1. Dorian Gray (2009, dir. Oliver Parker) – Humourless, straining-towards-art version of the Wilde classic, momentarily redeemed by the growling portrait which provides a couple genuine chills.
2. Ornette Coleman – Body Meta, Of Human Feelings, Free Jazz – My crusade continues (cf. last week’s entry). Like Richard Dreyfuss sketching mountains in Close Encounters of the Third Kind I can’t put this stuff down any more than I can understand why.
3. Allie X, “Catch” – Great the first time, better the second, by the third I didn’t make it to the end. Pop music is so weird.
4. Clip of the week, from Albert Brooks’ Lost in America. Forwarded from a friend, who hoped I’d find it “inspirational — not depressing.” Walking through a busy downtown street the next day, I burst into an uncontrollable laugh just thinking about it (“Where else do you see crossing guards?”). Maybe I’ve just gone over the fucking cliff already, who knows?
5. Hollies, “Carousel” in last Sunday’s Mad Men – A few of last season’s episode-ending songs were unexpected delights (Judy Collins and Friend & Lover, especially); this season it has turned into the tritest and most predictable of devices–a summary for the audience of the current confusion at play, never something as simple as a song the characters are just hearing (last year, even though it wasn’t spelled out as such, you just assumed “Both Sides Now” was the song playing in the car as Don and the kids drove up to the old house; it’s the ultimate driving-with-your-parents late ’60s song). I’ve not made it to the end of a single one this year (even Hendrix’s excellent “If 6 Was 9,” the first two notes of which did admittedly come out of nowhere). Sometimes the real Mad Men do it better.