The Friday 6/18/2021

Russell and Ron Mael: The Sparks Brothers (Jake Polonsky/Focus Features)

My piece for the Scarecrow blog this week, and etc.

The Sparks Brothers/Les Nôtres. “The stuff of their uncompromising career has lots of color (and great source material in the music, of course), but the thread of artistic integrity makes it almost irresistible.”/”Works committed variations on the respectable-community-with-dirty-secrets scenario.”

I’m back for a two-year term on the Speakers Bureau at Humanities Washington, which sends people out to various parts of our state to talk. (At first we’ll be Zooming it.) My talk is called “This Is the End: How Movies Prepared Us for the Apocalypse,” where I explore – from the perspective of mankind’s response to the pandemic – how movies gave us the tools to deal, if only we’d been listening. Check out the description here, and if you live somewhere in Washington and are interested in hosting the talk, get in touch.

No new episode of my radio show, “The Music and the Movies” this week, but we’ve revived Episode #1, on Burt Bacharach, and that’ll be online for the next week or so. And for this weekend, you can still check out the show called “Goldfinger and Company,” where I look at the effect a 1964 soundtrack album had on my imagination, and on other movie music.

Three vintages reviews posted this week at my other website, What a Feeling!: Robert Davies’ Saturday Night at the Palace, a South African apartheid drama starring John Kani; Lewis Gilbert’s Shirley Valentine, a starring vehicle for Pauline Collins; and Jane Campion’s Sweetie, the Australian director’s wacko feature debut.

I was on a jury for the 2021 Brooklyn Film Festival, and we gave our Best Narrative Feature award to Marcelo Brennand’s Corral, a strong Brazilian film about a political campaign and its repercussions.