Monday, May 16, 2005

The Weekly, Volume One

The start of a continuing series of stuff worth our time.

Album
Some Cities (Doves)
The vastly under-appreciated third album from the UK dream pop trio. A record that not only has a few really strong singles (the shimmery "Almost Forgot Myself" has a hook that just won't quit), but also holds up as a unified work. They're at Kool Haus with Mercury Rev this evening.

Film
Layer Cake (dir. Matthew Vaughn)
A British caper film bearing only passing resemblance to the (all flash and no payoff) oeuvre of Guy Ritchie. The story gets a tad convoluted as we follow the exploits of a slick drug dealer toward their inevitable conclusion, but the performance of lead Daniel Craig (previously memorable in Road to Perdition) and Vaughn's dynamic visual style keep one's interest high. The film doesn't get a wide release for a couple of weeks, but tenacious film fans/digital media buffs can see it by employing various nefarious means.

Book
Warriors of God (James Reston Jr.)
Finished this up last week... A fantastically interesting popular history of the Third Crusade, circa 1187, starring the English King Richard "the Lionheart" and the Muslim leader Saladin, who, during his lifetime, united the diverse sects of Islam under his banner. This particular account is to be commended for its objectivity in discussing issues of religion, politics and society that remain relevant almost 1,000 years later. Reston's prose is sharp (and at times quite witty), and a genuine affection for his subjects is evident. Warriors of God is a work of non-fiction that is impossible to put down, and a great companion piece to Umberto Eco's 2003 novel Baudalino, which is set among the same events.

2 Comments:

Blogger the man with no name said...

i have checked out 'some cities' and it is good.

i have been meaning to check out 'layer cake' as i saw a brilliant commercial on the 'tele' the other night. perhaps i will stoop to one of these 'nefarious' means you speak of and get a hold of it.

i have never even heard of 'warriors of god' but i may check it out based on your glowing review.*

*chances of me actually checking it out are minute.

5/16/2005 8:05 a.m.  
Anonymous Z said...

Note: Daniel Craig is very likely going to end up being the next James Bond, now that Clive Owen declined the role.

5/16/2005 6:09 p.m.  

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