Apparently Astroland is closing. That rickety rusted jewel in the tattered crown of Coney Island, which has resisted every manner of improvement and modernization, will soon go the way of the Old Penn Station and the Times Square HoJo’s to name but two architectural casualties. When endings come to that which we hold precious, a certain idealization is bound to fuzzy our memories of their proper place in the historical narrative of men and their cities. But as the N Train sliced through the sea-air dusk and I watched the coral lights of the Wonder Wheel shimmer for maybe the last time, I was thankful that I could witness even this tacky grandeur, a reminder that I have lived in the city of Weegee and the city of Rockefeller.
China: A Century of Revolution (Zeitgeist) 6 Hour documentary about the real evil empire. July 10
Joan Collins: Superstar Collection (Fox) Tacky, tacky, tacky, sexy, hideous. July 10
PI CK Ace in The Hole (Criterion) Criminally underseen Billy Wilder flick starring Kirk Douglas as that most venal species of American charlatan — the journalist. July 17
Bewitched: The Fifth Season (Sony) Last season for the first Dick, (York) before he became a painkiller junkie.
PICK Extras: The Complete 2nd Season (HBO) The only worthy successor to Garry Shandling. July 10
Wild Tigers I have Known (Genius) Exec-produced by Gus Van Sant, it’s a story of boy-on boy infatuation and confused sexual identity (shockingly.)
The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg (New Yorker) I was once saw Allen Ginsberg struggling to pull apart a plastic produce bag with frail hands at an East Village deli one late night and a myth suddenly became crippled with arthritic reality.
PICK You’re Gonna Miss Me (Palm) Roky Erickson’s heartbreaking story of rock star descent into the familiar maelstrom of drugs, madness and poor personal hygiene.