3 quickie reviews

Lighter fare from the holidays:

CD: Emblem, Amethystium: Velvet technofunk as invented by some lost, ancient, marbled Mediterranean culture–the isle of Lesbos, perhaps. Moves along at IQ about 230 (which is to say, Ryan Farish without all that brain damage). Alien, inscrutable. At moments, quite wonderful.

Movie: Children of Men: Somehow emerges in toto as better than its deeply, deeply silly premise and script. Long post-urban battles are the stuff of unwaking nightmares. Interestingly made, worth seeing again perhaps.

Movie: The Ghost Writer: Think what we will about Roman Polanski–the guy does know how to make a movie. The premise is essentially Curiosity-draws-smart-person-into-Trap, a la Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (the true Swedish film, not Hollywood’s…thing). But it’s contrived and ultimately tiresome to hang your entire story on a truly smart person’s being so easily and repeatedly trapped. For all the filmmaking skills so obviously on display here, the Ghost Writer is fun enough to watch but is never quite believable or memorable. No, it’s in Curiosity-draws-smart-person-into-Horrific-Puzzle premises that Polanski shines white-hot, for example in Une Pure Formalite in which he starred (how will filmdom ever top discovering that…you’re dead?), and of course his own utterly unmatchable Chinatown.

So much for diversion–never fear, a savage book review is in the works…

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