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April 2006 Archives

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On Tuesday, April 25th, the Film Snob brain trust of David Kamp and Lawrence Levi heralded the opening of the Tribeca Film Festival by appearing on John Schaefer’s WNYC radio program Soundcheck.* Have a listen or download the SnobCast onto your portable iSnob player by clicking here.

* Morning Edition newsman and Highland Park, New Jersey, native Soterios Johnson has informed us via e-mail that writer and Columbia journalism professor Samuel Freedman was on The Brian Lehrer Show today, meaning that three alumni of Highland Park High School–Johnson, Freedman, and Kamp–appeared on separate WNYC programs within hours of one another.

April 25, 2006 More Film Snobbery »


Dylan Cowboy.jpg
This extraordinary era of Zimmy Glasnost–the Scorsese documentary, the Chronicles book, the jolly cowboy outfits–continues apace with Bob Dylan’s forthcoming program on XM Radio, The Theme Time Radio Hour, which will premiere in May. You can click here to listen to an engaging preview of Bob-as-DJ; the music is old-timey and the vibe is pitched around 1958, in a bulletnose Studebaker Commander headin’ west on I-94 from Fargo to Billings at 1:30 a.m. with the wipers goin’. Bob hams it up with aplomb and offers his own insights, such as “We forget how much Elvis wanted to be Dean [Martin].”

The theme of the preview program is... weather! Bob, in fun-fact mode, informs us that the windiest city in America is not Chicago but Dodge City, Kansas!

(NOTE: The XM site will prompt you to enter a username and a password. For the former, enter press1 [that’s the numeral “1” after “press”] and for the latter, enter xmr0ck5! [The exclamation point is part of the password, and the “0” is the numeral, not the letter “o,” while the “5” is the numeral, and not the letter “s.”] The audio will take a little while to load on your media player, but it’s worth it.)

April 19, 2006 More Rock Snobbery »


Kurt Loder’s iTunes celebrity playlist is Snobworthy enough, with rootsy trax by Willie Dixon and Etta James and a song from L.A. sessioneer extraordinaire David Lindley’s side project El Rayo-X (pronounced, as Snobs know, “El Rye-O ECK-eez”), but he’s also got some refreshingly counter-Snob-tuitive stuff in there: “I Know There’s Something Going On,” the “In the Air Tonight”-like breakup song by Frida from Abba (produced, as it happens, by Phil Collins), and a live version of “Tonight,” a putrid Tina Turner-David Bowie duet from the nadir of Bowie’s “happy” Eighties period. Give the Lodester credit for following his heart and not doing a phony list conjured up just to impress fellow Snobs.

April 18, 2006 More Rock Snobbery »


The current edition of The Weekly Standard includes an amusing review of Basic Instinct 2 in which the improbably named author, Sonny Bunch, packs in as many terms from The Film Snob*s Dictionary as he can, including a nod to I Am Curious (Yellow) by the freshly departed Vilgot Sjoman. This doesn’t mitigate the whole Iraq-war fiasco, Bill Kristol, but give this Bunch kid a raise.

April 11, 2006 More Film Snobbery »


It’s been eleven years since crooner, sixties teen idol, and Rock Snob cause célèbre Scott Walker released one of the strangest albums ever, Tilt, which can best be described (if incompletely) as Trent Reznor filtered through the Weimar Republic. Now, he’s back with a new, every-bit-as-strange album, The Drift (due out in May), and, through the magic of YouTube, you can see him as he is now, granting a rare TV interview to some compassionate BBC dolly bird. The best part comes at the end, when they show footage of Scott and his musicians recording The Drift in the studio, using a raw slab of bacon as a percussion instrument.

April 10, 2006 More Rock Snobbery »


In case you missed these pieces, The Film Snob*s Dictionary was the subject of some intriguing writeups in mid-March: a characteristically terse reviewette in Variety and an inordinately weighty think piece by Richard Schickel in the L.A. Times. Schickel’s article is flattering even as he resists falling in love with the book, yet puzzling in its desire to evaluate The Film Snob*s Dictionary as if it were some kind of scholarly tract by Jonathan Rosenbaum. As we’ve said in interviews, the opinions expressed within the book are genuine, but the book itself is, let’s face it, a novelty paperback. Next: Harold Bloom on Why Do Men Have Nipples?

April 04, 2006 More Film Snobbery »


The Film Snob*s Dictionary has won an especially big reception in Canada, mostly but not exclusively favo(u)rable. Click here for an evaluation by an appreciative Canadian film critic. And, if you want some more reading material, here’s a brief commentary by a snippy but benevolent Canadian, and here’s a brief commentary by a snippy and humo(u)rless Canadian who flatly asserts that “Office Space is not a film-snob cause célèbre.” Arrant nonsense, hoser!

April 03, 2006 More Film Snobbery »

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