Max Goldberg

Innervisions

Two or Three Things Jean-Luc Godard saw in his coffee
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Rome wasn't built in a day, but cinema's eternal enfant terrible Jean-Luc Godard did direct Contempt, Band of Outsiders, Alphaville, Pierrot le Fou, Masculine-Feminine, Two or Three Things I Know about Her, and Weekend (and a few others too) in the four years leading up to the political explosions of 1968. These trenchant, tenacious films are as good a record as any we have of an era when light-speed changes in culture and politics only seemed to make history grind to a halt. Read more »

Raising the BARR

The life and times of multitasking multimedia maven Brendan Fowler
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"I haven't lived anywhere since April for more than 12 days." Brendan Fowler tells me this on the phone from New York, where he's dug in to prepare for a national tour — his first with a live band — supporting BARR's new album, Summary (5 Rue Christine). He's a little out of breath from racing up apartment stairs while hyping the band ("I think it's going to be bananas. I totally started crying the other day when we were playing songs for the first time. Read more »

Brutal fucking movie

An exquisite corpse review of Inland Empire

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A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course. And no one can talk to a corpse, of course. Unless, of course, that corpse is brought to you by the famous Mr. David Lynch. Read more »

Follow that bird

Keeping house with the Finches
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By Max Goldberg

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With so many duos still adhering to the muddied-guitar-and-drums style years after the White Stripes broke, it's refreshing to see local twosome the Finches reaching back to an earlier, folksier model wherein melody and songwriting win out over bombast and swagger.

"We actually tried to have our friend Justin play drums at the practice space with us once, and none of us really knew what we wanted at that point," guitarist-vocalist Aaron Morgan muses over tea at a noisy café a few blocks west of t Read more »

Czar of noir

Eddie Muller paints it black with the Noir City festival
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One doesn't feel far from the dark, stylized universe of classic film noir in Tosca, a long, obliquely angled bar in North Beach. Read more »

New generation, old joy

It was a good year for boy-men at the movies
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Once upon a time movie men were expected to be all action — confidence, whether in the form of a swagger or saunter, being the mark of the leading man. Such virility was served up uncooked by method actors such as Marlon Brando and James Dean, but it wasn't until the baby boom generation ushered in unlikely stars such as Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson that the archetype really turned over. Realism was the new fantasy, and these actors went to great lengths to convey hurt. Read more »

Embedded: A Q&A with Iraq in Fragments director James Longley

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It only takes a few minutes of watching Iraq in Fragments to recognize that the film stands apart from the Iraqumentary pack: dazzling cinematography in place of the dull visuals of the evening news, slice-of-life narration instead of talking heads. Divided into three sections, director James Longley's reportage shows us the everyday chaos in Baghdad and beyond with dramatic vividness — a vividness that, if nothing else, makes us realize how degraded most of the imagery we receive from Iraq is at the moment. Read more »

Broken social scene

Fear and trembling in Andrew Bujalski's Mutual Appreciation
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Brooklyn, like Oakland and the Mission District, has swelled in the last decade with postadolescents: beards and black hoodies wandering streets on the verge of gentrification. This intermediary space is the setting and premise for indie filmmaker Andrew Bujalski's latest, Mutual Appreciation. Bujalski first made a splash with Boston-based Funny Ha Ha (2002), an unassuming feature made in the tradition of talky indie forbearers John Cassavetes, Eric Rohmer, and Richard Linklater. Read more »

After the Revolution

In Regular Lovers, it's 1968 all over again
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Native son

Terrence Malick digs deep into America's past with The New World
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The John Smith-Pocahontas romance has long been a cornerstone of America's mythical landscape. He being the original Man Who Knows Indians (an archetype sealed by James Fenimore Cooper in The Last of the Mohicans), and she standing in for the land itself: Embodying equal parts purity and promise, Pocahontas represents an ideal, a paradise. The myth of their doomed love speaks to how this paradise was won and then lost. Read more »