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Nick Offerman (#110 of 2)

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 10, “Fatwa!”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 10, “Fatwa!”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 10, “Fatwa!”

In the past, some season finales of Curb Your Enthusiasm have been kind to Larry David: They’ve seen him triumphantly salvaging a potentially disastrous restaurant opening (“The Grand Opening”) and saving a doomed musical (“Opening Night”). But even when Larry is in the right, when he deservedly wins a petty squabble or outwits an obnoxious celebrity, there’s a particular satisfaction in watching him reap the consequences of his own foot-in-mouthedness. And last night’s season-nine finale episode, “Fatwa!,” doesn’t cast Larry in a heroic light. Throughout, it indulges whole-heartedly in fiasco, and much to the detriment of Larry and everyone in his inner circle.

Sundance Film Festival 2012: Red Hook Summer and Smashed

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Sundance Film Festival 2012: <em>Red Hook Summer</em> and <em>Smashed</em>
Sundance Film Festival 2012: <em>Red Hook Summer</em> and <em>Smashed</em>

It takes a little time to get used to the sprawling scope and the blocky dialogue of Red Hook Summer, director Spike Lee and co-writer James McBride’s follow-up to Lee’s own Do the Right Thing. In Red Hook Summer, Lee and McBride take the dialectical mode of discourse that Lee employed so masterfully in Do the Right Thing and explode it in order to create a unkempt but invigorating and deeply moving daisy chain of opposing ideas. The thematic preoccupations—gentrification, religion, familial history, love—of Lee’s breakthrough film are no longer phrased as an easy-to-delineate back-and-forth between two types of interlocutors; now the conversation is a mosaic. Lee’s not just talking about condos vs. projects, but about faith, self-discovery, fear of change, and a generational inability to communicate with one another. Lee and McBride have created a new microcosm of uncertainty and shaky hopefulness and it’s a shambling, wonderful mess.