw a DVD screener rip of Redbelt and, well, there's a reason why DVD screeners are thrown out there. So people don't waste their money on crappy rentals. I kept wanting to really like it, and yes, you're watching a Mametian world when you watch a Mamet film. But there were so many loose ends, seemingly miraculous -- and therefore nonsensical -- and forced plot grafts, and a pretty awful ending. I feel like it would've been better at either two hours and thirty minutes, or thirty minutes. With more TLC and better writing it could have been a contender, maybe. Or at a kind of pace like fighting. Blistering and all-encompassing. But as it is, somewhere in the netherworld middle, it doesn't work. Glad I won't be paying any kind of cash to see this.

I also watched Ils (or "Them") which was the influence for The Strangers, or so they say. Maybe spoilers ahead if you haven't seen either one, so you're warned. I think all in all I liked The Strangers better, but a combination of good elements from oth would have, ideally, made the ultimate flick. The Strangers was kept in check by the claustrophobic environment, using primarily the house as the main set. But only three of the attackers was a bit weird, and you wonder if they'd have been able to cause all the trouble. In Ils, it was a pack of kids in their early teens. Disturbed. Deranged. Whatever the reason. Ils, though, had the crazy tunnel scenes through the sewers, but it took a hell of a long time to get going for a movie that was really only 70 minutes long. I don't know if I'll be watching either again, but the comparison was interesting. They're no Suspiria or Texas Chainsaw Massacre of course.

Speaking of which, I wonder if David Gordon Green will be doing the Suspira remake? I'm not sure if the movie should be remade, even if it is by one of my favorite directors. We shall see.


I started going through some of the discs I actually want to import into my Itunes and I found so many I haven't listened to in a long time. I may every once in a while do a revisit to an older disc that for whatever reason needs to be mentioned. This time it's the self-titled Jawbox record. It's one of my favorite rock records of all time, but even more it has some of the best drumming on it that isn't someone like Dave Weckl, Neil Peart, or Bill Bruford.

But Zachary Barocas is also a monolith in his own right. I'm not just talking about someone like Damon Che either where it gets proggy or seemingly poly-handed and furious. There's always a method to his madness, whether fast or slow, groovy or more D.C. hardcore. There's a judicous use of the higher end toms on this record and lots of groovy polyrhythms that never lose the beat. Plus the production (did J. Robbins do it?) sounds like it's from last year and this record's over 10 years old. I remember first buying it after seeing the "Mirrorful" video on 120 minutes. The song blew my mind. But I didn't get the record. That was after my punk rock phase, so I didn't get complexity yet. I wasn't used to good lyrics or discordant guitar playing.

Hilariously, I just found out that Zach also writes poetry, and has a book out. And yes, he has an interview with Kate Greenstreet. Why do I always discover this weird shit so much later? Either way. Good stuff. Chalk up another connection due to blogging.


I keep seeing guys around Richmond that look like Joe Bolton. the big glasses, kind of scruffy hair, and just that same face. It's really odd. I get from much of the work in "The Last Nostalgia" that his ghost may have lived here. Much of the content in the poems remind me of Richmond. Maybe southern cities are interchangeable, or any cities for that matter, when it comes to the ghost of poets.