Feb 20, 2013

Under the Lookingglass: Richard Brody

From Richard Brody’s prolificacy, a beret-adorned oeuvre was borne that I can best describe as that of an obsessed Francophile. Although his reviews often stink of pedantry, I believe Brody’s criteria for criticism consists of a film’s authenticity as defined by its historical relevance and cultural accuracy and its aversion to the traps of a “fake” Hollywood.

In some reviews, Brody professorially raps ruler to chalkboard and calls his lessons in politics to session. Gabriel Over the White House (1933) receives high marks for both its political relevance to current campaigns and its historical significance to presidencies past. Despite facing ominous studio politics, the film comes to fruition, serving as a testament to its authenticity.[1] Contrastingly, Gangster Squad (2013) misses the mark entirely as Brody condemns the film as “realism with a smile” with no indication the story communicates any historical or moral legitimacy but is “full of gaps that are presented as mere punctuation.”[2]

As a Godard scholar, Brody shames Michael Haneke’s Oscar-nominated film Amour (2012) with a damning wag of the finger due to its cultural inaccuracy as a decidedly un-French French film, dubbed by Brody as the “‘Brady Bunch’ for refined and cultured Parisians.”[3] The film also fails because of Haneke’s inability to communicate his arcane knowledge of the characters and situations to the viewer,[4] which I believe Brody perceives as one of Hollywood’s trickiest traps: that of superficiality. In another recent review, Brody taunts Movie 43 (2013) as a “deadly dull…and stultifyingly clumsy”[5] film so horrendous a caricature that the review (d)evolves into an essay on Hollywood and casts current cinema as the undead coming to spawn and feed on the saccharine brains of the ignorant, heart broken, googly-eyed viewer. Richard Brody doesn’t want that to happen, claiming sanctuary in relevant, intelligent (French) filmmaking, and for this, I can’t blame him.

[1] Richard Brody, “The Hollywood Movie Made for F.D.R.'s Inauguration,” The Front Row, entry posted January 21, 2013, http://tinyurl.com/bfco3zx (accessed February 6, 2013).

[2] Richard Brody, “'Gangster Squad' and Fake Cinema,” The Front Row, entry posted January 15, 2013,http://tinyurl.com/b4m85je (accessed February 6, 2013).

[3] Richard Brody, “Michael Haneke's Sterile 'Amour',” The Front Row, entry posted January 4, 2013,http://tinyurl.com/ajtx3wm (accessed February 6, 2013).

[4] Ibid.

[5] Richard Brody, “'Movie 43' and Hollywood Exceptionalism,” The Front Row, entry posted January 25, 2013,http://tinyurl.com/ap9gc4v (accessed February 6, 2013).



Oct 20, 2012

in my ears: Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers

in my ears: Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers

I get super sentimental every Fall. Not sure why- maybe the holidays get me thinkin bout home. It's been really rainy here and getting pretty cold and I wanted some tunes to take me to Memphis. What better than Sam Cooke singing with a barbershop-style gospel quintet? So great. Look em up.

CommentsTags Sam Cooke Memphis Soul Stirrers

Oct 19, 2012

Daily Dose of Cocaine Habit (click here)

Every once in a while I remember that I have a YouTube account. It's always particularly hilarious/nostalgic to go back through and watch performances past. This is from one of my favorite groups OF ALL TIME that sadly only saw one performance. We were called "ASS" which appropriately stood for "Americana Strings Society." Featuring Tim Goodwin on bass and vocals, Joel Middleton on dobro, and me on banjo and vox. We all kinda stepped outside our elements for this gig but I'm pretty sure the audience was ready for a change after listening to student jazz combos (blerg) for an hour and a half.


Jul 4, 2012

why i love this band: midtown dickens

sound: honest.unadulterated.pure.wiry.bare.

genre: indie folk

demeanor: fun.unassuming.

of note: they all play multiple instruments- makes for an interesting audio and visual presentation

check them out here. they're on tour


Mar 8, 2012


Ever been listening to an album and wondering what cocktail would best compliment the tunes?


Check out the site and have some sips while being serenaded.

I'm listening to Bonnie Raitt and should be sipping on 8oz. Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon on the rocks garnished with nutmeg.

Go ahead! Give her a whirl. 


Jan 26, 2012

pretty things: faux bois ring

pretty things: faux bois ring

i don't do this. i don't fall in love with jewels. i was nonchalantly perusing the interwebs (more specifically, happiness is) and this ring FOUND ME, so i am not to blame. this is a photo of valerie killeen's (of bleachblack) mother's wedding ring from the mid-70s.

now picture a light champagne or yellow diamond in it and picture it on my hand. 

gives a gal chills.


Jan 19, 2012

the most beautiful girls in the world: gene tierney

I've been watching quite a few films from the 40s and 50s lately and have been struck, nay STRICKEN (who really knows?), by the beauty and elegance of Old Hollywood. So [fanfare], this segment has hereby been designated to pay homage to the beauties of yore, starting with Gene Tierney, who is, in fact, female despite the observation that someone done cursed her with a man's name.

What has happened to the feminine beauty of Hollywood's Golden Age? Beauty has evolved into this aggressive, oversexualized burden on today's women, as Hollywood flaunts caricatured bodies and faces and a masculine forwardness absent in the lovely lasses of auld lang syne. Let's bring it back folks. 

Gene Tierney was active in Hollywood from the early 40s through the 80s, with her most memorable work happening in the first couple of decades of her career. I've seen her in Leave Her To Heaven (1945- Academy Awards: Best Actress nomination), The Razor's Edge (1946), and The Mating Season (1951), but Laura (1944) is also on my list! I'd recommend The Mating Season if you're into a) b&w films b) old-school romcoms heavy on the cheese...


Jan 13, 2012

in the movies: awards season

So awards season is here.

It happens every year: I am shocked at the politics of the film industry. "Drive" by Danish filmmaker Nicolas Refn has been snubbed- not officially by the Academy Awards yet, but I feel it coming. I can't even remember any other films I saw this year (which, granted, is a slight exaggeration as I see a lottttt of movies, but COME ON!)

I'm assuming it's a money thing...nothing left in the coffers to put together "For Your Consideration" packets?

Too indie? Maybe. He did after all win at Cannes, which is nothing to poo-poo but perhaps hurt him in the long run?

Under the radar? Yes, but why is that such a terrible thing to the committee?

Too foreign? Come on 'merica. This is 2012. It's called globalization.

You can check out the Golden Globe Noms here. There are still a few films I need to see before the Oscars, but overall, I'd say 2011 was a mediocre year in the world of filmmaking. Hollywood, I challenge thee in 2012, to move the EARTH with your quakes. Readdddyy...go!


Jan 10, 2012

the shortlist: showering


1. get real clean.

2. get out before someone else in 3-flat decides to flush toilet and boiling lava hot water scalds three layers of skin.


Jan 8, 2012

so we'll start 2012 with a little Proust, shall we?

so we'll start 2012 with a little Proust, shall we?

(the real voyage of discovery

consists not in seeking new landscapes

but in having new eyes)

-marcel proust-

Welcome to a Month of Sundays! (what a lovely place!)

My name is Laura and I am new...just in general. Yeah, we'll leave it at that for now. I wanted to create MOS to add one more lifestyle blog to the marketplace of ideas...!

that even felt rather depressing to tap out on mine ol' board of keys. if you knew i was kidding, i like you already!

Business time: The truth of the situation is that there is a lot of stuff bombinating about the interweb's brain [that is how i picture the internet p.s., a beehive-brain]. With Month of Sundays, I wanted to create a space where really anything goes: a blog to pay homage to beauty, allure, life, death, comedy; a gallery of photos, a selection of beat jams, hopefully someday a clip of film or two, maybe recipes, maybe kittens (definitely kittens), certainly southernisms, certainly love...

having new eyes. if i made new year's resolutions, this would be mine. what a lovely notion. i won't babble,

there's no time for that.