Town Bloody Hall

It may seem hard to believe now, but once upon a time, debate was a blood sport, and attracted an audience beyond the glassy-eyed, slack-jawed devotees of debased propaganda-troughs like the Fox News Channel. Town Bloody Hall documents a  ...

The Big Heat

All film noir is, at bottom, bitter. Even when the stories are about one man's solitary struggle against an overwhelmingly corrupt system (and they almost all are), the prevailing message is never that it's possible to reform the system,  ...

Dark Day/Live in Verona – Fred Anderson Quartet

Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson is one of the most surprising success stories of the 1990s. Originally emerging as a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the mid-1960s, he played with members of the  ...

The Swimmer

No movie sets itself in suburban America, these days, unless it's a "dark" or "sardonic" look at "the underside of the American dream." It's the most enduring cliche of the past two decades, from Ordinary People through American Beauty,  ...

Our Band Could Be Your Life – Michael Azerrad

The punks won. Dismissed upon emergence as an aberration, a mindlessly destructive tantrum at the expense of legitimate rock music, the “punk aesthetic” has been assimilated into mainstream American culture to such an extent that it’s hard to imagine  ...

The Man with the Golden Arm

Frank Sinatra's portrayal of a junkie dealer-turned-drummer in The Man With The Golden Arm can make a viewer wonder why Darren Aronofsky bothered with Requiem For A Dream at all. Junkies all have the same story--it's a tale of  ...

Come What May – Paula West

Our review of Paula West at the Plush Room Jazz vocal is an artistic pathway littered with potential pitfalls. If a singer doesn’t wander off into pointless, pretentious scatting a la Betty Carter, she  ...

Things Behind the Sun

This doesn’t look like an Allison Anders movie. Anders, the writer-director of Gas Food Lodging, Mi Vida Loca and Crazy Town (as well as the clumsy, regrettable rock ’n’ roll valentine Grace Of My Heart), has always told tough  ...

The Blackout

Abel Ferrara's movies are often much more than they seem. He routinely transcends his seemingly genre-bound storylines. While he may appear to be making a "gangster movie" (King Of New York, The Funeral), or a "cop movie" (Bad Lieutenant),  ...