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Shock Treatment and Awe: The Divided City of Lou Reed's Mind

Lou Reed is, of course, an all-time great rock and roll songwriter and vital inspiration to generations of artists. David Bowie, The Feelies, Yo La Tengo-these are just a few of the enormously huge number deeply indebted to his work and aesthetic.

I Get a Woody Just Thinking About It!

Woody Allen’s latest comedy, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, does not include a menage à trois. All the talk pre-opening weekend felt like the ad campaign for Gossip Girl—full of sex, threesomes, or whatever would catch public interest.

The Kindness of Strangers

“People disappear every day.” “Every time they leave the room.” The exchange of lines in Antonioni’s The Passenger (1975) applies well to Fatih Akin’s recent The Edge of Heaven.


Pixar’s latest creation, WALL-E, came to me highly recommended by no one who actually saw it. WALL-E, Iron Man, and The Dark Knight all share this quality. Peer pressure seems to cancel out criticism.

Filthy Lucre

Just when VH1 couldn’t go any lower, more humiliating or shameless, behold the latest and hottest reality show I Love Money. Chock full of familiar faces from reality shows past, Money skips all that “getting to know you” nonsense and gets straight to the disease swapping, endless drinking, and blatantly obvious prescription drug abuse.

Classes tous risques (1960)

After fighting in the Resistance during WWII, Jose Giovanni became a small-time French hood. He helped pull a small-time robbery, somebody died, and Giovanni got death row. After months awaiting the guillotine, he gained clemency and spent eight years in prison.

Help Me, Eros (Bang Bang Wo Ai Shen)

At first this strikes as madhouse, Taiwanese Fassbinder on steroids: lurid, hallucinatory colors; post-modernly over-composed, photographic frames; and post-verbal characters overwhelmed by existential paralysis or sexual ennui/compulsion.

DVD Culture

The Furies (1950)

Winchester ’73, Mann’s revenge saga starring Jimmy Stewart (and featuring Rock Hudson in his screen debut as an Indian chief), seems closer to naturalism than any prior Mann film. Characters walked, talked, stood, shot and rode much as human beings actually might.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2008

All Issues