Tables For One
is a collection of restaurant reviews "from another New York City" by A. Ponitus and illustrated by Evan Johnson. The restaurants include Frito-Lay themed places
, salt-obsessed aliens
, a gelato cult
, notable NPR personalities,
and a cafe for heartbreak
Why Tina of Bob's Burgers Can't Be Ignored
"The eldest Belcher child is a unique character in the world of modern television. And this is a very good thing."
"One can almost hear the anticipatory echoes of something like Yelp in the context of José Ortega y Gasset’s The Revolt of the Masses
(1930). The multitude, he wrote, once “scattered about the world in small groups,” now appears “as an agglomeration.” It has “suddenly become visible, installing itself in the preferential positions in society. Before, if it existed, it passed unnoticed, occupying the background of the social stage; now it has advanced to the footlights and is the principal character.” The disgruntled diner, now able to make or break a restaurant through sheer collective will. Against this leveling of critical power, the old guard fulminates. Ruth Reichl, the former editor of Gourmet
, recently harrumphed that “anybody who believes Yelp is an idiot. Most people on Yelp have no idea what they’re talking about.”
, by Tom Vanderbilt, in The Wilson Quarterly [more inside]
, American author, journalist, critic and expert on Japan, dies at 88.
Smilingly excluded here in Japan, politely stigmatised, I can from my angle attempt only objectivity, since my subjective self will not fit the space I am allotted . . . how fortunate I am to occupy this niche with its lateral view. In America I would be denied this place. I would live on the flat surface of a plain. In Japan, from where I am sitting, the light falls just right – I can see the peaks and valleys, the crags and crevasses.
-- from The Japan Journals, 1947-2004 [more inside]
's Hatchet Job of the Year
rewards "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past 12 months," with the winning critic taking home a golden hatchet and a year's supply of potted shrimp. 2013's winner
: Camilla Long, for her devastating review
of Rachel Cusk's divorce memoir, Aftermath
. Among other things, she described it as a nasty, bizarre memoir written by a "brittle little dominatrix and peerless narcissist." (Via) [more inside]
"I was never threatened covering the cops beat nor while reporting on a big Mafia trial, but I was threatened – twice – for writing negative reviews of two restaurants. Shows where the passion is, I guess
." Restaurant critics write about (and link to) their most negative reviews and discuss the measured and reasonable responses they received after their publication. [more inside]
A Short History Of Book Reviewing's Long Decline
: 'By the time of the first quote “book-review,” criticism had been in circulation for centuries—long enough for writers to know how it can sting. Understandably, then, the critic’s skepticism of an artist's genius has invariably existed alongside the artist's doubt over the critic's judgment.' [more inside]
Believer Magazine interviews
Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold
as he waxes poetic on Marcela Hazan
, the peculiar aspects of Korean food
, Pago Pago
's love of Spam
, and douche food.
Sight & Sound
's prestigious Greatest Films of All Time
poll is conducted only once per decade. The latest edition polled 846 film critics (up from 144 in the 2002 edition) and 358 directors. The results were revealed earlier today and, for the first time since 1962, Citizen Kane has not topped either the critics' or the directors' poll
. It has been unseated as the Greatest Film of All Time by Vertigo and Tokyo Story.
The magazine has also revealed the Critics' Top 50
. [more inside]
The 3D re-release of James Cameron's Titanic prompted Lindy West of Jezebel
and Will Leitch of Deadspin
to re-assess the movie.
, Ebert Presents At the Movies
will begin airing full episodes of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s original PBS show
, Sneak Previews
. Taking a break from reviewing movies
, co-hosts Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky will introduce and discuss the episodes. Hungry for more classic Siskel & Ebert
? Try the invaluable, Ebert-approved SiskelandEbert.org
, a growing archive
of home-taped episodes of Sneak Previews
and At the Movies
. [more inside]
The public pillorying of Janet Malcolm is one of the scandals of American letters. ... why is it Malcolm, a virtuoso stylist and a subtle, exciting thinker, who drives critics into a rage? What journalist of her caliber is as widely disliked or as often accused of bad faith? And why did so few of her colleagues stand up for her during the circus of a libel trial that scarred her career? In the animus toward her there is something almost personal. [more inside]
A few days ago, Los Angeles Times food critic, S. Irene Virbila
, was photographed
and kicked out
of Jordan Kahn's
new Beverly Hills restaurant, Red Medicine
. [more inside]
(1944 - 1992) is often cited as one of the greatest film critics. After joining the legendary film magazine Cahiers du cinéma
(which he would eventually edit) at age 20, Daney wrote extensively on the changing place of movies in culture, on directors new and old and on television, war and even sports. He founded the film magazine Trafic
before dying of AIDS in 1992.
Though some of his essays have been officially translated
and a small book of his writings
has been published in English, the vast majority of his work remains untranslated into English
That hasn't stopped a devoted group of cinephiles from taking matters into their own hands. [more inside]
A memoir of living with a brain tumour: "For art critic Tom Lubbock, language has been his life and his livelihood. But in 2008, he developed a lethal brain tumour and was told he would slowly lose control over speech and writing. This is his account of what happens when words slip away.
" [more inside]
"… if I ever have to see this gurning little maggot clicking into faux reverie mode again – rising from his seat to jazz-slap the top of his piano wearing a fake-groove expression on his piggish little face – if I have to witness that one more time I'm going to rise up and kill absolutely everybody in the world, starting with him and ending with me.". Charlie Brooker, the UK Guardian's TV 'critic', calls it quits.
The Village Voice
have both put out their dueling film critic's polls this year, with Wall-E
and Flight of the Red Balloon
topping the lists, respectively. [Previously
] [more inside]
Death To Film Critics! Hail The CelebCult!
"A newspaper film critic is like a canary in a coal mine. When one croaks, get the hell out. The lengthening toll of former film critics acts as a poster child for the self-destruction of American newspapers, which once hoped to be more like the New York Times and now yearn to become more like the National Enquirer. We used to be the town crier. Now we are the neighborhood gossip."
John Leonard is dead
. A literary prodigy at thirty-two
when asked to edit the New York Times Book Review
, Leonard oversaw the NYTBR
's glory days between 1971 and 1975. Television critic
for New York
, monthly books critic for Harper's
, regular contributor to The Nation
and The New York Review of Books
, he also went out of his way to help young writers
“Another Rosenberg Executed”?
Classical music critic Donald Rosenberg may be the reigning expert on the Cleveland Orchestra, having written an entire book
on the esteemed ensemble. But failure to fawn over conductor Franz Welser Most
has gotten him booted off his newspaper’s classical music beat. People
are beginning to notice… [more inside]
In 1964, Mel Brooks
won both the Oscar & BAFTA Best Short Film awards for The Critic
. His first film, it revolves around an old man heckling abstract animation that he doesn't understand. Youtube
(lower quality) | brettratner.com
- jonmc's 300 most favorite songs and why, including Iron Maiden
, The Exciters
, Neil Young
(as a greaser), Captain Beefheart
, and of course, The Dictators
appears to be a new low for Michael Crichton, a moderately scary
guy who's already
caused some head-scratching in these parts. (Main link requires reg. Summary here
"A fedora hat worn by me without the necessary protective irony would eat through my head and kill me."
Goodbye to George W.S. Trow, one of the strangest, wisest, disturbingest writer ever to gape at, marvel at, and love his fellow Americans. His 1980 essay "Within the Context of No Context"
(which shared with J.D. Salinger's last published story
the distinction of taking up an entire issue of the New Yorker
) placed television, irony, and distance at the center of the new United States. He also wrote the less well-known (but equally beautiful) short story collection Bullies
, along with a novel and several screenplays
, helped found National Lampoon
, and was a staff writer at the New Yorker
from 1966 until 1994, when he quit in protest of Roseanne Barr's guest-editing stint. He died on November 24, in Naples, at the age of 63. Appreciations from the New York Observer
The 16mm Shrine writes about movies. "The fact that there’s any talent in Brazil not devoted to kidnapping schemes and making curare poison out of small frogs, let alone the kind it takes to make an epic like Meirelles’ breakout film,
City of God, is astounding ... [With
The Constant Gardener,] I hoped Meirelles might be able to inject some excitement into material that probably had an initial interest level hovering somewhere between televised Canadian parliamentary proceedings and rough notes for a thesis project on religious atavism in Norway. ... Weisz is an activist, which means she’s easy and doesn’t shave her legs, and gets very upset if you notice. She also becomes immediately attached to the African children surrounding her in that particular stage of starvation and illness that makes their eyes big and their stomachs small enough that they still look small and pitiful, but not yet weird enough that they could pass for shark-toothed baby Grays from
The X-Files. She gets involved in a conspiracy and soon ends up dead, leaving Fiennes to pick up the pieces and grow a backbone."
For almost ten years, independent rock critic Glenn Mcdonald
has kept a highly personal and elegantly well-written music column, The War Against Silence
. He has championed artists popular
, and remembered acts that others might regard as 1980s nostalgia
with melancholy and grace. As his past few columns have vacillated between the personal
and the musical
, he has opted to end his run at the beginning of September.
New Zealand critic blasts LOTR
. Big budget movie special effects have overshadowed the timeless are of storytelling and character development. "..The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is, as a work of cinematic art, ham-fisted, shallow, bombastic and laughably overrated.." [More Quotes inside]
McDonald's gets bad review, sues critic.
"McDonald's has labelled as "defamatory and offensive" an influential Italian food critic, who poured scorn on the quality of the fast-food giant's cuisine.
The corporation has sued Edoardo Raspelli, a critic and commentator for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, after he compared its burgers to rubber and its fries to cardboard, in an article last year.
McDonald's is seeking undisclosed damages, possibly as much as the 21m euros (£15m; $25m) it spent on advertising in Italy last year. "
Is it really defamation if it's true? What if every restaurant that got a bad review decided to sue?
I'd like to thank the Academy. And the French.
Film critic Michael Sragow, late of Salon
and currently of The Baltimore Sun
, ruminates on the upcoming Oscar telecast and wonders why such a "lib-rad industry" would sit-out the night and pass on the opportunity to bang us all over the head with soporific political messages. In actual movie talk, he sez of LOTR: "I don't think there has been a fantasy film IN MOVIE HISTORY as faultlessly acted, as magnificent in its scope and invention, and as enthralling in its narrative drive as I'm sure the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy will turn out to be. "
pretentious, self-indulgent, craftless tat.
Modern art is rubbish says Institute of Contemporary Arts Chief Ivan Massow...
Clinton critic accused of being a wanker
-- Matthew J. Glavin
, who heads a legal foundation trying to have President Horndog disbarred, has been accused of publicly fondling himself and an undercover federal officer. More details here