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Neutral Milk Hotel - On Avery Island Music Album Reviews

Each Sunday, Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at a significant album from the past, and any record not in our archives is eligible. Today, we revisit the oft-overshadowed debut from indie rock icons, a smaller and more intimate look into the mercurial world of Jeff Mangum.
In the mid-’90s, Jeff Mangum moved into a haunted closet in Denver where he had dreams of women in fur coats drinking champagne, yelling at him to get out of their house. During a snowy Colorado winter, the Louisiana-born songwriter and his childhood friend Robert Schneider set about recording what would become Neutral Milk Hotel’s debut album. They worked feverishly, going out to smoke cigarettes when they hit a roadblock, until, in May of 1995, they had a finished record. The North Carolina indie label Merge scooped up the young band and quietly released On Avery Island the following March.

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Framing John DeLorean Movie Review

Avoid Getting Framed

John DeLorean was an American engineer, inventor, and executive in the U.S. automobile industry who was widely known for his work at General Motors and as the founder of the DeLorean Motor Company. On October 19, 1982, DeLorean was videotaped in an FBI sting operation where he was recorded agreeing to bankroll a cocaine smuggling operation. The FBI set him up with more than 59 pounds of cocaine in a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport after he arrived from New York.

"Framing John DeLorean", which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, is an absolute mess in presenting what happened to DeLorean. Is it a documentary? Is it a re-enactment of the truth? Is it fictionalized? I'm not sure exactly what it is, other than utterly exasperating, confusing, and ultimately, boring. Presumably, Alec Baldwin took the role because he lost an enormous bet, or he was under the influence of a mini-stroke at the time.


The story of DeLorean is sometimes straightforward documentary with real file film that tells us of his creating the GTO, a major muscle car, in response to General Motors not allowing him to start a new car line. His success had him poised to take over G.M., but his plastic surgery, marrying a 19-year-old supermodel, and high public profile got him tossed from the company.

Then, in the middle of the unfolding story, the camera switches to Baldwin and the other actors getting their makeup done, while Baldwin discusses how the upcoming scenes should be filmed and other behind-the-scenes things that have zero to do with the story. Why this happens is an absolute mystery. Perhaps the filmmakers were dropping acid.

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If you see it and you make it to the end, you're either a saint or a simpleton. I had to sit through the entire picture because it's my job. You don't have to worry about that. You don't even have to see it at all. You're already the big winner. Don't turn a win into a loss by going to see it.


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