Daily Archives: July 17, 2020

The Squid And The Whale

From the Chicago Reader (November 4, 2005). — J.R.

TheSquidandtheWhale

This big step forward by comic writer-director Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming, Mr. Jealousy) is a tragicomic autobiographical account of the breakup of his parents’ marriage. The father (Jeff Daniels) and mother (Laura Linney) are both fiction writers living in Brooklyn, and their determination to remain liberated about sexual matters as they separate and divorce drives their two sons (Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline) nuts. The implied critique of progressive, bohemian parenting is devastating — wise and nuanced, with the painful hilarity of truth. With William Baldwin and Anna Paquin. R, 88 min. (JR)

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Kids

From the July 18, 1995 Chicago Reader. A perfect illustration of how cheerfully enslaved the New York Times¬†was to Harvey Weinstein’s cultural power and hype. — J.R.

Kids2

From noted still photographer-turned-director Larry Clark and young screenwriter Harmony Korine, both making their screen debuts, a slightly better than average youth exploitation film (and grim cautionary fable about both AIDS and macho teenage cruelty) that hysterical American puritanism contrived to convert into big news. (The New York Times‘ Janet Maslin called this a wake-up call to the world — meaning, I suppose, that rice paddy workers everywhere, or at least those with phones, should shell out for tickets and stop evading the problems of white Manhattan teenagers.) But if the news is so big, why does it sound like such tired and familiar stuff? And reviewers such as Manohla Dargis who claimed that this depressing movie takes no moral position about what it’s depicting must have been experiencing some form of self-induced shock, because taking moral positions is just about all it does. The photography is striking and the acting and dialogue seem reasonably authentic, if one factors in all the sensationalism, but let’s get real — this was at best the 15th most interesting movie I saw at the 1995 Cannes festival. Read more