May 3, 2010

Chad Taylor

I used to read Chad Taylor in Rip It Up in the 80s when I was still at school and he wasn't much older. He seemed like a natural and fully-formed talent, talking up Japan or Propaganda -- I might be guessing about the latter -- when everyone else was worried about post-punk authenticity. Or something like that. He was easily as good as the British music writers we used to idolise.

I haven't read his novels -- I mean to, and Departure Lounge sounds like a good one to start with -- but I've been really enjoying going through his blog, especially its film entries. Eg on Herzog's Bad Lieutenant:
It's so great to see a movie that shuts up and gets on with being a movie: mid shots, naturalistic lighting, single-take performances and real fucking acting. Cage's performance is balanced by subtle turns from Tom Bower, Jennifer Coolidge and Eva Mendes, and challenged by quirky showboating from Val Kilmer, Brad Dourif and J.D. Evermore. In fact, thinking about it, Bad Lieutenant has a huge cast and they're all good: Herzog has told the story by using people. The consequences are tragi-comic and the result, for all its gravity, is a delight.