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by Greg Cwik

Photo: Disney+
by Greg Cwik Film Streaming Scene

Hamilton | Thomas Kail

Hamilton barely qualifies as a film, losing much of what makes it a stage success in translation, and its historical revisionism feels much murkier in 2020 America.  In New York, during the 19th century, there was Broadway, which catered to New York’s more affluent…

July 16, 2020
by Greg Cwik Film Streaming Scene

Shirley | Josephine Decker

Describing Sofia Behrs Tolstaya, a diarist and photographer who remains better known as the wife of Leo Tolstoy, Elizabeth Hardwick wrote: “With her mangled intelligence, her operatic, intolerable frenzies of distress, she comes forth still with an almost menacing aliveness, saying it all like…

June 5, 2020
by Greg Cwik Ledger Line Music

Chromatics | Closer to Grey

Johnny Jewel’s music is imbued with an eldritch air of nostalgia, the coupling of retro synth-pop and filmic ambiance bringing to mind images of a late night drive along a caliginous road; his production gleams like a rain-slick street, and the recalcitrant synth lines…

October 14, 2019
by Greg Cwik Kicking the Canon Music

Miles Davis | Bitches Brew

When Miles Davis released his seminal 1969 album In a Silent Way, its newfangled, neoteric sound — which Lester Bangs described as “space music” — polarized the musician’s fans. The Jazz purists, much like acoustic Bob Dylan die-hards, were flummoxed by the jarring change even…

October 1, 2019
by Greg Cwik Kicking the Canon Music

Serge Gainsbourg | Histoire de Melody Nelson

One of the horniest albums ever recorded, Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson is a 28-minute exhalation of libidinous longing. The album tells a Lolita-like tale, partially autobiographical, of the middle-aged musician’s fantasies about, and consequent seduction of, a 15-year-old girl named Melody Nelson, whose bike the man…

September 7, 2019
by Greg Cwik Ledger Line Music

Bon Iver | i,i

A man (bearded, crestfallen) traipses into the woods, where he holes up in a small cabin and writes music about his heartbreak — agonizingly vulnerable, earnest, intimate music, with whispery confessions and guitars so fine and fleeting they could be feelings themselves. Then, the…

August 19, 2019
In Review | Online film and music criticism