Reluctant Habits

The Bat Segundo Show: Ken Russell

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Film, interview, russell-ken

In this 30 minute radio interview with the maverick British director, Ken Russell discusses getting pinned down by Oliver Reed, making nuns comfortable in The Devils, and his dispute with Paddy Chayefsky on Altered States.

Review: Get Low (2009)

Posted by in Film

American culture has been too preoccupied with condemning the oddballs. It’s a relief when a small movie like Get Low comes along to remind us why they’re so interesting, and why Murray isn’t just some aging goofball.

On Her Wedding Day, My Fantasies Come to an End

Posted by in Narcissism

A very, very, very, very, very, very special column from a very, very, very, very, very, very special narcissist.

The Bat Segundo Show: Sally Potter

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Film, interview, potter-sally

In this 20 minute radio interview, director Sally Potter discusses Orlando and the long journey of adapting Virginia Woolf’s novel, but avoids discussing the controversial subject of toasting cheese in an Italian fireplace.

Review: The Concert (2009)

Posted by in Film

A film coming from France and Russia shouldn’t feel like some thoughtless bibelot churned from a Hollywood machine. Find out some of the reasons why in this review of an Eran Kolirin clone.

The Bat Segundo Show: Jennifer Weiner III

Posted by in Bat Segundo, interview, weiner-jennifer

In this lively 45 minute radio interview, Jennifer Weiner discusses her latest book, Fly Away Home, the new Wonder Woman costume, and the problems with insular New York literary culture — among many other topics.

The Bat Segundo Show: Dan Chaon

Posted by in Baum, L. Frank, chaon-dan, interview

In this 50 minute radio interview, the author of Await Your Reply and You Remind Me of Me discusses narrative momentum, online trolls, regional voice, Nabokov, and the ever-shifting nature of identity.

Review: Inception (2010)

Posted by in Film

Inception is reliant on perfunctory globetrotting, lights dangling atop ceilings, and repetitive amber hues for its “look.” It does contain an admittedly intricate plot structure, which cannot be immediately discounted. But when a film feels as dead as a greedy investment banker’s onyx soul, one isn’t exactly enlivened to clap.

Harvey Pekar (1939-2010)

Posted by in Comics, Obits, pekar-harvey

Harvey Pekar, the comic book writer best known for the long-running American Splendor, died this morning in his Cleveland home. He was 70 years old. Pekar was devoted, more than many of today’s lifeless literary practitioners, to depicting the truth behind everyday moments. And it is especially painful to know that Pekar’s passing comes a little more than a month after David Markson’s. Like Markson, Pekar knew that life didn’t offer any tidy resolutions and that art, even at its best, served as an intermediary. “Ordinary life is pretty complex…read more

Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)

Posted by in Film, larsson-stieg

The problem here was that the filmmakers haven’t considered the right item to pimp. Aside from an unidentified pizza box tossed against a kitchen wall, there was no indication of Billy’s Pan Pizza maintaining its essential role.

The Bat Segundo Show: Dan Ariely

Posted by in ariely-dan, Bat Segundo, Behavioral Economics, interview

In this 40 minute radio interview, the famed behavioral economist discusses uniqueness in relation to behavioral norms, emotional cascades, and human comprehension of disaster.

The Blank is Dead

Posted by in Pundits

Once upon a time, an elephant-sized ego wrote a vapid article about the blank being irrelevant. The article inspired other articles and other blog posts and other comments and other tweets. Never mind that the blank wasn’t dead.

The Bat Segundo Show: Marcy Dermansky

Posted by in Bat Segundo, dermansky-marcy, interview

In this 40 minute radio interview, novelist Marcy Dermansky discusses Bad Marie, French geography, potential alliances between authors and copy editors, and people who ask you to sign books for Alexa.