Charlie Barnett Profile – Village Voice

AFTER HIS SET, I offer Charlie and Mar­cie a ride to Port Authority in the cab I’m taking downtown. Turning onto Times Square, wall-to-wall crowds at 3:00 a.m., I ask Charlie, who’s been pretty quiet the whole ride, if he’d ever perform in a place like this. “I do perform here, all the fuckin’ time,” he says. “That corner over there.”

I take a long look at the furtive little congregations forming and unforming at the “Meat Market,” the corner of 42nd and Eighth; it’s been said that over $1 million changes hands on this corner ev­ery day. To me, it’s like watching a bee­hive, only more alien, dozens and dozens of people moving back and forth, no one seeming to leave. To Charlie it’s just an­other crowd: “Huge audiences,” he says, looking out the window with me, “any time of the night. Hookers, winos, crack dealers, heroin addicts, drag queens, pimps. They pay real well. You’d be amazed at how well they pay here. Good place to work on your heckler lines, any new material. I learn how to time my routines here.”

Tears of a Clown: Charlie Barnett Cracks Up
Ivan Solotaroff
Village Voice, January 17, 1989

Cannes 1983

The Ballad of Narayama
In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.

The Meaning of Life
The comedy team takes a look at life in all of its stages in their own uniquely silly way.

L’Argent
A forged 500-franc note is passed from person to person until carelessness leads to tragedy.

Nostalgia
A Russian poet and his interpreter travel to Italy to research the life of an 18th-century composer.

The Case Is Closed
The servant boy, a minor, engaged in a middle class family dies mysteriously locked in a kitchen.

Carmen
A group of flamenco dancers are rehearsing a very spanish version of the Prosper Merimee’s drama. Antonio (the coreographer) falls in love with Carmen (the main dancer).

The Story of Piera
This erotic drama about the incestuous relationship of a mother and daughter is based on the autobiography of Italian theater actress Piera Degli Esposti.

The Death of Mario Ricci
The tragic accident of an Italian laborer ,working on the Mont Blanc tunnel.

Cross Creek
In 1930’s Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings moves to Florida’s backwaters to write in peace. She feels bothered by affectionate men, editor and confused neighbors, but soon she connects and writes The Yearling, a classic of American literature.

The Wall
Teens in a Turkish prison struggle to survive under hideous conditions. Made by dying Yilmaz Guney in France, after he escaped from a Turkish prison, enabling him to accept his award at …

Eréndira
While Erendira, a beautiful teenage girl, has a surreal mystical vision, her grandmother’s house catches on fire and burns to the ground. Her grandmother holds Erendira responsible and, in …

Forbidden Relations
Based on a true story, a love affair develops between a half brother and half-sister. When pregnancy results and word gets out the public is outraged.

Heat and Dust
Anne is investigating the life of her grand-aunt Olivia, whose destiny has always been shrouded with scandal. As Anne delves into the history of her grand-aunt, she is led to reconsider her own life.

The King of Comedy
Rupert Pupkin is a passionate yet unsuccessful comic who craves nothing more than to be in the spotlight and to achieve this, he stalks and kidnaps his idol to take the spotlight for himself.

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
During WWII, a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed.

The Moon in the Gutter
He is a revenge-obssessed stevedore whose sister was brutally raped and murdered. She is a wealthy, elusive woman. They try hard to get together… or do they?

One Deadly Summer
Oozing sensuality, a young woman arrives in a small town and gets married to the local mechanic. Was it love at first sight? What links her enigmatic presence to the family’s piano? Is it curiosity or is it something far more sinister?

El Sur
A woman reflects on her childhood relationship with her father, attempting to understand the depths of his despair and the truth of his myths.

A Railway Station for Two
A waitress from the provincial railway station falls in love with an accidental passenger. Before this passenger lies the menace of distant prison for the crime he didn’t commit.

Tender Mercies
A broken-down, middle-aged country singer gets a new wife, reaches out to his long-lost daughter, and tries to put his troubled life back together.

The Wounded Man
A young man discovers his homosexuality and begins a relationship with a manipulative huster/petty criminal that he meets at a train station.

The Year of Living Dangerously
A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer.

IMDB

Robert Christgau, excerpts from Consumer Guide, November 21, 1989

MEAT PUPPETS: Monsters (SST) Supposedly a combination of their two 1988 albums (a mirage omelet, thanks a lot), this is really the guitar-god record Curt Kirkwood always had in him–on all but a couple of cuts the arena-rock bottom that’s an interview fantasy for those who haven’t caught them on a ZZ Top night powers his chunky riffs and psychedelic axemanship. What’ll keep them from turning into plutonium is the utterly unmacho vocals, brother harmonies making even “Party Till the World Obeys” and the one that begins “Tie me up/Get it right” seem like critiques of power, which is what they are–psychedelic in the nicest way yet again. A MINUS

MEKONS: Rock ‘n’ Roll (A&M) If you love rock and roll (which is possible even if you slum the spelling with apostrophes), but don’t think Rock and Roll (much less Rock ‘n’ Roll) a propitious title right now, you could love this album, which takes their love-hate relationship with America to the bank. Musically, it’s rock and roll despite the fiddles sawing louder than ever, almost as Clashlike as the promo claims, with Steve Goulding bashing away louder than ever too. Lyrically, in great song after great song, rock and roll is devil’s-breath perfume, capitalism’s “favourite boy child,” a commodity like sex, a log to throw on the fire, a “shining path back to reconquer Americay.” Are they implicated? Of course. Do they love it? Yes and no. A

EDDIE MURPHY: So Happy (Columbia) The failure of this wicked Prince rip to scale the charts reminds us once again how difficult it is for defiant outsiders to fracture pop stereotypes. Murphy will never be El DeBarge, but he’s perfect for cartoon funk, and over the years his wheedling croon has gotten serious. Maybe the problem is that his sexual urges still don’t emanate from very deep inside. Often, in fact, they’re inspired by his bathroom reading–he’s big on locations, spends an entire song convincing her to do it in a chair. Inspirational Dialogue: She: “Are you close?” He: “If I get any closer I be behind you.” B PLUS

PIXIES: Doolittle (4AD/Elektra) They’re in love and they don’t know why–with rock and roll, which is heartening in a time when so many college dropouts have lost touch with the verities. You can tell from the bruising riffs, the rousing choruses, the cute little bass melodies, the solid if changeable beat. But not from any words they sing. They’ll improve in direct relation to their improved contact with the outside world. Getting famous too fast could ruin them. B PLUS

peruse the archives -> Robert Christgau

TIME – 81-83 / PLACE – New York City.

NY Times Style Magazine has a pretty groovy thing on this thirty six month period in the Big Apple.Were those three years an inflexion point?

A polarizing Republican in the White House. Protests for equality in the streets. A new wave of sexual self-identification. This was N.Y.C. in the early ’80s, during the 36 months in which it changed art, design, activism, food, literature and love — forever.

Frank Bruni makes the case.

Actors reminisce.

24 hours/Oral History.