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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

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Entries in molly lambert (100)


In Which You'll Never Catch Me

Dynamite, Pole Vaulting, Laughing Gas, Choppers


Let us travel back in time to a milder, gentler, more lackadaisical time. A time when the internet hadn't seeped so deep into our pores that we electrically learnabrate in our sleep at night. When the only website I read on a regular basis was Ain't It Cool News and only Bjork fans knew who Michel Gondry was.

Ah yes, I was talking about 1999. It doesn't sound too long ago, does it? That pre-9/11 world way back when. But it was before that even, back even further to 1996 when Bottle Rocket came out and I first fell in love with Dignan. Or was it Owen Wilson?

Or was I in love with Wes Anderson and his aesthetics? It was hard to tell, we were all so young. I was in love with the movie and the characters and the dialogue and the soundtrack. Oh god, the soundtrack! Before Graduate-y indie and Scorsese seventies rock tunes permeated down into every last Garden State and Juno.

Anthony: Which part of Mexico are you from?
Inez: Paraguay.

All the stylistic markers were already there; the symmetry, the tracking and two shots, the fastidious attention to detail. The easy rapport between all three Wilson brothers had yet to be frayed by time and fame. Wes Anderson's weird colonialist fetish for ethnic girls could still be somewhat more easily explained away.

Just a beautiful film with a cinematic vocabulary of cleanliness saturated in color. Bottle Rocket rambled and breathed while remaining tight as a drum. As Anderson's films have moved increasingly away from depicting naturalism, I can't help but feel something has been lost. With bigger sets and budgets, he widened his geographic scope each time to be more spectacular.

A lot of what I loved so much about Bottle Rocket was how it dazzled with the mundane. How Wes wore his references (French New Wave! The Seventies!) on his too short sleeves while seemingly proving Godard's theory that to make a film all you needed was a girl and a gun, and barely even that.

I loved how he made Texas mini-mall parking lots look so beautiful. How he transformed a suburban neighborhood (granted an upscale one in Dallas) into a weird American paradise. How he made normal touchstones look painterly and landscapes perfect.

It recalled the work of American artists like Edward Hopper, Walker Evans, and Ansel Adams. And writers, especially poets like Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsburg and William Carlos Williams. Specifically, of W.C.W.'s poem The Red Wheelbarrow.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

I would love it if Wes made a Western. I know the Coen Brothers and P.T. Anderson threw down the gauntlet pretty hard this year but there's no reason he couldn't pick it up. But I don't think Wes will do it, at least not for a while yet. I do wish he would embrace the place he came from. There are way more than enough movies already about rich people from New York and their issues.

Hey look, I found a perfect project for Wes Anderson's Western. It's a Larry McMurtry book called Sin Killer:

A wild comedic ride with the Berrybender family in 1832. They've come over from England and are on a boat making its way up the Missouri River. There's Lord Berrybender, his wife, his mistress, 6 of his 14 legitimate children, servants, guides, tutors, artists and a couple of Indian chiefs traveling home from Washington. The family is rich and spoiled and totally clueless. They meet a variety of tragedies but the writer presents it all as a farce.

Diner Scenes were de rigeur in 90s Indie Films

Sounds ideal, huh? It has all the earmarks of an Anderson joint plus and Wes could maybe help get himself off the hook for worshipping rich white people so much if they're all killed off for transgressing borders. Kinda like Life Aquatic x Mark Twain x Aguirre The Wrath Of God = Swiss Family Tenenbaums.

Owen as Dignan, not drinking his milkshake. Awww bb.

Twenty one years earlier James Caan (Mr. Henry) and Tak Kubota (Rowboat) were both in the Sam Peckinpah film, The Killer Elite (1975).

Bottle Rocket scored the worst test screening points in the history of Columbia Pictures at the time.

Where's Bob Mapplethorpe? Why, he was in Drillbit Taylor.

Oh and how bout Inez? She's in a coming-of-age movie called El Brassier de Emma. Sounds coming of agey.

We'll get him. We'll get him. Man, dont worry about that, we'll get him. And when we do, we'll blow up his car, do something. I can guarantee you that. What makes me furious is thinking about the look on Bob's fat face, thinking he pulled one over on us. I tell you another thing. If our paths cross again, you're gonna see a side of Dignan that you havent seen before. A sick, sadistic side, cause I'm furious at Bob.

Why so melancholy Owen love? Premonitions of Drillbit Taylor?

When's that Criterion Collection edition coming out guys? I imagine the Marrakesh Express backlash will be over by then. Maybe there'll be a little to-do if Owen feels like coming out of his mole-hole. I feel about Owen Wilson the way I feel about kittens.

I love how Bob totally rolled right out of Reservoir Dogs.

Cain chasing after his brother Abel in the fields East of Eden

Little Banana, the best Bottle Rocket fansite, where all these screen caps came from. They have the original screenplay for the Bottle Rocket short, side by side comparison with the shooting script, and a transcript of Dignan's notebook.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls here.

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"Black Feathers" — Ed Harcourt (mp3)

"Sour Milk, Motheaten Silk" — Ed Harcourt (mp3)

"Russian Roulette" — Ed Harcourt (mp3)

Ed Harcourt myspace

The 400 Blows? Is that like a sequel to The 300? It's bad?

"They'll never catch me........Because I'm fucking innocent!"


In Which Adam Lambert Probably Ejaculates Glitter Or Some Shit

Liveblogging American Idol


American Idol 

Season 8

Paula's text to Gokey was actually "pppppppppppp." There is no way that woman knows how to text correctly. She can barely speak English. Gokey is getting ready for his future career as a cruise ship entertainer. Danny Gokey's money spot is a place I never want to go.

Kara's subtext: "I find you physically repulsive. Please stop dancing, forever." Simon's hair still looks like a Frankenstein flat-top. Is Seacrest wearing Cuban heels?

Kris seems like a nice enough young man. He's wearing chipped blue nail polish. Do you think he ever did before Adam Lambert swept into his world?

Chris Pine is way hotter than Kris Allen though. Read my Star Trek review?

"Apologize" by One Republic is actually a perfect song for Kris's meager talents. Kara is the Kelly Bensimon of Idol and I love it. She just called Kris "competent," which is like Kelly saying that Bethenny "does a great job" being a pathetically single career-driven chef.

Kris is still really good looking. He's probably got a future. He can play the bad guy in the sequel to Star Trek or the monster in Cloverfield 2. Simon, real talk. Somebody make me a GIF wall that is all just Simon and Lauren Conrad from "The Hills" rolling their eyes.

Don't understand how the Mac guy/PC guy ad campaign is still going. This can only have damaged Apple's sales. Nobody wants to hang out with the Mac guy. 

Adam Lambert = Spock. America is ready for gay guys with emo hair to take over the universe. I for one am ready to give in to my homosexual raven-locked overlords.

Wow, Carrie Underwood is in Angola while a vocal version of Toto's "Africa" plays. Something about Idol Gives Back is condescending to the people it helps. But it's nowhere near as gross as the public service thing on The Biggest Loser they just announced which is called "Pounds For Pounds" and involves people losing weight and then the hungry are fed with the pounds of their shed flesh. No it's not that, but that's what it sounds like.

YES GOKEY SING TO YOUR DEAD WIFE. TUG THOSE HEARTSTRINGS ONE MORE TIME. It's not working at all because your facial hair is a prison pussy. Something about everything he does is so repulsive to me. He has no soul. He dresses like the president of a college acapella group or the bartender at a Cheesecake Factory. I hope this is a fake-out because they're planning to vote him off. If it comes down to Gokey and Lambert, I bet Gokey will win. Because that will be America's punishment for letting Gokey get this far in the competition.

Even Simon is greasing up Gokey. Are we in an alternate universe? Is this a time loop?

Clearly Kris Allen is a gay fish. This is his best performance on the show to date. He sounds like the dude from Matchbox 20. I mean that as a Kelly Bensimon style compliment! How could you be so Arli$$?

"Did they sleep together?" - my roommate Jess, on the Simon/Paula dynamic

The judges are freaking out because Kris just pulled an Adam Lambert and did a crazy opposite version of a hip-hop song. My cousin Marly Guthrie could easily sweep this competition with her acoustic soul versions of Prince songs.

Adam changed out of his Texas tuxedo into a slinkier leather number.

This is pretty good but I was really hoping he'd sing an acceptance anthem like Xtina's "Beautiful" or Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Failing that, I was really praying for "You Oughta Know" in the dream that he'd stare Simon in the eye during the "go down on you in a theater" part. Maybe Adam's secret is that he is THE LAST CASTRATO. He will be the next Farinelli!

Farinelli, famous castrato singer

Adam Lambert is like Obama. He knows he's good, so he can chill out. He's not threatened by the competition. He can say genuinely nice things about them and mean it. He's just cool as fuck and he breaks none of Gokey's flop sweats reaching for those high notes. Shit is effortless for Adam Lambert! Of course it is. He's a Lambert.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls here.

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"Apologize" - Silverstein (OneRepublic cover) (mp3)

"Apologize (Mike Shinoda Remix)" - OneRepublic (mp3)

"Apologize (Daft Punk Remix) - OneRepublic (mp3)

"Apologize (Mike D Bass Remix) - OneRepublic (mp3)


In Which We Try To Figure Out How We Got To Here

Screwball Comedies And Great Female Characters


Since we've been lamenting the current state of the romantic comedy a lot lately, I thought I'd take it back to see if we can figure out just how things got so bad. I hope Zach Galifianakis got paid in bricks of gold hash for classing up the horrendous What Happens In Vegas, and it's equally sad to see the fabulous Michelle Monaghan relegated to playing the Dermot Mulroney role in My Best Friend's Maid Of Honor after her indelible turn as a fast-talking dame in Shane Black's awesome Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Joan Blondell, Sex Object With A Smart Mouth

It's important to remember well written smart and sexy female characters have been known to exist in film, and that a battle between comedic equals is ten times more interesting (and hotter!) than a bromance. How much better could Wedding Crashers have been had they given Rachel McAdams something to do besides stand still and look pretty? Anyone who's seen Mean Girls knows what a fierce comic actress she is.

James Cagney & Joan Blondell

The Screwball Comedies of the thirties and forties really were a Golden Age of well-matched onscreen couples. Film critics like A.O. Scott and Anthony Lane, and David Denby are not just whistling Dixie when they claim that it was better back then. I have no idea why movies like Leatherheads and Intolerable Cruelty fall flat. I mean, I have SOME idea but that's another post.

Cary Grant & Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday

The best battles in the gender wars these days are being waged offscreen. i.e. Tina Fey and Judd Apatow, Hillary and Obama, Diablo Cody and Joe Francis. Hopefully Tina and Diablo's successes will open some doors in the Old Boys Club (yes it still exists, especially in Hollywood).

Myrna Loy in The Thin Man

Women remain a much underserved audience and we deserve much better than How To Lose A Guy Wearing 27 Dresses. I'm just thankful the discussions have finally been opened back up. There are many millions of different modes for being male and female in the modern age. Maybe someday soon we'll get to see some romantic comedies that geniunely reflect that. Lord knows Woody Allen's not gonna make them.

Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey

Claudette Colbert (has our birthday!) in It Happened One Night

Cary Grant and Kate Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby

On the set of Bringing Up Baby the costume department stole Katherine Hepburn's slacks from her dressing room after the studio brass ordered that she wear a dress or skirt onscreen. She walked around the studio in her underwear and refused to put anything else on until they were returned.

Kate and Cary: Two Bisexuals I'd Go Polyamorous For

Hepburn and Grant with the titular Baby

Barbara Stanwyck holds the cards in The Lady Eve

Kate Hepburn takes the wheel from Spencer Tracy in Adam's Rib

The literary critic Stanley Cavell has noted that many classic screwball comedies turn on an interlude in the state of Connecticut (Bringing Up Baby, The Lady Eve, The Awful Truth).

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night

William Powell and Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey


Hepburn takes Tracy to court in Adam's Rib

My Favorite Screwball Comedy Directors:

Ernst Lubitsch

Preston Sturges

Frank Capra

Howard Hawks

Gregory La Cava

George Cukor

Spencer Tracy, William Powell, Jean Harlow & Myrna Loy make it a foursome in Libeled Lady

I just saw Libeled Lady and it was remarkably good. Based on the title I assumed it'd be a pre-code fallen woman film, but it's definitely a screwball comedy with a great cast and a tight script.

Kay Francis and Miriam Hopkins in Trouble In Paradise

Billy Wilder wrote seminal Screwball Ninotchka but didn't direct it. The Apartment is not technically a Screwball Comedy (having been made in 1960) but it has a lot of classic Screwball elements (ditto Some Like It Hot).

Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall get the Lubitsch Touch

The Screwball (baseball pitch) was invented in 1934.

Joel McCrea & Veronica Lake in Sullivan's Travels: "Who's Lubitsch?"

William Powell and Myrna Loy as The Thin Man's Nick and Nora Charles (The Hays Code = separate beds, even for spouses)

Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert in Bluebeard's Eighth Wife

Miriam Hopkins between two fags in the toned-down movie version of Noel Coward's considerably gayer play Design For Living

Carole Lombard kicks John Barrymore's ass in Twentieth Century

Molly Lambert is the hilarious answer to who wears the pants at This Recording.

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"Friends" - Deastro (mp3)

"Grower" - Deastro (mp3)

"Guardian" - Deastro (mp3)