Thursday, June 29, 2006

On pretentiousness

It's funny that I'm writing anything on pretentiousness, since I sometimes wonder what it really means anymore. (Note to self: Look up "pretentious" on The denotative definition I seem to get everywhere is "claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified," which even at first glance sounds completely subjective. Examining "pretentious" subjectively, I'm confused as to whether it really means overreaching, overachieving, simply aiming high or whether or not that's something the word just encompasses as part of itself. Sometimes I think its just as simple as "pretentious = artsy." I'll mull over the many different colloquial synonyms for "pretentious" a bit later.

I think "prententious" could be one of those words, its a distinct possibility anyway, that has been purposefully, negatively connotated. If it weren't, more people would be, or at least try to be, "that way." For example, "stingy" or "tight" is just a meaner word (what's the opposite of euphemism? expletive?) for "fiscally conservative." These words are firey and they keep people down with the threat of getting burned. I don't like it.

At this point in my personal life, I will gladly admit (at least in print, right now) that I AM A PRETENTIOUS PERSON. I believe that one can never truly see oneself. Like Chuck Klosterman said in "Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs," "I have never met anyone who has been truly self-aware." You can never truly see yourself. So it took me a long time to realize, particularly through writing and pontification about the arts (particularly music and film) I consume, that I am a pretentious person because I consume pretentiousness so ravenously. I admit it, I am pretentious.

I like pretentious music (see: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, progressive rock, free jazz, etc.), pretentious food (health foods, "organic" anything, remoulades, most French cooking, etc.), pretentious words (crux, nomenclature, unwieldy, ethereal, dubious, "somnambulist" as an insult, etc.) and most anything else pretentious, of which, you can think. Sometimes, I truly try not to be, but most of the time I am who I am, and that's pretentious. I cannot deny it. There would be no point because if I went on a voyage to rid myself of it, I'd just end back up where I started-- full circle.

At least if I were an English, Philosophy or Humanities student, this kind of thing could be expected, but I'm not and its not. I'm a newspaper journalism student (journos are "elitist," not pretentious, but I'll deal with synonymic semantics later) who needs to be less pretentious, according to the right side of my brain. Or my superego. Depends on who you believe.

Hell, just look at the title of this post! "On pretentiousness"! I can't even talk about pretentiousness without being pretentious. Though, I imagine it'd be difficult not to be.

This is exactly what I'm talking about.

I already touched on my personal life, but I've also acknowleged pretentiousness in my professional life, too. We won't even get into how pretentious I, or anyone else, can easily be in my creative life. Since, at college age, the development of my professional life is critical my choices of career goals are easily open to the criticism of being overly pretentious: pop music critic, film critic, professor, documentary filmmaker, therapist, something in a legal feild (anyone who knows me knows that I dig arguing). All these career paths are pretentious to some extent. I can only conclude that these are just things I naturally do. To touch back on food against (because, hey, garbage in garbage out!) I will always be "too good" for Subway or Jimmy Johns. Instead, I will go out of my way to eat at Quizno's. I won't mind spending more money because it makes me feel good-- nutritionally and egotistically. This will forever be my fate (while I wrote this, I didn't say "shall," there, though I thought about it and stopped myself).

There is hope for me and people like me, however, because I don't buy into some of the more tried and true pretentious habits that other unconsciously indulge in. A prime example: anachronistically using romance language vocabulary amidst normal, vulgar English (I find myself doing this, but only very rarely, like when I talk about the electronica group Kraftwerk-- the "w" is pronounced with a "v" because they're German). Its magnified when the non-English word is spoken in that language's regional accent, or some approximation thereof, in an effort to seem superior, more cultured or better-educated than the person to which one is speaking (see: Paul Giamatti's character Miles in the first minutes of "Sideways").

Often times, pissing contests (or "pretense-offs") ensue between two pretentious douchebags to see who is the more sophisticated (see: the New York City literati fart smelling in "Capote"). Citing picky eating (right here), an abnormal desire for coffee and/or espresso (I can take it or leave it), any use of the word "philistine" (see: Jeff Daniels' wonderful scene in "The Squid and the Whale") and just about ever liberal-arts professor ever is understanding overkill at this point. You get what I mean.

"South Park" touched on this matter somewhat recently, with its usual rancor and satirical saber-rattling. "Smug Alert," an episode dedicated to satirizing present-day hybrid car drivers and their "pious," fart-smelling (no, literally, they stick their heads in their ass and inhale deeply) culture. Instead of driving Priuses, they drive "Piouses." It should be noted here that "pious" is to sociopolitical issues, "pretentious" is to sociocultural issues, so parallels are easily drawn. The kind of fart smelling and egotism of "these people" (here's where I make up for my pretentiousness, by getting down to unpretentious brass tacks) is often manifested into San Franciscan liberal Democrats, per the episode, but geography and creed don't necessarily exclude anyone that isn't a liberal or a Democrat or a liberal Democrat. The creators of "South Park," Trey Parker and Matt Stone, verbally belittle liberals and virtually all persuasions (from the autistic to, well, I'm sure they've insulted Zoroasterarians, too) with their Peabody award-winning satire, but have often saved their sharpest barbs for the most pretentious of the liberal intellegensia: Barbara Streisand (why they do that I don't really get, and my Jewish mother hates), Michael Moore (who Trey Parker said he would "punch in the face" if they were to meet in person), George Clooney (arf arf!) and even the lesser-exposed, less-telegenic Rob Reiner (cuz he's fat!).

It shows there's precedent to this, my final argument and personally held belief: I revile pretentiousness in a field that inherently so, like the arts, and I'm not alone in that stance. I am not the first and, hopefully, probably, not the last to do so.

In closing, anything elitist, academic, smug, snobby, erudite, sophisticated, snooty, high-horse, pious, affluent, cultured, artsy, la-de-da, genteel, hoity-toity, pompous and, my favorite of the bunch, highfalutin' should be done in moderation. And that's the least pretentiousness thing I've said in this posting.

Thanks for reading. My favorites from the first half of 2006 is coming up real soon.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hipsters dancing with Ghostface Killah

This and more from the FADER's report from the Pitchfork Intonation Music Festival. One of the best, most hilarious concert reports I've ever read.

Monday, June 26, 2006

...And the Slint shall rise again!

From Billboard:

Meanwhile, work continues on the DVD chronicling Slint's brief 2005 reunion tour, but as [guitarist David] Pajo notes, the Slint camp has never been known for operating within time constraints.

"In Slint, there's no real leader, so it's hard to get things going," he says. "We were also talking about remastering the records. I don't think 'Spiderland' was mastered properly, at least the CD version. We want to go back to the original tapes and make a remastered CD version that will sound more like what it is supposed to sound like. But we'd have to agree on who does it, where and if we all need to be present. We don't have anybody organized enough to set all this up. But all this stuff will get done. It will come out eventually."

Fuck yeah.

Quotes by Dwight D. Eisenhower

The second-greatest Republican President of all time

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that's assault, not leadership."

"The only way to win World War III is to prevent it."

"I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center."

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."

...And I almost forgot my favorite:

"In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex."

-from my new favorite site,

Related note: "Why We Fight," one of my favorite films of the year so far that takes its cue from that final Ike quote, is finally getting a release on DVD.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


No, not those briefs! These briefs:

  • Matt Stone's memo to the MPAA re: South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. I guess the last part of that title's trifectica was false advertising, hmm?

  • Hilary Duff makes a pretty good argument against her critics, lashing out with her new Elle cover story. Hilary Duff is the new Eminem.

  • Bryan Singer is gay. News to me. In other news, Ian McKellen is still gay. Very, very gay.

  • Let's take a moment of silence for this picture. This post has taken its final homoerotic left turn.
  • Thursday, June 15, 2006

    In brief

    I'll have one of my long rants for you to read later, but for now, here are some other notable stories:

  • Something else for M.I.A. to "rap" about.

  • Epitonic is back and has relaunched with a new look. I've added it to my links section for your convenience. This site, dormant for a little over a year as of late, was key for me (and will be key once more) to discovering good, new music. Highly reccommended.

  • New FADER is here. I got it yesterday afternoon. You can check it out online, too (massive PDF download here). The issue is awesome so far. It has a particularly moving story, written by the L.A. Weekly's John Albert, on Greg Dulli (ex-Afghan Whigs) currently of the Twilight Singers, which, according to the article, has encompassed artists from Ani DiFranco to Bob Mould at one time or another. His soulful new album, "Powder Burns," is like the best of U2, the Whigs (duh) and... let's say... Sonic Youth in one. It's a slow grower, but ultimately a big shower.

  • Sonic Youth performed at CBGB for the first time in over a decade (that's where they started, folks!), and that's pretty cool of them. It proves that they remember their roots (like R.E.M.) and don't abandon where they came from, and that's righteous. It also proves they're musically irrelevant and have been for some time. If your only major publicity ploy for your new album is to play the same venue you did when you were in college, it spells "l-a-m-e" not "s-a-l-e-s." I would gladly exchange the breakup of Sonic Youth for another alternative band's reunion-- like Soundgarden.
  • Saturday, June 10, 2006

    What you know about a big DVD pile, son? (the third)

    Note: Especially through the summer, this will be made a regular weekly feature.

  • "The Man Who Wasn't There" -- This another solid movie from the Coen Brothers that's everything you expect from them: dry, dark humor, crisp images and restrained acting performances. To be honest, I didn't even recognize Billy Bob Thornton in this movie for the first five or ten minutes. He's so low-key and white bread (read: non-southern), you don't even figure its him.

  • "Catch Me If You Can" -- Spielberg is so good with period peices like this, ranging from the dapper '50s to the swinging mid-'60s (the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" single on reel-to-reel tape circa '64 coupled with bright mod pastelles is a nice touch), and you get to see President Bartlett (I refuse to call Martin Sheen by his real name anymore, he's President Bartlett and he'll never be anything else) with a deep southern, New Orleans accent! And Tom Hanks with a New England one! Hijinx ensue!

    I only refer to specific fragments of this movie because it is so dense and there's so many different acts to the movie, and therefore the real-life basis for the film, Frank Abagnale Jr. It really is a well-acted movie, and that's probably its strongest attribute. I once heard an old southern belle refer to this movie as "cute." "That movie was cute," she said. For some reason I had that in mind throughout watching this and I was floored at the kind of selective memory some people choose to have. I suppose "cute" is pretty close to the mark of how to describe this film, though.

  • "Fateless" -- Kind of a downer (it's a Holocaust movie, which is as prevalent as romantic comedies now), but also kind of a "triumph over overwhelming adversity through faith" movie. It helped me understand the kind of mindstate that desperate people have, groveling for their lives, and how they (and future generations) deal with that kind of psychic shockwave afterward. Specifically, it made me realize that Jews and African-Americans have co-opted their respective religions in such a way that it is more than just a faith in times of trouble (read: faith "when you need it"), but the very thing that gives them hope and the will to carry on... at all times. It may be sad but true, but its also a testament to the human spirit, or at least human adaptivity.

  • "Flirting With Disaster" -- It's one in a long line of liberal family movies, but its a very good liberal family movie because David O. fucking Russell did this movie, who consistently impresses me with each movie he does. "Three Kings"? Great movie, probably his best. "I Heart Huckabees"? A little annoying, overwritten, but an excellent movie. One of the most unique writer/directors I've ever seen. "Flirting With Disaster," his first and possibly only straight-up comedy, only has a couple of his unique flourishes (like the acting out of tangental possibilities) but his snappy dialogue is all over the place. And check out the cast delivering it, for God's sake: Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Téa Leoni, Alan Alda, Mary Tyler Moore, Pearl Coplin, George Segal and Lily Tomlin. See this movie, for serious.

    So I'll be seeing "Prarie Home Companion" and probably "Cars" this weekend. Both of these movies I heard about years ago, so it should be nice to close the book on them. Both should have a lot of talking, so I'll sit up front. PHC will probably be one of Robert Altman's last movies, so I'm seeing an Altman movie, now, in the theater, while I can. I suggest you do, too. His movies are hard to listen to (because of all the overlapping dialogue that you, or I, struggle to hear), but there's a contrast to that: you know the dramatic technique where someone is about to give shocking news to someone else, they tell a third party and then go into another room to tell the person who it will shock, or crush? Altman invented the technique of the dramatic door close and the mute delivery of the news, as used often on "ER" or "The West Wing", or probably anything else John Wells has been involved in. (A quick endnote: According to Entertainment Weekly (shut up) and backed up by IMDb, Altman's stand by on PHC was none other than Paul Thomas Anderson, who was on-set with him at all times, no doubt learning a whole lot-- say what???)
  • Fascinating

    Check out this guy, Evan. He lost his T-Mobile sidekick in Manhattan, where he lives (he's a fashion photographer or something) and has sought revenge for a few days straight now. You wouldn't believe the leads he's getting from these stupid, stupid people he's tracking down. He filed police reports and everything, and even major news media out lets (1010 AM WINS in New York City) has gotten a hold of his story.

    This has become an internet sensation, but be careful when you read these entries, because they are fucking long. It's exhaustive, even, but it builds up a strange tension. My favorite, most telling part of this serial is:

    "I love you guys and I respect the attention you have given this page...But you need to realize something... THE REAL WORLD DOES NOT MOVE AT THE SAME SPEED AS THE WORLD ON THE INTERNET. I don't know how else to explain it... I can't PUSH the police into moving any faster."

    Mark my words, this will go down in internet cultural history. In the future, our private dicks and investigative journalists will be exclusively web-based and this will be the antecedent.

    Thursday, June 08, 2006


    Funniest messageboard comeback quip image ever, or sight gag that gets funnier and funnier each time you look at it?

    At a loss

    Look at this video (warning: not work safe) and try and form a coherent, much less intellegent and critical, reaction. I couldn't do it.

    My little obsession

    Would you online/professionally stalk this woman if she were a talented rock critic?

    Well, I am. Sort of.

    Sia Michel, former SPIN Editor-in-Chief (and I refuse to link to SPIN's current incarnation on principle), is now writing for the NYT Arts section. Hallejuliah, hallejuliah. Seeing her writing and Kelefah Sanneh's next to former Rolling Stoner (har har-- again, no link on reasons of dignity and principle) Jon Pareles' all next to each other is... mindblowingly good, to say the least.

    Oh yeah, and she's super duper hot. There's that...

    In related news: I picked up a book of collected music criticism exclusively by women called "Rock She Wrote" on my sabbatical. I haven't read it yet, and Sia Michel isn't included in it, since it was published in '99, kind of before her peak. Female critics like Ann Powers and Dream Hampton (including really foxy writer/musicians like Patti Smith and Kim Gordon!) are included. Check it out, if you can.

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Yesterday was 6/6/06

    The world fucking ended. And I pumped some fucking "Reign in Blood."

    It was awesome.

    Somehow, I still find the time to blog. Don't ask how, I'm just good.

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    It's about damn time!

    Clear Channel finally gets challenged by the anti-trust in the arena of live music (har har pun intended). Eat it, Mark Mays!

    By the way, doesn't it look like he's about utter a Mr. Burns-esque "eeeexcellent..." right there? Just sayin'.

    We love you, Opie!

    Now I don't mean to post this cute/embarassing picture of a young Opie-era Ron Howard in the way of kitsch or sillyness or irreverence, but I mean it completely sincerely.

    Last night, a coup happened in my head. Ron Howard officially trumped David Lynch as my favorite director. Lynch had held an almost year-long crown in my constantly-expanding world of film. "Blue Velvet," "Mulholland Drive," "Wild at Heart" and (of course) the "Twin Peaks" saga had slammed my imagination to the ground and gave it a good beating. I'd never seen images fractured and made absolutely horrifying the way David Lynch had done it.

    Since, I've seen many imitators (Takashi Miike), followers (again, Miike in his best moments) and avant-garde also rans (David Cronenberg), but none quite like Lynch. (Note: I consider David Cronenberg a Lynch also ran because he basically has Lynch's style turned inside out, they came around at the same time from different visual media, they're both basically Canadian, Lynch is from the Pacific Northwest as one can deduce from "Twin Peaks," and Cronenberg even momentarily toppled Lynch-- until I actually saw "A History of Violence," which is far from the '80s, top-of-his-game Cronenberg but still a good movie-- during Lynch's year-long reign on a technicality, but that's beside the point.) Cronenberg, the only remote challenger to Lynch in my mind at the time, had his stylistic ebbs and flows and gradual descents in consistency with age, but Lynch seems to be better and better-- more adaptable-- with time. In 2001, Many called "Mulholland Drive" his best work since "Twin Peaks" and they're probably right, though its hard to determine these things (anything concretely, really) with David Lynch.

    To get back to my point and hopefully (hopefully poigantly) relate Ron Howard to my digression way back there, Ron Howard strangely fits the mold of both an American filmmaker, an Americana filmmaker and (as of late, AND THIS GETS ME!) an Americana avant-garde filmmaker, like David Lynch does in his own strange way. There's no sub-subgenre that rivets me more than Americana avant-garde. It's inspiring. It takes the weird, molds it into something the American public at-large can digest and say: "This is normal. Watch this, you'll love it, guaranteed." And you know what? They do! They eat the shit up because its marketed to them correctly! And it blows my mind when, in "The Da Vinci Code," the scenes where Howard uses his now-signature projected-text technique, or his Peckinpah-cum-Speilberg way of humanistically portraying brutality, audiences just sit there and accept it as a new, and get this, higher standard of mainstream, American filmmaking. It blows my mind and makes me very happy that movies like this, slowly but surely, increase the sophistication of the at-large American public. God knows we, and I include myself in that with "we," need it. Right now someone in Silver Spring, at the American Film Institute is pee'ing their pants in excitement.

    Speaking of AFI, a bit of ass-kissing Bravo TV programming came on late last night. It was like Inside the Actor's Studio (which came on directly beforehand with a Tom Hanks interview-- that guy's so regular, he's cool), but less intimate and intense and in a bigger room, so the pretentiousness had a little air in which to dissipate. It was a re-run, and I had not seen it before. I had meant to see it, which is why I stayed up (and because I'm attempting to switch my sleeping hours). It's called "Moving Image: A Tribute to Ron Howard" and it is a monster of a tribute program (or "whatever this is," as David Cross put it when they showed a recorded clip of the out-of-work "Arrested Development" cast begging-but-not-begging for roles in his future films). The program is emotional wallop after emotional wallop. Clips that I forgot about from movies I had already seen (Hey, "Willow," long time no see!), facts I forgot or didn't even know about Ron Howard (I'm embarassed to say this, but I didn't remember that Opie narrated "Arrested Development"!) and reminders what movie magic can do in the right hands. Even the clips of "Backdraft" or "Cocoon," the more ham-fisted of Howard's movies, are very moving in that pure, emotional, Spielbergian sort of way. Ron Howard is one of the very few throughout film history that can balance both intellegent, groundbreaking filmmaking with middle American cinematic catharsis and not be an unamiable public figure, considered pretentious (one in the same, sort of) or having his art marginalized commercially.

    Directors like David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Wes Anderson, David O. Russell and so on all try to make challenging and mainstream movies, but are mostly relegated to NPR/Borders Land with book-on-tape, mainstream intellectuals that listen to nothing but Coldplay on endless repeat. The two directors that succeed best at getting the middle American to watch better movies are Opie (no man is more deserving of his own Wiki entry) and M. Night Shyamalan. (The only difference between the two is that Opie knows he's not a writer, or at least not a very good one, plus there's a good chance that Shyamalan was an Indian goth kid-- let that one settle into the noggin for a second-- and not an aw-shucks type like Opie, or at least owns one Cure album.)

    Sure, when all is said and done, "The Da Vinci Code" (like most of Howard's movies as of late) will probably underperform at the box office, will be an all-time leukwarmer with the critics but still be one of the most talked-about movies of this decade. Movies like this, and the internet, have made post-millenial American culture better.

    I mentioned the AFI earlier, and I happened upon a brief some intern, I'm sure, popped into their website about an award they gave in '02 to "Gilmore Girls," one of my favorite TV shows (though for the sake of what little masculinity I try to hold onto, I try not say that out loud) that sums up what I'm talking about, about enlightened media. It says, "'Gilmore Girls' fulfills television's promise to elevate its audience through entertainment. The program creates a beautifully self-contained universe, where the traditional rules of television seem not to apply."

    That's what I'm saying. We love you, Opie.

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    They are... THE SUPERFRIENDS!

    From the New York Times:

    Pool photo by Michael Kappeler

    The chief negotiators on Iran's nuclear program, from left [as represented by their country's flags]: Dai Bingguo of China, Sergey Lavrov of Russia, Condoleezza Rice of the United States, Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, Jack Straw of Britain, Philippe Douste-Blazy of France and Javier Solana of the European Union.

    I'm sorry, but am I the only one that finds that picture unintentionally hilarious and strangely uplifting, given our country's negative international image right now?

    To sum up: Three high-ranking diplomats (Dai Bingguo of China, whose midget ass they should've put in the front; Javier Solana of the EU who looks like he's about to walk away saying "seriously, fuck these poseurs"; and Jack Straw of Britain whose leary eyes are reflecting the terror-paranoid zeitgeist of his country) got caught looking off camera; one with his eyes closed (Sergey Lavrov of Russia, whose vodka-fueled, tall manliness makes Bingguo look even shorter); one looks like he's taking his 8th grade LifeTouch yearbook photo (I see you, Philippe Douste-Blazy of France! Step your stance game up, man, you're FRENCH! We expect more style from you! Work it, work it, own it, own it!); and, finally, the two lovebirds in the middle of the photo.

    I mean, look at those two! Their hands suspiciously inches apart, big broad smiles, Condi with her head coquettishly turned away from the camera-- frankly, I can't blame Condi for being so flirtacious. She's so take-charge and professional all the time, she probably needs strapping German diplomat Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany in her life. Go Condi!

    EDIT: You know I almost, almost, ALMOST put some scarcely-informed bit on upcoming U.S. foreign policy on Iran after this, just to balance things out, to not seem like an apathetic, hide-from-the-reality-of-the-world-through-silly-humor jackass, but then I said: "Ah, fuck it."

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    I didn't care for 'The Godfather' either...

    Ok, so maybe I'm the only one I know who saw this "Family Guy" episode, but this bit totally got me. Like I could hardly believe that anyone else felt this way. I don't know if it was Seth McFarlane's idea or any of the other 20 writers/producers on the show's idea, but its fucking brilliant. For me, "Family Guy" hasn't done a really, bowl-me-over, killer joke in a while, so this bit is especially great for me.

    Now I know I can't be the only one who wasn't ga-ga over "The Godfather." To be fair, I just never dug mob movies that much. I gotta respect Father Coppola's craft, though. The "take the canoli" scene in the first "Godfather" is breathtaking. But I found "The Conversation" a little more gripping as far as screenplay.

    Related note: Is it just me or was Sofia Coppola a bit of an ugly duckling in Godfather Part 3? Now, she's cute as a button, but then? Yikes. Did somebody say "nosejob?"

    Since no one else will tell you...

    The Fucking Champs released their third record on Tuesday.

    It's called, cleverly, "III." Since no one else I know of has reviewed it, or probably even knows about it, let me just link you to All Music Guide's review.

    Better you heard it from me than from them.

    On an inverse note: Juana Molina's "Son" was played in half its entirety on V89's album side at five a couple of days ago. It's as awesome as I'd thought it would be. If you wish to download a track, download "Yo No." It got released LAST Tuesday, and you need to pick it up. Especially if you dig burbiling synths (read: Stereolab-via-the-late-Mary-Hansen), smooth-as-caramel vocals, Argentina, Beth Orton, Erin McKeown or Aimee Mann. Just sayin'.

    I don't know which is more shocking...

    The fact that muthafuckas DIE in "X3", or the box office records it fucking destroyed this Memorial Day weekend.

    Or maybe the fact that it made The Da Vinci Code" its bitch. "X3" grossed THREE TIMES what "Code" did and earned half its production costs back in four days. I guarantee you it will have a stellar second week, too, since all that's really coming out this weekend is some silly, semi-formulaic romantic comedy. Girlfriend-less nerds don't want to see that shit, so they'll just see the X-Men movie (again?), even if its visually lacking in relation to the rest of its trilogy.

    In other movie news: I was satisfied to see tepid at-best reviews for Sofia Coppola's upcoming hipster aesthetics-fest period peice "Marie Antoinette." It showed at Cannes last week and everyone was expecting big things. I, however, know better. (Mainly because I find the con- and subtext of "Lost in Translation" vile... don't even get me started!) Ms. Coppola's style and limited filmography is like lavender-colored gourmet cotton candy (yes, they have gourmet cotton candy now), perfect for the O.C. generation: cotton candy is tasty every once in a blue moon and lavender is a beautiful, deep, rich color to be enjoyed by a keen eye, but you're still EATING COTTON FUCKING CANDY. Meanwhile, I'm looking high and low online for some kind of info on David Lynch's new film "Inland Empire" (which was supposed to debut at either the Cannes or Venice Film Festivals) and I find jack squat.

    By the way, say "cotton candy" over and over again and it becomes more ridiculous-sounding every time... No, seriously...