Reluctant Habits

You Can’t Be a Good Literary Critic Unless You…

Posted by in Literary Criticism

You can’t be a good literary critic unless you write lists like this.

Review: Super (2010)

Posted by in Film

If you are sending up the vigilante comic book genre, are you creating successful satire if you’re upholding the same anti-human values?

Review: Source Code (2011)

Posted by in Film

Like a dependable pulp novel kept on the nightstand as dutifully as a gun under the bed, Source Code comes stocked with some unexpected ammunition.

Review: Circo (2010)

Posted by in Film

Aaron Schock has largely resisted Fellini’s understandable tendency to reinvent with his striking and quite magical documentary.

The Bat Segundo Show: Michael Crummey

Posted by in Bat Segundo, crummey-michael, interview

In this 40 minute radio interview, Canadian novelist Michael Crummey discusses Galore, Newfoundland folklore, and his annoyance (and eventual embrace) with magical realism.

Review: Rubber (2010)

Posted by in Film

Rubber is a quite pleasant and deceptively pointless picture about a murderous tire. It may or may not be channeling Beckett.

Review: Potiche (2010)

Posted by in Film

Why stick with trophies when you can raise hell and get away with it? A review of Fran├žois Ozon’s latest film.

The Bat Segundo Show: Deb Olin Unferth

Posted by in Bat Segundo, interview, unferth-deb-olin

In this 45 minute radio interview, Deb Olin Unferth discusses her memoir Revolution, her notion of the lasting urgency, and a mysterious man who photographed our conversation.

New Directors/New Films: Pariah (2011)

Posted by in Film, New Directors/New Films

Since black homophobia is often too easily portrayed as a symptom of race rather than a symptom of class, it’s a relief that writer-director Dee Rees has arrived to investigate the matter.

New Directors/New Films: Curling (2010)

Posted by in Film, New Directors/New Films

Having not curled in any meaningful capacity outside of the boudoir, I can safely report that Curling‘s curling moments did fill me with the sense that I had missed something.

The Bat Segundo Show: TC Boyle IV

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Boyle, T.C.

In this 45 minute radio alternative, novelist TC Boyle returns a fourth time to discuss When the Killing’s Done and offer gleefully pessimistic pronouncements about the world.

Review: Win Win (2011)

Posted by in Film

Thomas McCarthy’s Win Win is more feel-good propaganda than respectable entertainment.

New Directors/New Films: At Ellen’s Age (2010)

Posted by in Film, New Directors/New Films

Pia Marais’s At Ellen’s Age doesn’t quite have the philosophical heft to raise vital questions about society’s responsibility for the Other.

New Directors/New Films: Happy, Happy (2010)

Posted by in Film, New Directors/New Films

The best thing about Anne Sewitsky’s comedy is Agnes Kittelsen, whose bright eyes bounce around with so much life that you figure she’s angling to become Norway’s answer to Amy Adams.

New Directors/New Films: Margin Call (2011)

Posted by in Film, New Directors/New Films

Margin Call takes place during one very dark night in 2008 and has a surprisingly nuanced portrait buried beneath its zesty dramatic intrigue.

Review: Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

Posted by in Film

Battle: Los Angeles makes Roland Emmerich look like Aeschylus and Battlefield Earth look like Kitchen Sink realism.

Jane Eyre (1990 : 2011 :: Reality : Film Adaptation)

Posted by in bronte-charlotte, Film, Literary Adaptations, Personal

This 3,000 word personal essay covers more than two decades of one man’s relationship to Jane Eyre, from reading the book in high school to the latest film adaptation.

The Bat Segundo Show: Insulted by Authors

Posted by in Author Readings, Bat Segundo, Insulted by Authors, interview, ryan-bill

In this 30 minute radio interview, Insulted by Authors proprietor Bill Ryan discusses the celebrity-industrial complex and why authors recoil from insulting the reader when asked to do so.

A Hasty Response to The Late American Novel

Posted by in Reviews

A review written in 20 minutes shortly after reading Jeff Martin and C. Max Magee’s anthology, The Late American Novel.

The Bat Segundo Show: Aminatta Forna

Posted by in Bat Segundo, forna-aminatta, interview

In this 45 minute radio interview, author Aminatta Forna discusses The Memory of Love, Sierra Leone, getting arrested, and how injuries lead to creative inspiration.