Top Five for the Last Thirty Days

1. Joseph Cornell at Anthology Film Archives. His boxes are twee and rely too much on the romance of "old stuff" but the film work--most not shown publicly during his lifetime--is militant in its sentimentality. The way he returns again and again to certain shots grips your brain like propaganda: for pigeons, children's birthday parties and the circus. Yet there is a certain icy strangeness to the choice of imagery which leads us to....

2. First 360 degrees of Richard Prince Guggenheim rampage*--ascending from ground level. The early rephotography--so cold. (*As in frontage, not running amuck.)

3. There Will Be Blood. Please go see it while it's on big screens. This turns "American epics" like Giant on their ears. Yes, McCabe and Mrs Miller already did that, with the frontier western, but P.T. Anderson takes Altman from simple curmudgeonly cynicism into nihilism and the edge of madness. His film is claustrophobic reduction set in an expansive wilderness, transforming the only two things that matter in America, money and religion, into an intricate mating dance of mental patients. Sculptors will appreciate the attention to period detail--the close-ups of wooden oil derrick construction are as obsessive and beautiful as Cornell films.

4. The Wire Fourth Season. Over 13 episodes: Marlo steals the blingy ring from the convenience store dope dealer. Omar steals it from Marlo. The crooked cop steals it from Omar. Soldier-in-training Michael steals it from the cop. Marlo asks the soldier where he got it. You gotta love the continuity of this show, working at every level.

5. The forums at EM411. Lots of articulate process discussion about electronic music. Not so much about content. Everyone might suck and have the most exquisite taste in gear (but I doubt it).