John Powers http://wknofm.org en 'A Hard Day's Night': A Pop Artifact That Still Crackles With Energy http://wknofm.org/post/hard-days-night-pop-artifact-still-crackles-energy <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHas50cupCA</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:15:00 +0000 John Powers 50465 at http://wknofm.org 'A Hard Day's Night': A Pop Artifact That Still Crackles With Energy 'Violette' Evokes Exasperating Self-Pity, A Trait The French Like http://wknofm.org/post/violette-evokes-exasperating-self-pity-trait-french Americans put a lot of stock in being likable. Pollsters take surveys of the president's likability. Test screenings check whether we like the characters in movies. And when a literary novelist like Claire Messud mocks the notion that fictional characters should be someone we'd like to be friends with, writers of popular fiction attack her for snootiness.<p>You rarely find such disputes in France, which finds our fetish of likability charmingly simple, rather like our shock at politicians committing adultery. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 21:17:00 +0000 John Powers 49757 at http://wknofm.org 'Violette' Evokes Exasperating Self-Pity, A Trait The French Like Two Italys Take A Road Trip In 'Il Sorpasso' http://wknofm.org/post/two-italys-take-road-trip-il-sorpasso If the road movie has a home, it's surely the United States. After all, the settling of America was itself a kind of humongous road picture — all those wagons rolling across the new continent's spectacular vastness. And with our ceaseless love of movement, we became the first people to be transported — in every sense — by the automobile. Thu, 08 May 2014 17:26:00 +0000 John Powers 46948 at http://wknofm.org Two Italys Take A Road Trip In 'Il Sorpasso' Exploring Life's Incurable Soiledness With The Father Of Italian Noir http://wknofm.org/post/exploring-lifes-incurable-soiledness-father-italian-noir Although there's no rigid dividing line, fans of the crime genre generally fall into two camps. There are those who prefer stories which, after titillating us with dark transgressions, end by restoring order — the show <em>Law & Order</em> is an aptly named example. And then there are those who prefer stories which, even after the mystery is solved, leave you swimming in the murk — think <em>Chinatown</em>. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:33:00 +0000 John Powers 45962 at http://wknofm.org Exploring Life's Incurable Soiledness With The Father Of Italian Noir 'Redeployment' Explores Iraq War's Physical And Psychic Costs http://wknofm.org/post/redeployment-explores-iraq-wars-physical-and-psychic-costs Here's an old joke you may have heard: "How many Vietnam vets does it take to screw in a light bulb?" Answer: "You wouldn't know, you weren't there."<p>This joke gets told in <em>Redeployment</em>, a stingingly sharp short story collection that itself addresses the gap between the American soldiers who've fought in Iraq and those of us back home. It was written by Phil Klay who <em>does</em> know because he <em>was</em> there. After graduating from Dartmouth, he enlisted in the Marines and served as a public affairs officer in Anbar province during the 2007 troop surge. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 18:50:00 +0000 John Powers 44997 at http://wknofm.org 'Redeployment' Explores Iraq War's Physical And Psychic Costs