Whoever writes the L's daily music listings these days compared Animal Hands, who play tonight at Union Hall, to Ted Leo and Squeeze, which actually sounds about right. Apparently they're a little peeved at the existence of an at least equally excellent band called Bear Hands, although if I was in a band called Animal Hands and people were trying to Google me I would be much more concerned about the existence of Handimals.
The L's Fiction Issue reading last Thursday at the KGB Bar reminded all of us how much we love drinking vodka at that place, and also listening to people read; there's a reading tonight about "The Future of the Global Environmental Movement".
Like a said earlier, Nagisa Oshima's Boy, which plays tonight at the Walter Reade, is completely unavailable to rent and very much worth seeing: it's the ripped-from-the-headlines case of a a war-scarred father and ineffectual mother whose main source of income is using their 10-year-old son to stage auto accidents and extorting money from drivers. Oshima elides key incidents, jars the frame with tints, and, most aggressively, pushes his characters to the extreme edges of his widescreen frame — even the movie of their lives is a harsh struggle against marginalization. Oshima regular Fumio Watanabe, a blandly handsome everydude, plays the father, and his face is contorted into a raging nightmare of fatherhood (and the national character) no less frightening for its impotence — but as volatile as the movie is, Oshima's attention to the uncanny performance of young Tetsuo Abe (his only film role) makes for a devastating emotional experience.