Archive for January 23rd, 2018


By J.D. Lafrance

The Stranger (1946) is generally regarded by Orson Welles aficionados as a standard thriller done for money, and to prove to studio executives that he could work within the system (it had been four years since his last directorial effort). He even said as much in interviews, and criticized the studio for cutting approximately thirty minutes from the beginning of the film that he wrote himself. Admittedly, it is not in the same league as, say, Touch of Evil (1958), but the film does have its merits. The Stranger is a tightly plotted and well-acted thriller that bears his unique stamp, in spite of it being a director-for-hire project.

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by attractivevariance

Part 1 (50-31) can be seen here, while Part 2 (30-16) can be seen here. If you’d like to hear a spotify playlist of my favorite songs off my top 50 in order that they appeared, go here in the spotify app.

Irreversible Entanglements – Irreversible Entanglements
If there was a record this year that really floored me, even if mostly out of being caught of guard, it was this one. It’s nearly a straight avant-garde jazz record, with a political beat poetry sensibility recalling the trailblazing works of Gil Scott-Heron/The Last Poets. The thing that seems different is the violence in the air, or the decades of music that have come between. Since The Last Poets we’ve had punk, hardcore, thrash, riot grrrl, and gangster rap and that all matters here, as even if we don’t touch them sonically, their anger simmers in the boil next to these arrangements. It produces a stew that even when it’s as cool and detached as jazz can be, there seems to also be a siren in the room, a fevered burst ready to spring. It makes the record taut and uneasy, even if we listen knowing their isn’t a false misstep anywhere. Here come the assassins, and they’re checking their lists.  (more…)

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