DOUBLE FEATURE

MOVIES AND POLITICS

Two efforts at uniting art and revolution. The first, an extended interview with French director Jean-Luc Godard and his associate Jean Gorin who discuss the goals of their recently constituted film group; the second, a film script ("written to be read not filmed") of the Soledad Brothers prison break and the life and death of Jonathan Jackson. Neither venture succeeds beyond stylized oddity. Godard, intent on demystifying his work and his status as an important "new wave" director, offhandedly debunks his early films, including La Chinoise and Weekend, as hopelessly bourgeois ventures and fumbles toward an inchoate Marxist-Leninist cinema which will include "paying everyone equally, in order to end the hierarchy." Various revolutionary attempts — British Sounds, East Wind, and a work-in-progress on the al-Fateh (none currently accessible to American movie-goers) — are deemed partially successful efforts to "organize ourselves in a new way" but what it all boils down to in terms of financing, filming, and editing remains highly abstract. This Is It: The Marin Shoot-Out plays on the Yippie notion of revolution as theater ("it looked like a prison break movie") and features a Dostoevsky-inspired Detective who reads Malraux's Man's Fate while trying to decipher the significance of the event. O.K. as an experimental work-shop exercise but not for the average film-goer seeking entertainment. Actors recalcitrant, camera twitchy, story-line dim.

Pub Date: April 14, 1972

ISBN: 0876900740

Page Count: -

Publisher: Outerbridge & Lazard

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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