Spectrum Check

This week, my Spectrum movie review duties absolutely gave me the chance to see a fine film that I probably wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise. I’m pleased as can be that John Sayles still gets to make movies, and clearly make them in exactly the fashion he pleases, but it’s been all too easy to let his most recent offerings go by as inconsequential. Beyond the growing unlikelihood that he’ll ever again make a film that crosses over enough to become necessary viewing for those who want to engage in spirited debates over the current state of cinema, there’s a certain enduring sameness to his strengths and flaws as a filmmaker. Nothing in his new film contradicts that notion, but I’m still glad my assignment allowed for the reminder that I generally appreciate his sensibility.

On the music side, I reviewed the solo debut from a Canadian singer-songwriter which was nominated for one of those big, prestigious music prizes that leave me equally intrigued and flummoxed. In fact, my view of the prize is what motivated me to ask for the album in the first place, and wound up as a significant part of the review.