Musings from the basement...

LISTEN TO THIS: Buffalo Tom, “Let Me Come Over” (1992)

A series in which I recommend music that might have flown under your radar. Buffalo Tom – Let Me Come Over Listen if you like:┬áThe Gaslight Anthem, The Lemonheads, The Hold Steady, Afghan Whigs Some songs take a while to percolate. They need to simmer in you for a while before they really get into your bones. “Taillights Fade” by Buffalo Tom is not one of those songs. The first time I heard it, it crawled under my skin and wormed its way into my head. It was one of those songs that even after hearing it only once, it would bounce around my skull forever – and not because it’s catchy or poppy, but because it was a perfect slice of chainsmoking whiskeydrinking fuckitall…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Madadayo (1993)

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, due out Dec. 15 from Rowman & Littlefield — preorder here! — I’ll be doing capsule reviews all month covering every single Kurosawa film and posting (very) brief excerpts. These will be short impressions and recommendations, nothing more. For a full, detailed analysis of each, grab the book! Madadayo (1993) Akira Kurosawa’s final film concerns an older man experiencing the ups and downs of a long life, looking back at a life well led, and saying to himself, “I’m not ready to go yet.” It sure is a mystery why the director would be interested in this kind of subject matter! From the book: At 77 years old, Uchida jokes at his…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Rhapsody in August (1991)

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, due out Dec. 15 from Rowman & Littlefield — preorder here! — I’ll be doing capsule reviews all month covering every single Kurosawa film and posting (very) brief excerpts. These will be short impressions and recommendations, nothing more. For a full, detailed analysis of each, grab the book! Rhapsody in August (1991) In his final years, Akira Kurosawa was tremendously concerned with the idea of legacy: what we leave behind and what our life meant. These ideas first started appearing in Dersu Uzala and Kagemusha, and then were amplified in Ran and Dreams. These are all movies that present the idea that we must confront our past in some fashion. The topic…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Dreams (1990)

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, due out Dec. 15 from Rowman & Littlefield — preorder here! — I’ll be doing capsule reviews all month covering every single Kurosawa film and posting (very) brief excerpts. These will be short impressions and recommendations, nothing more. For a full, detailed analysis of each, grab the book! Dreams (1990) It would perhaps be overstating the case to call Dreams the final masterpiece by Akira Kurosawa, as this anthology of short films doesn’t quite rise to the level of his greatest works, but at times it comes pretty damn close. Dreams, sometimes called Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, is a collection of loosely connected short films that have some similarity of theme (most either…
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A Month of Kurosawa: Ran (1985)

To celebrate the upcoming release of my book, Akira Kurosawa: A Viewer’s Guide, due out Dec. 15 from Rowman & Littlefield — preorder here! — I’ll be doing capsule reviews all month covering every single Kurosawa film and posting (very) brief excerpts. These will be short impressions and recommendations, nothing more. For a full, detailed analysis of each, grab the book! Ran (1985) Ran is a masterpiece, one of the greatest films of all time, and you should do everything in your power to see it right away. That really could be the sum total of this capsule review, because it’s true, and if I start talking about what makes this film so great I’ll either start to gush or will end up writing a…
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