Month: January 2019

Film Review: Roma

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which is available to stream on Netflix, is a striking, painstaking panorama of life during one year or so in a wealthy Mexico City household, from 1970 to 1971. I say “panorama” to describe a film whose narrative structure emphasizes length, because the film itself is about space rather than time. It is about community, confinement, freedom, proximity, distance, class, districts, family, strangers, staircases, oceans, sky, travel, home, movement, stillness, change, stasis, walls, plains, city and country. It is about where we are from and why we have left. It is about how far we go...

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Smells Like Teen Spirit

Sometimes classic rock is so deeply embedded into our consciousness, we forget what it actually sounds like.  We all know ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ but when was the last time anyone actually listened to the song.  It’s hard to do this with something we’ve heard 456,091,149,885 times, and that was just last week.  It gets worse, of course, when you can actually remember when the classic track was new and fresh and mind-blowing.  But we can never return to the first time we heard it. So last week, I was at the gym and was sick of whatever I was listening to,...

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The Ride by David Cull

Installment 40 travels further in time than any poem published here. David Cull presented “The Ride” to one of the “basement workshops” during the 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference, organized chiefly by Warren Tallman and Robert Creeley. A trip worth taking slowly.  *** the ride To begin with; say you drive a motorcycle west, from Princeton or the summit just beyond that point, toward the city — now a hundred miles away. And say it is an afternoon; the sun cuts brightly through the trees, the shadows crisp although already late September; green, traced gold, the jackpines almost black against the rusty dirt. And Sunday; traffic bunching and congesting further in. The road down, say, from here (the summit) miles of curving mountain, down and swinging sideways as the Smilkameen winds through the thick green ridges to the head of water (Hope), the Fraser, and the broad, flat valley opens to the sea. I mean the mind’s eye holds; the sea, the river’s mouth, the city; forms and places both sides, thirty miles – have lived here long as you remember. Or, imagine it, the boundaries are given; goals, the slope, a slide that children play on for the pleasure of the loins. Or any method, way to get there; any way you can. As this is where I am, and you are; I propose to ride it. I propose...

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The Dogs — Before Brutality

The Dogs Before Brutality Drabant Music The Dog are a punk band from Oslo.  Formed away back in 2011, they released their début album in 2013, and ever since January 2014, they have put out a new album every January. In Norway, frontman Kristopher Shau is celebrity of sorts, engaging in performance art, hosting one of the country’s biggest podcasts, and even hosting a TV show on the Seven Deadly Sins that stirred up a bit of controversy.  But in the rest of the world, they’re a little less famous.  They did win Little Steven’s Coolest Song of the Year...

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Electoral Architecture

Elections for the mayorship of Barcelona are coming up later this year, and we’re already being delivered promises in the form of outrageous urban-architectural proposals. As reported by yesterday’s La Vanguardia, a German businessman named Karl Jacobi, who is running for mayor, is promising to build 300,000 social housing units on a new artificial island off Barcelona’s coast. Yes, three hundred thousand. In a city that seriously lacks affordable places to live, social housing is a serious necessity. But an artificial island? Has Herr Jakobi considered how large such an island would have to be to accommodate that many dwellings? If this...

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