Austin Powers

Go-Go, From Scopitone to Chuck Brown
May 18, 2012

I don’t mean to slander his legacy, but the news this week of the death of Chuck Brown, the  “Godfather of Go-Go,” made me think of Scopitone, the proto-video platform for cheesily risqué musical films that Susan Sontag enshrined in the early canon of camp. Brown, who worked since the 1960s around the area of Maryland (where he was born), northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C., never made a Scopitone film. He did something better, though, leading the development of the sexy, upbeat subgenre of funk that has its own name, go-go, but could just as well be called Chuck Brown’s music.

Second Time Farce
June 21, 2005

In Hollywood, the one thing as inevitable as death and taxes is sequels. They roll them out, year after year, the 2s and IIs, the Returns and Revenges, and Strikes Backs and Strikes Agains. For decades, the first rule of making a successful sequel has been simple and unchanging: Figure out what you did right the first time and do it again. The problem, of course, is that this isn't always so easy. For every The Godfather: Part II there's a The Two Jakes; for every The Empire Strikes Back, an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

London Fog
June 14, 1999

Apart from Austin Powers, there can be few British institutions as groovy right now as The Economist. Der Spiegel has hailed its "legendary influence." Vanity Fair has written that "the positions The Economist takes change the minds that matter." In Britain, the Sunday Telegraph has declared that "it is widely regarded as the smartest, most influential weekly magazine in the world." In America, it is regularly fawned on as a font of journalistic reason.