Video of the Day


Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

Live and Active Affiliates
This area does not yet contain any content.

Entries in critics (2)


In Which It Was A Week That Never Stopped 

The Week in Review

Baseball celebrated its centennial in 1969, This Recording will celebrate its own occasion in 2106. It will be a special moment and we can only assure you that we will secure Joyce Carol Oates for that event. She'll be cold and brittle, but it won't feel like that when you see her up close.

In between those hundred long years, we will only think about how blogging was at the beginning. First came Prodigy...then Instapundit. Andrew Sullivan showed up a little later, asking if we'd seen any bears. We referred him to the Prodigy chatroom. It was like that for awhile. You weren't there. You didn't know.

People who don't know how to blog, or how to blog reliably, are intruding on my cyberspace all the time. They write these long essays with no pictures of supermodels in between. Am I supposed to read such drivel? I prefer to spend my time quietly analyzing why Gif Party makes me laugh harder than anything else in the world.

These "pros" don't know how to blog, so some of them podcast, and others of them run Mediate. This is the way of things, you can't get too caught up in it. If the world stays this way, it might work to get angry. But the internet consumes all its inefficiences way better than any other medium ever has.

We return so often to the classics.

You can find last week's Week in Review here.

"Autumn" — Message to Bears (mp3)

"Running Through Woodland" — Message to Bears (mp3)

"Hope" — Message to Bears (mp3)


In Which Hope Is Hope Get Used To It

Whatever Works If You Made Annie Hall


In Woody Allen's new movie the main character Boris Yelnikoff tries to commit suicide twice, once landing on a piece of taut canvas and once on a woman that can see into the future. His life is a failure but he's got a great apartment; his friends are aging and moronic but everyone's still getting laid. The emotional stakes are so low that the movie's funniest aspect may be that Allen expects us to care when his protagonist falls in love.

Boris is played as well as could be expected by Larry David as Larry David for Woody Allen. It's hard to know what his character is trying to accomplish by repeating the inane phrase "Whatever works" over and over, though it's easy to understand what the filmmaker is implying—that it's possible to live godlessly if you have a single verbal statement that at least partially explains all human behavior. Like "There is no true God but God." Or "Are You Ready For Some Football?" Forrest Gump was too slow to believe in God but had dozens of these mantras, none of which made much sense either.

Let's take the comparison further, shall we? Both Boris Yelnikoff and Forrest Gump fall in love with a blonde Louisianan who uses them for money while fucking other dudes that either have AIDS or are actors living on boats. Both "tell it like it is." Both do not seem to be able to drive cars. The only difference I can think of is that one is a hyper-smart Jew and the other a retarded Gentile. Is the linear spectrum of intelligence actually a circle, like space-time?

All jokes aside, Allen's Boris does raise hard questions. The Hindu prophets gave us "there is the greatest misery in hope; in hopelessness is the height of bliss," but Boris seems to think he came up with it. He finds life chaotic, black, not simply devoid of hope but opposed to it. On the surface it's brave to write a character like this, but really, Woody, the only way to make him into good comedic cinema is for him to fall in love? One hopes that there could be another way.

And let us all agree that you should never get someone from one state in the South to mimic the accent of another Southern state, which is the crime Allen perpetrates in forcing Evan Rachel Wood, a North Carolinian, to pretend to be from Louisiana. She becomes more tolerable when she starts schtupping Larry David, uhhh Woody Allen, I mean Boris, but her incarnation as Melodie St. Ann Celestine will remain a miscasting for the ages.

Her mother, played by the elegant Patricia Clarkson, presents a more engaging problem—she's both whip-smart and completely benighted, an accurate Southerner to Ms. Wood's synagogue stereotype. As such her metamorphosis, just implausible and funny enough to constitute functional social parody, is one of the film's brighter points.

Larry David doing his best Woody Allen and a twelve year old asian girlI have read that people in the know don't really like this film. The Upper West Side audience with which I viewed it applauded loud and long, but I didn't make much of that reaction since they characterize the bulls-eye of the the film's marketing dartboard. My mother, who was also there with me and is a huge Woody fan, did not seem too impressed. I thought maybe she thought it was too darkly nihlistic, but she said later that it was Larry David that irked her, in a "two hour dose" rather than the thirty-minutes-broken-by-commercials one she's used to.

I thought to myself, hmmm. A Southern lady who watches Curb Your Enthusiasm, not exactly a snug-fitting peg in the Woody Allen's cosmology. But again, here as literally anywhere else, whatever works.

Will Hubbard is the executive editor of This Recording. He tumbls right here.

You can visit the This Recording tumblr here, and the This Recording twitter here.

digg delicious reddit stumble facebook twitter subscribe

"You Have Been Loved" - George Michael (mp3)

"Kissing a Fool" - George Michael (mp3)

"I Can't Make You Love Me" - George Michael (mp3)