Reviews

Reviews of books, music, film and other bits of culture

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

The characters in these stories are all recovering from the demise of a major relationship: a broken marriage, neglectful parents, ungrateful children, lack of sex, sexual abuse, and overall disillusionment with the people closest to them.

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DVD Review: Know Your Mushrooms (2009 Sphynx Productions)

Those expecting this documentary to be about the mind-expanding, space-travel inducing, true sacred portal to the gods types of mushrooms, you have to wait until the latter half of the film. The first part is about plain old yummy wild mushrooms, and the people who love them, hunt for them, and hold festivals in honor […]

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Of Song and Water by Joseph Coulson

Throughout the novel, Coulson’s narration slips fluidly between the perspectives of the three generations of Moore men, jumbling timelines and storylines without much fuss over which parts belong to the present and which to the past.

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One Falling, One Diving: A Review of Michael Greenberg’s Hurry Down Sunshine

The unspoken message seems to be: Reader, be not smug! If it can happen to me, it can, and might, happen to you.

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Gary Lutz’s Stories in the Worst Way

Philip Christman reviews the Calamari Press reissue of Lutz’s 1996 collection

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One D.O.A., One on the Way by Mary Robison

Mary Robison is really fucking good. Still, I approached this new book with skepticism. Trepidation, even. How can a person, I asked myself, Mary Robison or not, pull off a novel-in-fragments twice in one lifetime?

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DVD review: One Love: Words Sounds & Powah (1988/2009; MVD)

In the late 1980s, documentary filmmaker Howard Johnson was given unprecedented access to the Rastafarian community in Britain, resulting in a 10 part series, Rockers Roadshow. Some of his wealth of material, shot in London and Nottingham, also was also collected in the One Love series, three short films that even today are riveting in […]

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DVD Review: Black Hollywood: Blaxploitation and Advancing an Independent Black Cinema

This 1984 documentary manages to be both history lesson and an opportunity to revisit your assumptions of that history. While Black Hollywood covers much familiar ground, it also opens one’s eyes to some of the pivotal figures in the often exploited, but nevertheless defiant role of African-Americans in Hollywood.A thumbnail sketch of that role is […]

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Review: Renaissance Village (NTI Upstream; 85 minutes)

The individual stories of those who lived through Hurricane Katrina get lost in the story of the event that has taken on a life of its own. Both sides of the political seesaw have used the tragic flooding of one of America’s great cities, and the subsequent displacement of its poorest residents, whether it be […]

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Review of Paul Pope’s 100%

100% is a love story, after a fashion. Or, more accurately, three loosely connected love stories, all told without so much as a drop of sentimental syrup.

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DVD Review: In The Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger (2004; Fox Lorber)

Henry Darger has become a celebrity of sorts within the last decade or so, providing dealers and collectors with another cash cow in the Outsider Art genre.

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DVD Review: Points on a Space Age (MVD video)

Points on a Space Age

Maybe the old bit about a prophet not being accepted in his own land could have been upended if the prophets had had decent musical chops.

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DVD Review: Un Chant D’Amour

Long banned or heavily edited, this legendary transgressive short masterpiece is finally available in the States in its complete form. As the only film directed by poet, playwright, novelist, criminal and Saint Jean Genet, it naturally is saturated with images and emotions even his own overheated writing could rarely evoke. Un Chant D’Amour, first released […]

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Review: What Just Happened?

Based on a 2002 memoir by producer Art Linson (Fight Club, Into The Wild), What Just Happened? continues the line of self-obsessed Hollywood vehicles like The Player and Entourage, wherein the evils and shallowness of the business are brutally explored but nevertheless celebrated. Here, director Barry Levinson manages to get a good performance from Robert […]

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Review: Timecrimes (Spain, AKV Entertainment)

One of the more odd theories to come out of recent speculation into multiple universes is the idea that there may be enough dimensions so that, somewhere, everything happens:You took a left instead of a right, you became a famous novelist, you bought the good car instead of the shitty one, etc. That would take […]

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