Music: Thunder in the Valley
Mix Kurt Weill, the Pogues, and Hasil Adkins, and you might get something akin to the sinister sound of cabaret punks Thunder in the Valley. Equally at home in a backwoods bar or vaudeville theater, the Minneapolis quintet has injected a shot of industriousness into the local music scene with its hard-to-pin-down sound—waltz-inducing, circus-sounding, calliope organ–playing, free-wailing ragtime, old-timey tunes that make nostalgia new again.
Movie: Bigger Than Life
Directed by Nicholas Ray
Ray’s boldest film attacks the complacency of suburbia where respected teacher Ed Avery (James Mason) develops an addiction to Cortisone, prescribed to relieve his clogged arteries. The increasing intensity of the side effects forces him to confront his disenchantment with his life. Mason coproduced the film, and the melodrama was controlled with some brilliant, uncredited work by screenwriters Clifford Odets and Gavin Lambert, among others. 1956, U.S., color, 16mm, 95 minutes.
DJ: Rob Nelson