May 31, 2004
The Lord of the Rings,
Well, if this one isn't an obvious choice: The best fantasy film ever produced; adapted from, arguably, the best literary fantasy ever written....
Full commentary on "The Lord of the Rings"
The Unbearable Lightness of Being,
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Milan Kundera this film features Daniel Day Lewis, Juliet Binoche and Lena Olin, the two women in their breakout performances. This was not a simple adaptation by any means. Kundera's text...
Full commentary on "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"
Recall that Parecon (Participatory Economics) represents one option to Capitalism now that Communism is dead. Anarcho-Syndicalism is a second option. The full text of this book is available online, here....
Full commentary on "Anarcho-Syndicalism"
May 30, 2004
Happy the Man
Perhaps my favourite album, particularly when the intention is to listen, and to get emotional in the process. Exquisite musicianship all around in a band consisting of guitar, bass, standard drum kit and a pair of keyboardists. Among these principle...
Full commentary on "Crafty Hands"
The Ecology of Commerce,
This book features prominently in the documentary film, The Corporation, being the text which begins the redemption of CEO Ray Anderson from corporate ecological rapist to good corporate citizen. Quite a transformation and, as it turns out, a sustainable and...
Full commentary on "The Ecology of Commerce"
May 29, 2004
The quintessential Sci-Fi film. Star Wars is a great yarn, but Blade Runner is truer to the best-of-breed social commentary originating from authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin and Philip K. Dick, the latter of whom authored Do Androids...
Full commentary on "Blade Runner"
Bogart and Bergman
For me, the quintessential dramatic film. It's hard to believe the makers were writing the script as they shot it, making the result a likely triumph of editing. Crisp, meaningful dialog, every line of which moves the story forward. Laughs,...
Full commentary on "Casablanca"
May 28, 2004
Perhaps my favourite jazz LP (Yes, my tape is recorded from the original vinyl!) See the entry New Chautauqua for a story about the longevity of this tape in my library. Oregon is an ensemble of crack acoustic instrumentalists featuring...
Full commentary on "Roots in the Sky"
The most melodious and mellifluous of Metheny's work, all guitar. A jazz riff on folkish themes. The cover image is appropriate; I have a tape featuring this album on side A and Oregon's Roots in the Sky on B and...
Full commentary on "New Chautauqua"
Songs of the Free,
Gang of Four
This is raucous good stuff, with smashing beats and unruly guitars to match the smashingly unruly politics of a band out to challenge the status quo on all fronts....
Full commentary on "Songs of the Free"
May 13, 2004
The Crimson Petal and the White,
Epic (944 pages!) novel set in Victorian England. Reads well, and more quickly than one might expect with such a chunky volume. Unlike other somewhat revisionist time-pieces, everyone here regardless of gender or class comes off somewhat doltish, though victimhood...
Full commentary on "The Crimson Petal and the White"
May 01, 2004
A Wizard of Earthsea,
Ursula K. LeGuin
Book one in a popular and critically acclaimed trilogy (The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore). Only The Lord of the Rings is a more strongly written fantasy. However, Ursula K. LeGuin's story is a more personal tale with political...
Full commentary on "A Wizard of Earthsea"
Parecon: Life After Capitalism,
On my reading list. For more info, see Participatory Economics....
Full commentary on "Parecon: Life After Capitalism"