David Thomson on Films: Who Killed Jack Sparrow?
May 21, 2011
The other day, I was talking to another film critic about the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. This was in the dawn before the fourth film, On Stranger Tides, had opened. My friend said he had seen the three previous films, but he couldn’t recall a single scene or incident from them. “And yet, when we see the fourth,” I suggested, “everything will seem entirely predictable and familiar from the past.” Oblivion without surprise: I suppose that’s a definition of both the experience of Alzheimer’s and our relationship with that saucy (if not over-sauced) Jack Sparrow.
Lincoln, Lincoln, I've Been Thinkin'
April 02, 2010
Yesterday I wondered why progressives are supporting a primary challenger against Blanche Lincoln who, after all, voted for health care reform and hails from a very conservative state. Matthew Yglesias replies that the answer is, because they can: To mount a challenge from the left, you really need two things. One is you need progressive activists and institutions ready to back the challenger. And the other is that you need a challenger. And what Arkansas has is a solid challenger in the form of an incumbent Lieutenant Governor—exactly the sort of person who would beat a sitting Senator.
James Bond, Cultural Icon
October 18, 2009
A.O. Scott has an interesting piece in Sunday's Times about the films of 1962. Scott thinks 1962 matters for two reasons: The sheer number of good movies, and the collision of two eras in filmmaking.