Finally watched Damian Chazelle’s “Babylon.” The first hour was a blast but the next two were wildly uneven. I think it would have been better if it had just focused on the silent era (which Chazelle depicted beautifully) instead of the transition to sound.

    Watched all seven hours of Adam Curtis’ new BBC doc series, “Russia 1985-1999 Traumazone.” No narration by him this time. Instead he uses prolific title cards. As usual a fascinating collage of disparate archival materials to present history. You can watch it on the BBC iPlayer if you have a VPN account.

    I don’t know why I put it off so long but last night I watched the excellent “Barton Fink” (1991) for the first time. There are still about seven Cohen Brothers films I need to see to be a completist.

    Also watched Bogdanovich’s 2006 version of his “Directed by John Ford” documentary. Tonight I am going to watch Ford’s 1945 film “They Were Expendable,” which I seem to recall was one of Lindsay Anderson’s favorite Ford films.

    I’ve been reading the recent memoir “Stay True” by Hua Hsu. It’s about a Taiwanese immigrant who goes to Berkeley in the ’90s and who loses a friend to a carjacking incident in San Francisco. I love the account of 90’s-era nerdy collegiate culture vulturism and since I was in grad school in the early ’90s at San Francisco State I can relate. Beautifully written.

    Taking a break from “Gravity’s Rainbow” to read the above.

    On Wednesday, for groundhog day, WFUV played a song followed by a cover of the song, a kind of repetition inspired by the movie “Groundhog Day.”

    Watching some new horror films which I will be reviewing in a few days.

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