The Bicycle Thief
May 19, 2009

Just to follow up on Chris's post, I actually think George Will's love of driving and hatred of Portland makes sense. First, if you've spent a considerable amount of time around Connecticut Avenue in Upper Northwest D.C.--as I did growing up--then it's possible, maybe even likely, that at some point you've witnessed Will being a very agressive driver.

As Pdx Turns
January 29, 2009

I don't know if you've been following the soap opera currently embroiling Portland politics--starring the city's newly elected mayor, Sam Adams (his real name), and the teenage intern with whom he had an affair, Beau Breedlove (also his real name)--but if you're not, you should be. Timothy Egan delivers a nice plot summary if you want to catch up on the details. The most interesting counterfactual here is whether Adams would have saved himself--and his city--all this misery if he'd simply fessed up to the affair when rumors of it first surfaced.

Parting of Ways
October 02, 2006

Old Joy (Kino International) The Beat movement in literature is said to have begun in 1952 with Jack Kerouac and John Clellon Holmes. No such specific date that I know is cited for the movement’s spread to films. (Underground film is something else.) The first Beat picture that I can remember didn’t come until almost forty years later, with Richard Linklater’s Slacker in 1991. Since then there has been a fairly steady stream. I’d dub them Listless Films, even though that term is easy to misunderstand. The people in these films, mostly in their twenties, are not dull or lazy.

Cambridge Diarist
January 16, 2006

When Eugene McCarthy died a month ago, I rushed to compose what I wished to be a meditation on what the man had meant to me, to my generation, and to our history. But eulogies always suffer from the press of deadlines, and so I decided to get an opinion of what I wrote from a truth-teller I've known since the 1968 campaign. I read my piece to John Callahan, a professor of English at Lewis & Clark College and the author of books on Ralph Ellison and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the harshest of the truth-tellers.

Warren Beatty's Triumph
December 16, 1981

Reds is both an accurate and a possibly misleading title. It's accurate because the two leading characters devote much of what we see of their lives to Communist activities. It's possibly misleading because the focus is on the people, not the activities. This is not, in essence or intent, a political work; it is biographical. Solanas's Hour of the Furnaces, Pontecorvo's Battle of Algiers, Wajda's Man of Marble are political films, which posit and explore political questions, then strongly support particular action about them: Reds is a patently different order of work.

The Shipping Bottleneck
May 25, 1942

THE GREAT DAY arrives. “I christen thee Western Light!” the woman cries.