an x-mas break

I had the best of intentions and lots of half-baked notes on Christmas music, but I think I’ll just pass on posting this week, citing X-mas and family time (only partly true).

Merry Christmas if you celebrate that and Happy New Year if you don’t. I’ll be back next week as usual.

2013-12-24 lights
photo by Lindsey Turner via cc

so now i’ll be posting new articles on tuesday

In case you’ve been paying attention to the day that new posts appear, let it be known that I’ll be posting on Tuesdays for a while, instead of my former every-Friday schedule. I’m taking a class in economics on Thursday nights and that makes it a bad day to stay up late to revise my posts, which, believe it or not, I do.

Next Tuesday’s post will be on Being John Malkovich and will basically assume that you’ve already seen the movie (i.e., there will be a ton o’ spoilers).

And, because you were wondering what I’ve been listening to while typing this little missive: Why, “Material Girl,” of course. I don’t know why I just said “of course” as though I am always listening to “Material Girl” on some kind of hellish loop, but it seemed sassy at the time.

Anyway, see you soon. Tuesday, to be exact.

this here is the new underplex

Dear reader,

If you were thinking you would get a bluish page for right now, you might be worried that you’re on the wrong page.

You’re not. This is the new underplex. It’s still a little rough, and I’ll be changing things around a bit in the next couple of weeks, but this is basically the new look.

Thanks for reading, as always, and hope to hear from you soon.

Brandon Irvine, captain/chairman/head ninja @

snack break for underplex and a recommended site

So I’m taking a break this week, partly to work on a new version of the site, but I’ll be back next Friday. In the meantime, you should read some of Matthew Dessem’s great blog, where his snappy writing makes the Criterion collection seem accessible. I love the way Dessem writes, and on top of that, he’s genuinely insightful, which is a rarer thing than you’d think (or hope). If I have a single, desert-island blog — and I mean among all film blogs — this is it. No, really.

See you next week, and thanks for reading.

photo by Ronald Saunders under cc

a blog that deserves be read (no, not this one)

This week I’m taking off, but I’ll post again next Friday as usual. In the meantime, may I suggest The Self-Styled Siren, if you haven’t already heard of her?

There are lots of good writers out there on a variety of subjects, but so few are actually consistently good or ballsy enough to write a blog in the third person and pull it off. And you actually learn about movies by reading her blog. I could go on, but you should probably just read it.

photo by Nick Jones Everybody under cc

unoriginal but thankful

I avoid talking about current events in writing. It’s hard to be original.

But this isn’t about being original: This is a necessary thank you. I live 100 feet from the border between Somerville and Cambridge, Mass., and I live about five blocks from Norfolk St., where one or both of the Tsarnaev brothers lived, apparently. In other words, it happened in my backyard.

photo by Ruben Baston under cc

I have a lot to be thankful for, and I don’t think of the thanks as being to any vague concept of universal goodwill shining down on us, but to the police officers, FBI agents, firefighters, and the thousands that put their lives in danger. It’s easy to forget that the people who perform manhunts and get shot at are not an undifferentiated mass of people in blue uniforms and suits, but thousands of individuals who would like to continue existing on Earth as much as I do, but do jobs that threaten to end that. I try to remember it.

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.