Tuesday, July 7, 2015

while we're young


The doldrums of adulthood and the yearning for youth isn't new territory for film, especially lately. Hit-or-miss but always interesting Noah Baumbach, who created the effervescent, sweetly affecting Frances Ha returns to the prolonged adolescence of gentrifying Brooklynites in While We're Young set to the same Vivaldi ditty from Kramer vs. Kramer. Ben Stiller (of Baumbach's tart Greenberg) and Naomi Watts (more free and funny than usual) are naturals at the helm, respectively playing a struggling documentary filmmaker and the daughter of a respected one (a solid, gruffly straightforward Charles Grodin), who ditch their baby-saddled couple friends for two put-upon hipsters Jamie (Adam Driver) and the suitably-named Darby (Amanda Seyfried) who live in a Bushwick apartment stocked with vinyl and VHS. At first glance, the youths seem relatively harmless and indifferent but once their devious natures are revealed, somewhat predictably, the aging couple re-examines their relationship.


For a comedy, it's imaginatively edited by Jennifer Lame with quick cuts of ironic, pop culture touchstones (Baumbach is good at those--like the paper sleeve of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot CD or the rippling, red-screened FBI warning of the Howling video--another film about innocents who fall prey to a circle of predatory cult-ish individuals). Veteran costumer Ann Roth's apparel is vividly pitch perfect (those hats and coats! Naomi's sleek, black Lincoln Center get-up!). Overall the film doesn't feel that original and occasionally the jokes fall flat (a rambling foray into an ayahuasca ceremony feels more like sloppy Apatow than acute Allen), nor does it soar to the heights of picaresque Ha, but when the movie hits some complex notes (the ending especially), it's a sharp blade. ***

-Jeffery Berg

Sunday, June 28, 2015

sunday candy



Just stumbled upon this amazing, blissful track from Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment (Donnie Trumpet, Chance The Rapper, Peter Cottontale, Nate Fox, and Stix for The Social Experiment, and Franco Davis).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

a groove



It's been too long since I last posted.

To herald my return from hiatus, here's a cheerful disco ditty by Kisses.