Weekend recs


Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class, by Jefferson Cowie (2010) 

Like a What’s the Matter with Kansas? with liner notes, this book’s hook is how Cowie reads cultural products of the time as reflecting shifts in working class identity from the mid ’60s through the early ’80s. Paul Schrader’s Blue Collar  is understandably featured in this ultimately depressing history of the American labor movement, but a speech from the following year’s Hardcore would be appropriate to consider in this context as well. At a Grand Rapids family gathering of Dutch Calvinists, the kids sit around watching a Christmas special when an uncle angrily shuts off the set and says, “Do you know who makes television? All the kids who couldn’t get along here go out to Hollywood and make TV and they send it back here. Well I didn’t like them when they were here and I don’t like them now they’re out there.” — Ruben Mancillas


Tape, dir. Richard Linklater (2001)

Based on a play by the modestly gifted Stephen Belber, it’s not a cult classic like Slacker or an intimate epic like the Before films. If it’s nobody’s darling among Linklater’s diverse oeuvre, it’s because it doesn’t quite work. Robert Sean Leonard is miscast and Ethan Hawke tries too hard, as does Linklater at times. Belber has written worse, but it’s only sporadically good stuff. Still, it’s an interesting formal exercise in real time in one room. Uma Thurman is slyly perfect, and there’s one extremely funny line/reading, right at the end. — Greg Freed

Wilco, “Get Lucky,” live at Solid Sound Festival, North Adams, MA, 6/21/13

Here’s one of my favorite videos of the last week. Despite the fact that it’s good ole Wilco. Despite the fact that it’s concert footage. Despite the fact that the sound quality is horrible. I still love this video. Why? Because it helped me like Wilco again. And because it helped me realize what a totally pliable song Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” is. It just gives and gives. Song of the Summer? If you haven’t played the just-released remix by Daft Punk themselves (10 minutes, available on Spotify, should be the centerpiece of any July 4th barbecue) then you are not having a kick-ass summer yet. Most enjoyable of all, perhaps, is Tambourine boy-candy at 2:41. By summer’s end let’s all perfect the move he starts to manifest at about 3:25. I’m practicing right now. Can’t wait to bust it at the next TGW party. Who’s with me? Happy Independence Day my lovelies! — Farrell Fawcett

11 responses to “Weekend recs”

  1. Bryan says:

    1) Welcome back, Mr. Mancillas. It’s been a long time! We have some catching up to do. 2) Thanks for the rec, Greg. I didn’t even know this film existed. 3) Thanks for this clip, Farrell. I had heard plenty about their cover of Marquee Moon, which doesn’t seem to have gone over quite as well with the crowd, except for that one girl who sings along with the guitar line. But now I’m inspired to listen to a few more of the covers from that all-covers set. Like you, I suffer from Wilco fatigue. But hearing them again is kind of like running into an old friend from high school, I guess.

  2. Rachel says:

    Speaking of old friends…new Pixies. Weird.

  3. Rachel says:

    Oops..the link didn’t work. Pixies.

  4. GF says:

    I think it was in theaters for about a minute. It’s on Netflix streaming though!

  5. GF says:

    (I feel funny having written such a lukewarm weekend rec, but I enjoyed watching it despite its flaws and figured it might be off people’s radar.)

  6. Dave says:


    “Ethan Hawke tries to hard.” Film at 11.

    Tambourine boy looks like Jon Wurster.

  7. GF says:

    Ethan Hawke is a better actor, at his best, than some people give him credit for.

  8. T-Mo says:

    I like the Pixies song, which sort of surprises me. Not that I don’t love the Pixies. It’s just that usually late-career new material is either a simple re-hash of earlier stuff, or an unsatisfactory departure. This song sounds like the Pixies but also different enough to make it worth it.

    The Wilco cover is so much fun. I have been over Wilco for so long, too, so it’s also surprising to me. Now I kind of want to see them again. Have you watched the vid of their cover of “Cut Your Hair”? Fun!

    I think there should be a rule that no movie can have both Robert Sean Leonard and Ethan Hawke (too much seemingly-clean-cut-but-sort-of-a-bad-boy white guy in one production), but Tape sounds interesting all the same. Wasn’t its real-time conceit compared when it was released to Hitchcock’s Rope? Is it actually one long take?

    Ruben! Oh. Em. Gee. It’s so nice to see your signature on a TGW post. It’s feeling like 2008 over here. Thank you for the book rec, even though I’m highly unlikely to read it. I’m depressed enough about the labor movement already. I’d love to have a look at Schrader’s Blue Collar, though. I’ve never been able to make it all the way through Hardcore. Eeessh!

  9. T-Mo says:

    And here’s my quasi ambivalent movie-you-likely-missed recommendation: Lymelife. With a stellar and well-known cast–Alec Baldwin, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, two of the Culkin kids, etc.–you’ll wonder why you hadn’t heard of it. That’s probably because it’s not a comedy (as the DVD box works really hard to claim), but a kind of re-make of The Ice Storm (1970s suburban family drama with casual drug use and infidelity, seen from the viewpoint of a teenage boy). It’s not amazing, but it’s worth a viewing. J-Man and I found a copy at the 99-cent store, and you probably can, too.

  10. J-Man says:

    ….in fact, we’ll happily lend/give it to anyone who would like to view it.

  11. Farrell Fawcett says:

    It was so fun to be a part of today’s weekend recs. Ruben (Ruben!! wtf?! yay!) and Greg you are lovely company. Thanks Rachel for the link to the Pixies. Hadn’t heard it yet. And T-Mo for your Lymelife review. This’ll be a fun weekend!