Daily Archives: February 8, 2019

More Vidal (Review of MYRON)

I wrote this book review for The Village Voice shortly after I moved to London from Paris in 1974 (which helps to explain how I could cite the English paperback of Myra Breckinridge), so I was more than likely a little miffed when the Voice noted at the end of the piece, “Jonathan Rosenbaum is a film critic presently living in Paris.” Although I think this review suffers a bit from the Voice‘s overheated smart-alecky manner during this period, which I was only too willing to adopt (and which makes some of my gripes potentially open to the charge of the pot calling the kettle black), I was reminded of both this review and Myra Breckinridge/Myron while recently reading Vidal’s somewhat similar 1978 novel Kalki, which has a similarly formidable heroine-narrator with a comparably ambiguous relation to gender. — J.R. [4/3/09]

More Vidal

By Jonathan Rosenbaum

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Myron

Gore Vidal

Random House, $6.95
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Myra Breckenridge was a stunt: a clever gay trick pulled on a straight  audience — or, if one prefers, a bisexual prank pulled on a unisexual audience — with kibitzers and spectators welcome on either side of the ironies, different jokes for different folks.… Read more »

Born to Swing (1974 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, October 1974 (Vol. 41, No. 489). Postscript: Thanks (once again!) to Ehsan Khoshbakht for providing me with an extra illustration for this review. — J.R.

photo

Born to Swing

 

Great Britain, 1973

Director: John Jeremy

Dist–TCB. p.c–Silverscreen Productions. p–John Jeremy. p. manager

Angus Trowbridge. sc–John Jeremy. ph–Peter Davis, Tohru Nakamura.

photographs–Ernie Smith, Valerie Wilmer. ed–John Jererny. m–Buddy

Tate, Earle Warren, Joe Newman, Dicky Wells, Eddie Durham, Snub

Mosley, Gene Ramey, Tommy Flanagan, Jo Jones, The Count Basie

Band (1943). m. rec—Fred Miller. sd. rec—Ron Yoshida. sd. re-rec

Hugh Strain. narrator–Humphrey Lyttelton. with–Buck Clayton, John

Hammond, Andy Kirk, Jo Jones, Albert McCarthy, Gene Krupa, Snub

Mosley, Joe Newman, Buddy Tate, Earle Warren, Dicky Wells. 1,773 ft.

49 mins. (16 mm.).

This engaging jazz film has both a general subject and a specific

one. Generally, it is about American swing music of the past;

specifically, its main focus is six veterans of Count Basie’s band in

the present. Interspersed with a 1943 clip of the Basie band inspiring

some athletic dancers are album covers, flurries of sheet music,

neon signs, and a string of short reminiscences: by Andy Kirk,

about his stint with the Eleven Clouds of Joy; Snub Mosley, about

New York in the Thirties; the doorman at Jimmy Ryan’s, about

52nd Street; Gene Krupa, mainly about himself.… Read more »