What is The New Yorker? I know it’s a great magazine and that it’s a tremendous source of pleasure in my life. But what exactly is it? This blog’s premise is that The New Yorker is a work of art, as worthy of comment and analysis as, say, Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” Each week I review one or more aspects of the magazine’s latest issue. I suppose it’s possible to describe and analyze an entire issue, but I prefer to keep my reviews brief, and so I usually focus on just one or two pieces, to explore in each the signature style of its author. A piece by Matthew Trammell is not like a piece by James Wood, and neither is like a piece by Peter Schjeldahl. One could not mistake Finnegan for Frazier, or Lepore for Paumgarten, or Goodyear for Khatchadourian. Each has found a style, and it is that style that I respond to as I read, and want to understand and describe.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Benoit Pilon's Evocative "Iqaluit"

A still from Benoit Pilon's "Iqaluit" (2016)

It’s been almost a week since I saw Benoit Pilon’s Iqaluit, but I find myself still thinking about it. The plot is engaging enough, involving the suspicious death of a French-Canadian construction worker and his widow’s attempt to find out what happened. But, for me, the film’s great strength is its evocation of Iqaluit - the beach, the houses, the gravel roads, the breakwater, the graveyard, the river, the bay, the tundra, etc. It conveys a deep, poetic feeling for the place. The images have been brilliantly selected. It’s beautifully shot. Watching it, I found myself longing to be back there.

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