From The Desk Of Luther Russell: “Truman”

You might not know Luther Russell by name, but you’ve probably heard music he’s made with the likes of Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers), Jody Stephens (Big Star), Brian Bell (Weezer), Ethan Johns (Emmylou Harris, Ryan Adams) and countless others. Selective Memories: An Anthology, out February 23 on Hanky Panky, is a two-CD compilation of Russell’s material that’s a stellar introduction for newcomers to this musician’s musician. Russell will be guest editing all week.

Russell: Cesc Gay’s Truman was probably the best film I saw last year. It apparently won all the top honors in Spanish film, and deservedly so. It stars one of my all-time favorite actors—and the De Niro of Argentina—Ricardo Darín, who was also amazing in El Secreto De Los Ojos. Darín plays a theater actor named Julián who’s dying of cancer and his only companion is a dog named Truman. His old friend Tomás finally visits him, mostly out of guilt. They proceed to catch up and spend time together, during which Julián reveals that he intends on committing suicide and insists on being supported in his decision. This is a very touching and funny movie and already had me thinking it was especially profound before an epic scene where Julián lights a joint and puts on one of my favorite all-time Argentine bands, Pescado Rabioso, at which point I declared to myself that it needed an Oscar, a Nobel and a Presidential medal for that alone. You’ll rarely find a more affecting movie about death and what the hell to do with it.