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dvd of the week: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Casey Affleck adds another interesting film to his resume – after Gone Baby Gone and Killer Inside Me this is another keeper. Rooney Mara, Ben Foster and Keith Carradine are all good but the real star here is the cinematography (courtesy of Bradford Young). As with so many films not sure where the credit for this lies especially since the directory David Lowery has cinematographer among his past credits as well – he is one of those directors who seems to have done every conceivable job on the film set. This is his first full length film.

As I said it is the look of this film that makes it superlative. You could mistake it for a Terrence Malick film except that there is an actual narrative.

Its an involving story but the star is the light. It speaks to the truth of photography being writing with light.

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Book of the week

OK I am back.

Apart from all the usual rants and diversions I hope to each week do a book of, a cd of, and a dvd of, the week. So let’s start with the book.

I’ve always been an adventurous reader but i am coming more and more to appreciate the non-experimental novel well done. I’m all for pushing the boundaries but when I look back on the novels that have made the most impact on me, the ones that are most re-readable, they might be astonishing in their depth and yet conservative in style.  Case in point: Submergence by J.M.Lefgard.

Crappy cover but one of the best books I have read in the last year (others being Son, Lowlands, Come Barbarians and Constellation of Vital Phenomena). None of those are odd in any way but all are brilliant.

Ledgard’s 2nd novel has its main character, a British agent held in captivity by Al Quada in Somalia who believe him to be a British agent. His method of coping with his privation is to remember his life before which includes his relationship with an oceanographer.  The novel is smart the way Harper’s Magazine is smart – throwing out all sorts of intriguing bits of information about this remarkable world but in particular about life in the deep ocean.  This forms a nice contrast with the desert interment of our spy.

Its one of those small press books with little hoopla but garnering more critical praise than most.

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The sabbatical is over…first a musical interlude

Been going through a lot of new music and some older. Part of the time I have been revisiting jazz. My first jazz record was Keith Jarrett and Gary Burton and at the time I was unaware of Jarrett’s participation in Charles LLoyd‘s group. Just recently I ran across this very swinging tune from LLoyd (Water is Wide) which reminded me a little (why exactly I am not sure) of Jarrett’s De Drums.

De Drums from the Fort Yaweh album is quite something with a not inconsiderable contribution from Charlie Haden on bass.

(ps a little shout out to Rachel Alderman in Swansea for saying hi on my blog after so long a dormancy. Took another look at it and thought I might as well give it another go for a while.)

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Phillip Wollen: Animals should be off the menu

I have some reservations about what he says but he does make some very good points….”when we suffer we suffer as equals”….my major reservation is that the problem with humanity is not so much its actions which any species would do…its not that we are worse but simply that there are so many of us….at any rate any open minded omnivore (and I am one) should be willing to at least listen to this

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One reason I am glad to live in Canada

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Regina Spektor and other new music

I haven’t posted about music in a while but this one caught my ear. The latest Regina Spektor (What We Saw From the Cheap Seats)is very worth the purchase. This song below stuck out because if the voice was stripped out and we had just the structure, the lyrics, the melody and the instrumentation, I would have identified it as a Hawksley Workman song.

Here is Hawksley doing Ice Age from one of his best cds, the end of the world Treeful of Darling.

Other beauties on the plate these days are the latest Walkmen, the Divine Fits (for those who need another Spoon cd), and still enjoying the Fiona Apple.

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My critique of capitalism summed up in a sign

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