Amy

Heartwrenching. Such extremes, everything – first and foremost her talent – exaggerated so far beyond the rest of us. But also of course the dark side – the binges, the drugs, the drinking. It’s not a unique story – others have burned too bright and too fast, and much has been made of the fact that she joined the 27 club when she died. But this doesn’t lessen the tragedy, and the real sense of loss that watching this engenders. All these songs that will never be finished…

  1. Blake Fielder-Civil was a motherfucker. I blame him, drug addict fuck that he was, for dragging Amy down with him. I hope he’s still in jail.
  2. Her father was kind of a dick too.
    I wish I could have seen her just once in concert. Although maybe not the one in Belgrade…

 

Cartel Land

I thought that Kathryn Bigelow’s name was associated with this film somehow… a producer, maybe? At any rate, well-directed by Matthew Heineman, about whom I think I know nothing at all…

Much was made of his access to the vigilantes at the center of the story, leading to some amazing shots. Shots of shots, in fact, as automatic weapons play a large role in the drug wars of Mexico. Tagged: gritty, gripping.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present

Yes, this woman’s mother should have held her and paid her more attention when she was a child.

Still, I did find the Artist is Present show to be extremely moving. So simple, and yet so profound. The power of art?

The Wrecking Crew

Better late than never? Nice to see this crew getting the credit they deserve, for playing on all those albums you thought were simply The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, The Monkees…

Like 20 Feet from Stardom, we learn the names and the faces of many unsung (ha!) heroes.

 

An Honest Liar

I like this guy. James Randi deceives you, and tells you the truth. A very direct and unflinching look behind the curtain.

But won’t someone tell him to trim those eyebrows?!

Hot Girls Wanted

Depressing on so many levels.

The statistics for online porn as reported here are astounding, and sad. Chew them up, spit them out: The average career for these girls is in the neighborhood of 6 months. What are they made to do? And what do they get for their efforts?

Catfish

On the Internet, no-one knows you’re a dog. Wow. Can you say “awkward”? Another guy learns the hard way that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. But he certainly took it well, and his brother got a movie out of it. Good stuff.

Life Itself

Years ago I came to trust Roger Ebert’s movie reviews: We almost always seemed to agree. But of course his film knowledge was more expansive than mine will ever be, and his writing  just a bit better than my meager descriptions and reactions.

My habit of reading his reviews informed a deeper understanding of so many films that I watched over the past 30 or so years. And so, even today, I check rogerebert.com to see what the staff there have to say about the present film:

“Life itself, that loaded two-word phrase, is what Roger really wrote about when he wrote about movies,” writes Matt Zoller Seitz. “The movie is about cinema history and critical history, writing and reading, drinking and sobriety, religion and doubt, love and sex and marriage and parenthood and labor relations and so many other factors that combined to create Roger Ebert.”

What a life.

Rich Hill

A reminder of what much of this country is actually like. Small town middle America, like 1-2,000 people, scraping to make a living. Their concerns are… different from mine, in many ways.

I give one of these three boys a chance at making it out of the hole he was born into. The American Dream is not even in the imagination of some. Depressing.