Monday, November 19, 2007

Double Takes

In the November 19th issue. Lauren Collins (twice), Richard Brody, Larry Doyle and, of course, David Denby (twice).

Best line in the whole magazine, in "Why We Strike" - "Management is currently offering us adjusted bubkes of what they are making off Internet sell-through, streaming, ringtones, Webisodes, cellisodes, iPodisodes, celebrity-narrated colonoscosodes, or the psychotic episodes they've been beaming into your brain, brought to you by Clozaril." (51)

My emphasis. When I regained my breath, I realized that that's how you spell bubkes.

I liked Lauren Collins on the restaurant Taim. Not gushing and a little ironic, "You get the feeling she spends a lot of time at the Container Store," but positive. And she nicely manages the contrast between the attempt to "make gourmet food 'street'" and the yummier ambition, to "take street food, and make it gourmet." She sets it up and doesn't belabor it. And maybe it helps that I'd actually like to eat the food she's describing. (19) Or maybe that's the intended effect of a good review.

Apparently Ethan Hawke is playing a "not very bright kid brother" in a Sidney Lumet caper. Excellent. (26) Thank you, David Denby!

Richard Brody says some smart things about Griffith, Murnau and Eisenstein. Except that thing about Eisenstein as the cinema's "first modernist" . . . that's a bit much. (30)

Lauren Collins' "No Seconds" on the famous last meal thing is, fortunately, in extremely bad taste, since it appears while there is a moratorium on executions in the US. And dull into the bargain. And, just for the record, I would never, EVER buy Secret Ingredients, The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink which is advertised, oh-so-conveniently, on the next page.

Skipped Jon Lee Anderson's latest installment in the adventure serial he's working on.

I valiantly read pages and pages of Pierpont's essay on Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier. My favorite part was "Oliver then insures that the film is too unnaturally beautiful ever to be confused with reality."(72) That's Henry V (1944).

John Lahr doesn't love Mel Brooks' Broadway adaptation of "Young Frankenstein" and admits, "These are hard words to write." Really? (88)

But the biggest surprise of the issue has got to be this: Brian De Palma's new film Redacted, set in midst of the violence of the Iraq war, is actually about film critic David Denby's media habits. Check it out.

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