VAN DYKE PARKS

VanDykeParksOverrated

Like a performance artist with an uncanny knack for landing prestigious gigs and copious grant money, Parks had insinuated himself firmly into Brian Wilson’s legend. Ignore the fact that he never wrote much of anything, or the fact that his most famous songwriting collaboration mostly served to break up the band he was brought in to write songs for. There’s More »

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BURNING MAN

All The Discomforts of Home

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The Prius

Did I Mention I Drive a Prius?

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HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA

Clothes Make the Man?

“Where false idols are dashed on the eternal rocks of meritocracy and cynicism”

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God Save the Coen Brothers

We miss Joel and Ethan Coen. We miss that Barton Fink feeling. Inside Llewyn Davis was everything that a Coen Brothers movie is not. It was not funny. It was not exciting. It was not challenging. It was not weird. It was not pleasantly disorienting or sneakily revelatory. It was not even interesting. There’s More »

BOARDWALK EMPIRE

Nucky Thompson’s primary character trait seems to be fussy annoyance. He’s the all-powerful crime lord of Atlantic City, yet he lives and works in a hotel where he’s constantly interrupted and can never get what he needs. Is his big character trait supposed to be the fact that he has no inner life? There’s More »

ZERO DARK THIRTY

Can someone explain the epidemic of lead characters who are not just unlikable, but also flat, emotionless, and unknowable? At first I thought it was just movies with Ryan Gosling or Jeremy Renner or George Clooney. But in Zero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain’s Maya is truly a blank slate, a cipher. There’s More »

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