Tag: Russell Banks

  • The Sweet Hereafter

    Dir. Atom Egoyan (1997). A school bus skids into an icy lake, leaving behind an emotional ghost town. Atom Egoyan’s ethereal heart-wrencher—a disaster movie with neither heroes nor villains—is as restrained as it is devastating. Brilliantly constructed, The Sweet Hereafter travels effortlessly back and forth in time, creating a vortex of suspense and dread—first circling […]

  • The Exquisite Winter Blahs of Horse Feathers

    It’s only September, but all the leaves are already brown for Horse Feathers. Winter is manifest in the trio’s second album, House With No Home, a collection rife lyrically with snowflakes and slate-gray skies looming over equally chilling folk arrangements augmented with chamber-style strings. Singer Justin Ringle often muffles his words or loses them altogether […]

  • Thursday

    [POETRY] POET FOR A DAY Put a little sonnet in your pants In the madness of rush hour, pushing past so many anonymous bodies, wouldn’t it be nice to slow down and exchange some words with the people around you? But what would you say? How about something from Pablo Neruda: “I do not love […]


    When Russell Banks’s acclaimed novel Affliction, which later became a hit film, was published in 1989, the Voice called him a writer that “we, as readers and writers, can actually learn from, whose books help and urge us to change.” Nearly 20 years later, the talented Banks—who will discuss his craft tonight as a part […]

  • Anatomy of Melancholy

    Back in 1998, David Foster Wallace published a vicious but hilarious monologue satirizing the mind-set of someone—referred to only as The Depressed Person—possessed of “a pathetically starved and greedy omnineediness.” In endless late-night phone calls to acquaintances, the title character entangles herself in a Möbius flystrip of self-analysis so sticky that she ignores a listening […]

  • Fathers Figure

    So the day before New Year’s Eve, my candidate for the best-directed Hollywood movie and least enticing title of 1998 sneaks into town as volatile and vulnerable as its befuddled antihero. Affliction, cagily adapted by writer-director Paul Schrader from Russell Banks’s 1989 novel, is as chilly a spectacle as you’re likely to see. It’s like […]