Month: November 2007

Words In Your Face

With immense pride do I salute the good work of Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz and the publication of her massive, canonical text Words in Your Face an essential oral history of the oftentimes misunderstood world of performance poetry. And while I’ve only had the introduction read to me, I greatly enjoyed hearing it, the work of some of the performers detailed and the following discussion at last night’s book party in Nolita. CoKA has been working on this for nine gazillion years and it is a major accomplishment. If you haven’t bought your copy yet, you should do so...

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Kerouac at the NYPL

I’ve never been enough of a fan that I felt the need to genuflect, but I did feel something seeing the original On The Road scroll laid out like a giant Beat Torah at the New York Public Library. Their Kerouac show manages not to beat the dead horse of hero worship – it present Kerouac not as saint or divinator or anything else other than a writer. That was my biggest takeaway: yes, the first full draft of On The Road was written on a huge roll of taped-up typewriter paper in a compressed amount of inspired time — but prior to that, Kerouac did his homework. He took notes, sketched out characters, figured out plot points. Dude was not receiving radio signals from Shiva, he worked at his craft. On The Road, if I dare say it, is one of those texts that is far cooler as a milestone in culture than the thing itself. Like Duchamp’s urinal, like Easy Rider, like, God help us, Slap Shot (yes, I’m being serious.) But seeing it laid out there — pretty frickin’ cool, I gotta...

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Rescue Dawn (2007), Werner Herzog, B+

I feel the same about Rescue Dawn as I did when I first saw it four months back. It is a very engrossing, involving film – but it lacks the artistry I expect from Werner Herzog – especially considering the subject matter. It’s not like Herzog is selling out – I mean his last movie before Rescue Dawn to hit the theaters was The Wild Blue Yonder — hardly an easily accessible picture. Still, I dunno. . .the fact remains this: Rescue Dawn was one of the handful of good, original movies to come out in mainstream cinemas this year — and one of Hezog’s least memorable...

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The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963), Cliff Owen, A

Absolutely fantastic. The only thing negative I can think to say about this movie is that it kinda outs Johnny Dangerously as not being quite as original as I thought it was. Peter Sellers is hysterical as a the cockney mob boss/french dressmaker but he is consistantly upstaged by Lionel Jeffries as the idiotic Inspector “Nosy” Parker. This flick isn’t just performances, though – the script is air tight. Haven’t discovered a new comedy like this in a long...

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Relics, TNG 6

Next time you approach a Dyson Sphere be aware that you could be returning an old warhorse from transporter stasis to guest star status! Yes, Jimmy Doohan had some bills to pay so agreed to boldly go where Spock and Bones had gone before – to do a guest shot on TNG. He buts heads with LaForge, drinks, visits the NCC-1701 on the holodeck and allows for MANY subtle (and some not so subtle) references to the old show. It’s actually quite amazing how infrequently the TNG writers went to this well – so when they do do it is quite fun. Best is Scotty admitting to “The Scotty Method” ie saying something will take three hours when it only takes one. It’s great to watch him save the day one more...

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Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.

He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.

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