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Agenda Newsletter - October 10, 2007

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Agenda Top Pick Year's most controversial movie lands
Redacted

Magnolia Pictures; The Projectionist; Showtimes

David Edelstein has a new blog, the Projectionist, and though it’s short on narcissistic snark (sorry, kids), it’s long on sharp, timely musings on movies everyone else will be talking about. Don’t take our word for it: Read his spirited defense of Brian De Palma’s Redacted, which dramatizes the story of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her family by American soldiers. If anything lends itself to the urgency of online conversation, it’s this brutally honest look at a simply brutal war.


   
Populist Colbert does it again–and how
I Am American (And So Can You!)
 
It's hard to believe that this latest exercise in Stephen Colbert satire wouldn't merely pile on to his irritating (and rapturously heralded) ubiquity, but it's a welcome addition to our bathroom. Besides the acid one-liners you'd expect (“When I say I don’t see race, I mean I don’t see black people”), there's all sorts of clever, design-y touches—notes in the margins, multiple-choice quizzes, stickers to mark off passages you agree with—that remind us of our favorite magazines. (Colbert reads October 24 at the Union Square Barnes & Noble.)

Stephen Colbert
Grand Central Publishing
$26.99
Buy it  »

   

Bingo With the Indians
at the Flea

Obie Award winner Adam Rapp’s new play about a disgruntled East Village Theater company premieres this week. Want tickets? Enter now!

   
Indieist N.Y.’s next great indie director comes to DVD
Man Push Cart
 
The magazine just covered the current generation of dominant New York directors. Check out this DVD for a glimpse at the next. Columbia grad Ramin Bahrani made one of the most exciting debuts in recent memory when Man Push Cart hit theaters (his new film, Chop Shop, confirms his talent). A beautifully shot, melancholic love letter to making it in the city, it follows a Pakistani street-cart vendor through the hard-knock splendor of midtown.

Koch Lorber Films
$26.98
Interview  » Buy it  »

     
Square Hard-core Tolstoy done well
The Power of Darkness
 
The ever-lively Mint Theater unearths yet another dusty gem in this revival of Tolstoy's 1886 play about a philandering, diabolical farmhand who racks up countless misdeeds against a small Russian town (and not a few unsuspecting women). The sin is “palpable,” writes Jeremy McCarter. The play finds “fresh ways to remind us that there were a lot of bad, bad people in the good old days.”

Mint Theater Company
Through October 28
$55
Review  » Tickets  »

     
Aesthete Van Sant started off great
Mala Noche
 
We saw Gus Van Sant’s new film, Paranoid Park, at the New York Film Festival; it's his latest take on the seductively young, dumb, and aimless. Mala Noche was his first—and it's up there with everything he's made since. Low-budget and grungy, the movie tracks a dreamy liquor-store clerk with a crush on a sweet Mexican teen. This DVD adds terrific extras: a new print, interviews, and animator Bill Plympton's look at the Walt Curtis book that inspired the movie.

Criterion Collection
$29.95
Buy it  »

     
Kids Or she will love it, at least
Baby Loves Jazz Greatest Hits
 
Trust us, we're skeptical of jazzified nursery rhymes and kiddie songs. But Sharon Jones (of the Dap Kings) and Babi Floyd (backup singer for the Stones and Steely Dan) upended our misgivings with the 47 reimagined songs on this double CD. Thank music- and kid-scenester Andy Hurwitz—the co-founder of Baby Loves Disco and founder of Ropeadope records—who settled on creating a custom band to record the ditties.

Megaforce
$16.98
Buy it  »

     
 
 

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Wednesday October 10, 2007
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