Posts Tagged ‘Daily Cardinal’

The last column

May 6, 2010

Today’s edition of the Daily Cardinal also happens to be the last of the semester. In it, amongst other readable things, you’ll find my final column as the paper’s film columnist, a piece that’s every bit as column-y as the fourteen columns that preceded it.

The subject: my ten favorite movies that came to Madison over the past school year (my senior year, don’tcha know); I explain the rules of the list in the article, so check it out. If you’ve kept up with this blog at all, my picks won’t even come close to being a surprise.

I suppose I ought to sign off in a relatively classy way, so: many thanks to the entire DC crew for putting up with me these past two semesters; for letting me write about whatever the hell I wanted every week; for never pissing me off with overzealous edits; and for letting me come to your parties. Au revoir, Dirty Bird.

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Some screentime for the snobs

May 4, 2010

Today’s edition of the Daily Cardinal features my esteemed colleague Justin Stephani’s last music column of the semester; in it, he grapples with audiophilia (which he makes seem quite similar to cinephilia) as a sociocultural phenomenon through an outstanding reading of Stephen Frears’s surprisingly epochal (if you know the people I know, that is) comedy “High Fidelity” (2000). The following passage is especially relevant, given all the attention that film culture and cinephilia get on this blog:

Rob [John Cusak] and friends compete with each other in utterly immature ways. At one point or another, they all look like assholes who enjoy the title of “snob” way too much, and they all deal with similar social ineptitudes. These—even moreso than the aspirations above—can be associated with the breed of music-lovers. And when audiences are forced to get to know Rob in these personal ways on top of his superficial snobby qualities, it’s easier to look past the pretentiousness and sympathize with his inadequacies. This is the hope and envy of audiophiles: To be judged not by the sometimes snobby color of their language, but by the content of their character (and music libraries). [my emphasis]

My own tear-soaked swansong will be delivered in Thursday’s paper. Until then…

What to watch this summer (sort of)

May 3, 2010

In today’s edition of the Daily Cardinal you’ll find a preview of a handful of movies scheduled for release this summer written by my colleagues Kevin Slane, Jacqueline O’Reilly and Todd Stevens. The feature is certainly worth a look if you’ve somehow managed to avoid the trailers for “Iron Man 2” and whatnot (and if you did, tell me your secret). Personally, I have no desire whatsoever to see any of the films they wrote about (with the possible exception of that new Christopher Nolan movie with Leo, which I doubt I’ll end up seeing unless somebody else flips the bill). Either way, check the feature out; after all, there’s only one week of Daily Cardinals left for your reading pleasure.

Lobbying for the avant-garde

April 29, 2010

This week’s DC column is the first article I’ve written for the Dirty Bird that I’d consider a genuine advocacy piece: Following the death of Starlight Cinema, let’s make sure that avant-garde/experimental cinema continues to have a student-accessible presence in Madison, eh? Check the column out for a taste of why I feel so strongly about this matter.

It’s also worth mentioning that this marks my second-to-last DC column ever (as in, for all eternity), so please forgive me if I get real sentimental these next couple weeks. As they say, all good things…

“Insert appropriate Doors lyric here”

April 23, 2010

In today’s edition of the Daily Cardinal you’ll find the Dirty Bird debut of my very dear friend Peter Kourkouvis, who reviews Tom DiCillo’s relatively new Doors documentary, “When You’re Strange.” I’m not much of a Doors man myself, but Peter seems more than up to the task of unpacking the cultural and aesthetic implications of the band’s 8-year existence as it’s presented in the doc. So yeah, definitely check it out.

Accepting Costa’s challenge

April 22, 2010

This week’s DC column focuses on the newish Criterion box-set  “Letters from Fontainhas: Three Films By Pedro Costa,” which I’ve addressed several times on here these past two weeks. As you might be able to infer from the article, I regard Costa as one of the great film artists—if not the greatest film artist—of the present era. (His work lends itself especially well to the making of grand pronouncements.) Granted, this isn’t exactly an original position to take; but, in my estimation, it’s a necessary one. Anyway, it’s always a pleasure to be able to write at some length about art that really excites you through its termite-seeming singularity and inexhaustible force, even if it clearly ain’t for everyone.

“Mother”‘s Day

April 20, 2010

In today’s edition of the Daily Cardinal you’ll find my colleague Mark Riechers’ review of Bong Joon-ho’s latest, “Mother,” which screened at the Wisconsin Film Festival on Sunday night and is presently enjoying a run at Sundance Cinemas. It isn’t much of a stretch to suggest that Bong was one of the breakout stars of the WFF; though many festival attendees were already familiar with “The Host” (2006), the opportunity to see the South Korean director’s other films (2000’s “Barking Dogs Never Bite,” 2003’s “Memories of Murder” and “Mother”) was undoubtedly appreciated by those who caught them. I’m hoping to see “Mother” at some point in the week ahead; I’ll let y’all know whether my opinion differs from Mark’s. (BTW, in case y’all haven’t noticed, Mark has been doing a really commendable job picking up my critical slack since I switched from writing reviews to writing columns.)

The WFF continues

April 16, 2010

Although Wednesday was Day 1 of the 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival, it seems fair to say that the fest didn’t kick off in earnest until last night. I caught two films: Benny and Josh Safdie’s revelatory “Daddy Longlegs” (2009) and Bong Joon-ho’s ridiculous and ridiculously fun “The Host” (2006).

“Daddy Longlegs,” formerly known as “Go Get Some Rosemary,” overflowed with feeling, charm and painful honesty; Ronald Bronstein’s performance as Lenny, a film projectionist who apparently attended the William Burroughs school of parenting, is the strongest and most magnetic I’ve seen so far this year, trumping even the excellent work of Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig in “Greenberg.” “Daddy Longlegs” will screen again at 11 on Saturday morning at the MMoCA; there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll be there for seconds.

“The Host” had its Orpheum audience in the palm of its slimy, mutant-reptilian hand. The film was hammy as hell, unsubtle in its politics and grandly operatic in its overall sensibility. The visual texture of “The Host” was really something: dirty, damp, bloody at times, scaly—and then abruptly sterile, clean, white. It certainly helped that I had plenty of good company with me at the screening, of course.

For more on yesterday’s proceedings, check out Sally Franson’s coverage over at the Isthmus. (A line formed at the Orpheum for “The Host” at 9:30? Yeesh. I walked in at 10:10 and had no trouble finding a prime seat.)

As far as today (Day 3) is concerned, there’s much to do and see. In today’s DC you’ll find a batch of recommendations from my colleagues Kevin Slane, Kyle Sparks, Mark Riechers and Todd Stevens; it looks to me like they made some good picks.

Me, I’ll be attending “Collateral” at the Orpheum at 4:30 (the NY Times’ Manohla Dargis will introduce), “Harmony and Me” at the Union Theater at 7:45 (director Bob Byington will be in attendance and will do a Q&A after the screening) and “It Came from Kuchar” at the Play Circle at 9:45 (to be preceded by George Kuchar’s “500 Millibars to Ecstasy”). I’ve got big-time expectations for all three.

Whatever you do, go see some goddamn movies.

The most wonderful time of the year (a day early, too)

April 14, 2010

This morning I was slightly surprised to find that my DC column (a brief primer on the 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival) was published a day early in order to coincide with the first day of the fest. Luckily, that suits me just fine, seeing as how I’m only planning to check out one film today myself (and what a film it promises to be).

For the sake of being comprehensive, I should also mention that tonight Bradley Rust Gray’s “The Exploding Girl” will screen at 7:30 at the Chazen, Jessica Hausner’s “Lourdes” will screen at 7:15 at the Orpheum’s Stage Door Theater, Don Argott’s “The Art of the Steal” will screen at 7 at the MMoCA and Radu Jude’s “The Happiest Girl in the World” (which I wrote about last month when it screened at the Romanian Film Festival) will screen at 9:15 at the MMoCA; if the press these flicks respectively received is any indication, all four deserve a look. Opening night, opening night…

Miracle on East Wash

April 12, 2010

In today’s edition of the DC you’ll find my review of fellow UW seniors Ella Bainton and Meg Fransee’s new tandem show, “New Miracle Pale in Drone,” now on display at the Good Style Shop on East Washington Ave. I strongly encourage y’all to check the exhibit out. It’s always a pleasure to get the chance to engage with the work of one’s peers, especially when those peers are as gifted (and provocative) as Ella and Meg. Here’s hoping I didn’t misrepresent their work in my review. Sorry if those de Kooning comparisons were embarrassing! I’ve only got so many points of reference, ya know?