It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegone, I mean New Orleans. Where the hell did that come from? I’m not tall enough to be Garrison Keillor and I hate cold weather. I would not, however, mind being Guy Noir if a gig as Marlowe or Spade isn’t available. It actually has NOT been a quiet week in New Orleans but I’m taking a monuments moratorium. If a Lost Causer waves a Confederate battle flag at me, I’ll shove it up their ass. Garrison would never do such a thing…
This was the week that the Insult Comedian flipped his weave. Again. The MSM may have finally realized how stupid the president* is. They’re slow learners. They’ve yet to learn that he neither plans anything nor ever tells the truth. In short, the electoral college winner is a moron. The dumbest Oval One ever. God save the Republic from this dipshit.
This week’s theme song is the underrated Rolling Stones tune One Hit (To The Body.) It placed number 61 on a Vulture mega-listicle rating all 374 songs the Stones have recorded. I’ll take a closer look at the list later, but it’s time to rock:
The song uses a physical fight as a metaphor for a break-up. I’m not sure if they had a romantic relationship in mind. One Hit comes from Dirty Work, which was released right before the Stones took a four-year hiatus and nearly called it quits. Keith was so pissed at Mick that he recorded what amounted to his version of How Do You Sleep:
Now that I’ve landed some blows, let’s go to the break before somebody gets hurt.
I enjoy messing with my readers, so we’ll start with a serious subject that’s been much on my mind of late.
The Great War & Artists: That’s right, more on the Great War; in this instance, on its profound effect on the art world. Who among us can forget this Kirchner self-portrait that I first posted in this space in July of 2016?
Kirchner was, of course, a German artist but the war had a major impact in the US&A as well. That’s the focus of a must read essay in the New York Review Of Books by James Fenton.
Let’s continue with a wee look at a new film set in that period.
The Lost City Of Zed: Dr. A and I saw this movie at a swell new-ish art house in New Orleans. When I said The Lost City Of Z, the ticker seller corrected me and said Zed. That’s why I decided to be literal in this space. What’s a bit of literalness or even Eliot Ness among friends?
The Lost City Of Z tells the story of explorer Percy Fawcett’s three expeditions to the Amazon. The first time, he went to map the border of Bolivia and Peru. He discovered traces of a lost ancient civilization. He returned twice after a “break” to command a unit in the Great War. Fawcett never found the lost city and disappeared along with his son on his final journey.
I love the way director James Gray depicts what might have happened on Fawcett’s last expedition. He leaves it up to the viewer’s imagination as to whether Fawcett and son were ritually murdered by indigenous people or ritually initiated into their tribe.
I went to the movie thinking it would have made a helluva project for John Huston back in the day. It’s more of a David Lean-style intimate epic. Besides, Huston wouldn’t have a made a film that was this sensitive to the locals. He’d go hunting and lose his fucking mind.
The cast is full of “young guns” such as Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson, and Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett. They were all excellent. There’s a fine piece about Hunnam in the failing NYT telling us how he got the part. Producer Brad Pitt originally cast himself but couldn’t do the movie. Hunnan, who is best known to me as Jax the “sensitive biker” on Sons of Anarchy, is actually English and is better casting than the Bradman.
It’s trailer time:
When I see a movie this long (140 minutes,) I usually opine as to where it could have been cut or tightened up. That was not the case with The City Of Lost Z hence the David Lean comparison. I give it 4 stars, an Adrastos grade of A- and a rousing Ebertian thumbs up. Catch it on the big screen if you can, but it will turn up on Amazon Prime because they helped foot the bill. A good job all around.
I teased you with the Stones earlier, let’s get down to it.
Vulture Ranks All 374 Rolling Stones Songs: I love Vulture’s OTT lists and this one may be the craziest of all. David Marchese has ranked the Stones’ entire recorded output with You Can’t Always Get What You Want at the top of the pops.
I don’t agree with all of his ratings. He’s way too hard on later albums such as Steel Wheels and Voodoo Lounge, which I quite like. He’s also not a fan of the songs on which Keith Richards sings lead. That made me unhappy because Happy is one of my favorite Stones tunes. At least Marchese acknowledges that:
Keith Richards is the Rolling Stone everyone loves, the one with whom you could imagine sharing a beer. Mick, not so much. If Jagger were even to deign to have a drink with a plebe, I suspect it’d entail something like his sipping a Peter Thiel vampire smoothie while peering at you through jeweled binoculars and having a Slovenian model smooth anti-aging unguents into his wrinkles. In other words, he’s not cool and Keith is.
Since I not only think he’s cool but like his raspy heartfelt vocals, here are my top five Keef Stones tunes.
Keith Richards + The Sopranos = Adrastos heaven.
The Saturday GIF: Speaking of body blows, watch how Charlie Chapin avoids them.
Saturday Classic: If you haven’t had enough Keith Richards for one day, here’s a 1988 concert from him and his crack band, The Xpensive Winos ,featuring NOLA’s own Ivan Neville on keyboards:
That’s it for this week. I spent the earlier part of it thinking about the French election. That’s why I’m giving my favorite French politician, the late Francois Mitterand, the last bat-word: