Spectrum Check

When last we did this check, I was a meager contributor to the Spectrum Culture site. This week was a far different matter, with my words cropping up all over the place.

First, there was my latest contribution to our WTF feature. My previous outing, I opted for horror films, but this time I went for one that was scary in an entirely different way: Otto Preminger’s 1968 disaster Skidoo. If only I could have watched it anew before writing, but the Preminger estate works overtime to keep this one as far from the public eye as possible.

Another bit of film writing was on the small-scale documentary A Good Man, which led to me to the always uncomfortable place of criticizing an obviously well-intentioned and heartfelt film. My added Spectrum workload also manifested here in am incredibly dumb mistake, initially placing the film’s locale as New Zealand instead of Australia. I’ve tried and tried to figure out how I arrived at that screw-up, but it eludes me. Still, not my worst mistake of the week. I’ll get to that.

I also made my first contribution to the recurring Oeuvre feature, which recently switched over from tracking Roman Polanski to going film by film through the career of French New Wave master François Truffaut. I wrote on an early short film that was a collaboration with Jean-Luc Godard. I’ll get a few more turns in the future, including revisiting a film I haven’t seen since I was a work study “projectionist” for UW-SP film classes. (Projectionist is in quotes because I mostly pressed play on the VCR in Comm 333.)

On the music side of things, I painfully acknowledged some weak lyrics penned by a songwriter I love in this week’s List Inconsequential feature and reviewed the new Lucinda Williams record.

I also offered up a rave for the new Wye Oak album, Civilian. Overall, I’m pleased with the piece (and honored that one of my fellow writers emailed me to tell me that the review got him interested in the album), but it contains an even more mortifying mistake than the one noted above. Jenn Wasner is the supremely talented songwriter, singer and guitarist for the band. She also sings Kinks sings prettier than anyone I’ve ever heard. I initially identified her correctly in the review, but then repeatedly referred to her by the last name Sterger, evidently confusing her with the sports fan hoochie who had a salacious sort of Internet fame even before Brett Favre added her to his friends and family plan. This despite the fact that I couldn’t given you her name in asked; when I discovered I’d made that mistake, I had to look her up to see who she was. So congratulations, craven sports media! Your saturation coverage of Brett Favre’s scandalous woes embedded into my brain just fine.

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