La La Land: The Loneliness of The Long-Distance Egotist

The fetishization of the past is inevitable in a society where virtually no work of pop culture goes unmemorialized and hack creatives can shamelessly co-opt the iconography of cultural landmarks to shine reflected glory on their anemic pastiches. In La La Land, Damien Chazelle really really really wants you to think about classic Hollywood musicals, but not too closely.

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Emergency Rooms & Cutting Rooms: What’s Wrong with “The Fighter”

“Very few things happen at the right time and the rest don’t happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects.” — Herodotus, by way of Mark Twain

Like most biopics, The Fighter is a lavish celluloid Valentine to its subject. Unfortunately, it’s also a Valentine that’s unfinished, riddled with typos and unwitting backhanded compliments to many of its recipients.

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Hustle and Blows

Two weeks ago, the author sent First this commentary on the state of boxing.

Last night, HBO aired the best thing it has shown all year: a live broadcast of a middleweight championship boxing match between champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez and Paul “The Punisher” Williams. Both are widely regarded as two of the top five fighters active in the sport, and the drama and ferocity of their first match earned it widespread acknowledgement as the Fight Of The Year 2009.

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