Category Archives: On This Day

“Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.” — poet/engraver/visionary William Blake

“I mean, don’t you think it’s a little bit excessive?” “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. William Blake.” Pause. “William Blake?” “William Blake!” “William Blake???” “William Blake!!!” — Bull Durham William Blake was a poet virtually … Continue reading

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“You can’t dance in a long dress.” — Tina Turner

I pretty much said what I needed to say about Tina Turner in my review of this year’s documentary Tina. I saw her in concert. I was there, I was present for her rise to total dominance in the culture, … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Emir Kusturica

This Bosnian-born Serbian filmmaker will have my love forever for his film Arizona Dream, his first American film, starring Faye Dunaway, Johnny Depp, Lili Taylor, Jerry Lewis, and Vincent Gallo. I wrote about it for my Film Comment column. The … Continue reading

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“What’s the difference between an exile and an expatriate? It seems to me that an Englishman in France is an expat, but an Irishman is an exile.” — Irish poet Derek Mahon

“When growing up, my bunch of friends would have thought of ourselves as anti-unionist because we were anti-establishment. We would have been vaguely all-Ireland republican socialists. But then, when theory turned into practice, we had to decide where we stood … Continue reading

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“[I wish] to trace the gradual action of ordinary causes rather than exceptional.” — George Eliot

“What do I think of Middlemarch? What do I think of glory?” — Emily Dickinson I came to George Eliot late. As in, during the lifespan of this blog. I read Middlemarch (more like devoured it) in 2005, and wrote … Continue reading

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“There were so many things I wanted to say, stream-of-consciousness things, designs and patterns while listening to music. I felt I might be able to say [them] if I had an unending canvas.” — pioneering experimental animator Mary Ellen Bute

If ever I was born to write a piece, it’s this one: For Film Comment, I wrote about experimental animator Mary Ellen Bute, and her 1966 adaptation of James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake”. She was a pioneer. Way out in front. … Continue reading

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“Being understood is not the most essential thing in life.” — Jodie Foster

It’s her birthday today. She’s not my favorite actress in the world although I admire her journey, and – when you think about it – it is quite exceptional. Consider her contemporaries, the other child actors who dominated in the … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Graham Parker

My first boyfriend was super into Graham Parker, and basically introduced me to his music. He was a constant in our (super unhappy and stressful) “household”. It was my brother, though, as always, who contextualized Parker for me, who got … Continue reading

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“I care desperately about what I do. Do I know what product I’m selling? No.” — Owen Wilson

I just want to point you towards a recent remarkable profile of Wilson in Esquire, the cover story. The writer – Ryan D’Agostino – really knows what he’s doing. It’s a beautiful piece of writing filled with interesting observations. Wilson … Continue reading

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“If you feel blocked, do not turn to others, but look inside, in silence, for the enemy of your progress.” — Jeff Buckley

For Jeff Buckley’s Birthday First: My brother Brendan, in his 50 Best Albums list, which I posted here during 2020, wrote about Grace. But it’s about so much more. It’s about the time in which Grace came out, and what … Continue reading

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