Electricity & Lust

Reads of the Week

Posted in Reads of the Week by Sam Unsted on July 2, 2011
  • A long profile of now-former CIA director Leon Panetta, focusing mostly on the difficulties he faced from the lingering impact of Bush administration interrogation techniques. Panetta comes across as a pragmatic and committed character, both of which should come in handy as he takes on his new role as Defence Secretary for Obama. As a companion piece to that, Jane Mayer’s exposé of CIA interrogation techniques give more insight into the problems Panetta faced and the acts that took place under the Bush administration.
  • I’m on a bit of a Woody Allen kick at the moment, though this Peter Biskind profile is perhaps a little too forgiving of Woody given some of the movies he’s made in the past decade. It did, though, raise a point about the sheer number of fantastic movies Woody has made in his career, enough to put him alongside the likes of Scorsese, Kubrick or Fellini in my mind. Just a sampling for the memory of movies I would consider genuinely classic: Annie Hall, Manhattan, Zelig, Hannah and Her Sisters, Husbands and Wives, Purple Rose of Cairo, Crimes and Misdemeanours, Love and Death, Broadway Danny Rose, Manhattan Murder Mystery. There’s lots of crap too, but that’s a pretty good number of superb films to be going on.
  • George Packer’s outstanding recounting of the crimes and trial for Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon hedge fund, provides a pitch perfect example of the kind of greed and cynical regard for human nature that drives the kind of financial crime we have witnessed in the past few years.
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Link Round Up

Posted in Links by Sam Unsted on August 16, 2008

It’s been a while so this could end up being epic.

Craig Robinson, Darryl on The Office, has been arrested and charged with possession of a shedload of drugs including meth and ecstacy.

Check out Jezebel’s ‘Pot Psychology’ this week, it’s deeply strange and funny.

Samm Levine has been cast in Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards.

Here’s a Q&A with Shane Meadows, director of Somers Town and my film of last year, This Is England.

What’s the point in literary agents?

Here’s a primer on the career and works of Woody Allen. (Start with Annie Hall and Manhattan and work around)

Sonatine enters the New Cult Canon.

Here’s a list of thirty actor-directors.

The Wackness is dosing folks with nostalgia for early-90s hip hop.

Why do beach volleyball players keep patting each other on the arse?

Jackson Browne is suing John McCain.

Predictions on the future for China.

Iron Man’s deleted scene with Ghostface Killah.

Twilight is moving into the space left open by Harry Potter.

Here’s the trailer for 90210, the one with the old cast members.

Here’s fiction from Joshua Ferris, writer of the pretty-decent Then We Came To The End.

Flobots are bringing politically-conscious hip hop back to the charts, according to PopMatters.

Jerry Wexler has died at the age of 91.

Michael Phelps has won yet another bloody medal. Seven! Seven gold medals!! Wow.

Here’s what he listens to before jumping into the pond.

Rebecca Adlington has won her second for Blighty so massive well done to her.

The Riff has had a little listen to the new Verve.

‘Good Morning, Captain’, the piece de resistance of Slint, has been turned into a children’s book…

America is killing another overseas TV series, this time Australia’s Kath & Kim.

Check out Michael Hammett’s White Denim covers.

A conversation between Werner Herzog and Philippe Petit, the tightrope artist.

AC/DC in ‘fancy dress’ return for Reading.

Vote in the Drowned in Sound Pluto Prize, the alternative to the Mercury Music Prize.

The top 5 accordion rock songs.

Here’s an interview with mad genius Guy Maddin.

Here’s one with not-mad but still-genius Art Spiegelman.

Best ever music producers?

The ten fastest guitarists are…

Finally, the Criterion edition of Bottle Rocket has been announced and I can’t wait.

Too Fast for Link

Posted in Links by Sam Unsted on May 19, 2008

The AV Club has a new Comics Panel.

Aziz Ansari, the manic big-eyed genius on Human Giant, is going to try and improve Scrubs.

The Butthole Surfers are reuniting.

Here’s an early review of Woody’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Pitchfork about grasps my views on its star’s first attempt at laying down some tunes.

Joe Queenan thinks its time to pull the plug on Woody.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is joining Michael Cera on Scott Pilgrim.

Here’s the wonderful Bon Iver on Jools.

Here’s the trailer for Baz Luhrman’s Australia.

Henry Rollins at Edinburgh Festival. YEEEEEAAAHHH!

Lynch is seemingly forming a harem of singular directorial visionaries.

What is the greatest B-Movie of all time?

Islands drop in on Daytrotter.

PopMatters compiles a tribute to Donna Summer.

Link at the Devil

Posted in Links by Sam Unsted on May 18, 2008

Screenjabber has the first review of the new Futurama movie.

The Observer interviews Chuck D prior to Public Enemy’s Don’t Look Back for It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.

Charlie Brooker kneels at the altar of Gladiators.

John Cusack is going to war… with films about Iraq despite box-offices.

Death Cab are casting themselves as a career rock band.

Woody is banking on his beauties for a career revival in Cannes.

Lykke Li is coming for us, UK!

Jason Pierce talks to The Times about his songs and his health.

Sasha Frere-Jones talks American Idol.

PopMatters has an interview with Peter Gallagher.

Is the new show from the Arrested Development folks going to be any good?

I’m sure many of you have already indulged in this lunacy. What a couple!

Harp profiles desert-rockin’ champs Howlin’ Rain.

Mark Ruffalo and Amy Adams will be in the next Noah Baumbach film.

Speaking of Ruffalo, here’s a Cannes review of Blindness.